The fundamental framework for Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing children: a model from the child’s perspective


  • Kinya Embry University of Kentucky
  • Christen Page University of Kentucky
  • Kimberly Ofori-Sanzo Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions



Deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) children deserve to acquire functional language skills at the same rate as their hearing peers. Newborn hearing screenings assist in the early identification of decreased hearing levels in children at birth, leading stakeholders to make decisions about communication and language within the first weeks of the child’s life. While trained and educated to present the most evidence-based information, the professionals involved in supporting parents, caregivers, and families with the care of their DHH child may influence the decision-making process by presenting information to families rather than engaging them in meaningful dialogue, explaining conceptual knowledge, and answering questions, with consideration given to the child’s perspective.
This paper describes the Fundamental Framework, a model created to facilitate meaningful collaboration between families and professionals regarding preferred language choice. The Fundamental Framework is a theoretical model influenced by the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF) model and the ‘F-words’ in Childhood Disability by Rosenbaum and Gorter in 2011 with the following specific aims: 1) to facilitate meaningful collaboration between professionals (e.g., pediatricians, speech-language pathologists, audiologists, etc.) and the families of DHH children 2) to assist in fostering a strong language foundation for DHH children, critical for their overall optimal development 3) to enhance client-centered assessment of preferred language options and 4) to de-emphasize the historical approach of “fixing” decreased hearing levels in children.

The model intends to provide an understanding of service provision and facilitate dialogue surrounding the importance of rich language opportunities, which leads to foundational language development and acquisition. Clinically, medical professionals and families can use this framework to enhance inclusive efforts among all involved to ensure collaboration, comprehension, and understanding in the language decision-making process occurs for professionals, caregivers, and the DHH child.



How to Cite

Embry, K. ., Page, C., & Ofori-Sanzo, K. . (2023). The fundamental framework for Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing children: a model from the child’s perspective. Journal of Child Language Acquisition and Development-JCLAD, 759–775.



Research Articles