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10/13/2017  |   12:45 PM - 1:45 PM   |  East Ballroom at Shalala Student Services Building

Fostering Parent Leadership and Engagement

Attention to coaching and empowering caregivers has emerged as a priority in hearing health and habilitation. Throughout the developing world however, sustainability of parent education and child services is challenging due to several factors that include limited resources and technology, limited professional training and education, as well as limited teacher and parent training in areas of hearing differences and habilitation. With specific regard to children who are deaf and hard of hearing, training in parent empowerment and participation are considered important but often left off the table on hearing health humanitarian missions. A 2011 annual meeting at the Coalition for Global Hearing Health conference revealed the critical need for parent empowerment and engagement in the developing world (Parent Empowerment Committee Meeting, CGHH conference, House Ear Institute, Los Angeles 2011). The complexity of the global hearing health and humanitarian industry and the predicament of most parents living in resource poor communities imply a traditional approach to parent education and intervention will not be effective and must change. Based on twenty years of experience coaching families, training teachers, and evidence in the science of positive psychology, Partners for A Greater Voice (PGV) will present one model for effectively engaging caregivers. PGV’s program, called Essential Programs to Coach and Empower Caregivers, supports the unique needs parents have to be emotionally healthy and prepared in their journey to lead, parent and support their children with hearing differences. In this short presentation, a character strength technique will give practitioners a practical and useful tool for coaching parents and which deepens a caregiver’s competence, self-efficacy, and leadership. Professionals working with families of children with disabilities can enrich their practice by infusing the presenter’s suggested activity into their style of parent education and intervention.

  • To engage practitioners in PGV's parent interventionism
  • To inform practitioners of unique coaching practices that promote caregiver wellbeing
  • To deepen understanding of essential ways to motivate and engage caregivers

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Joanne Travers (POC,Primary Presenter), Partners for A Greater Voice,;
Joanne is founder and director of Partners for A Greater Voice (PGV). The organization has provided training and education to hundreds of practitioners and over a thousand parents in the Dominican Republic, India, and Honduras. Currently, PGV provides support to practitioners, focusing on caregiver well-being; training programs empower and engage caregivers in their potential and their responsiveness to children's hearing and learning. Joanne has counseled parents since 1995. She is inspired by her two adult children who were born with Ushers syndrome. She has served as a director of the board of the Coalition for Global Hearing Health from its inception until 2014. She has a Masters degree in International Management and is certified in positive psychology. Joanne published a book called Coaching and Empowering Caregivers of Children with Hearing loss, an approach to foster well-being. Free copies will be available to qualified practitioners traveling from low-resource countries.


Financial - No relevant financial relationship exists.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists.


Financial - No relevant financial relationship exists.