Self-advocacy training for students with cochlear implants entering college

Period of Performance: 07/01/2013 - 06/30/2014

$189K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

KDH Research and Communication, Inc.
ATLANTA, GA 30361
Principal Investigator

Abstract

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): KDH Research &Communication (KDHRC) proposes to develop Cochlear Implant University (CIU) website, a self-advocacy training tool for high school and college students with CIs (SWCIs) aged 16 to 21 and their parents to develop self-advocacy knowledge and skills that support a successful academic and social transition to higher education (HE). CIU's primary aim is to increase SWCI's: knowledge on HE transition topics, such as their legal rights, positive attitudes towards self-advocating in HE environments, self-efficacy to self-advocate, and intentions to self-advocate - all precursors of self-advocacy skills development. Parental support is correlated with SWCI academic and social success, therefore CIU's secondary aim is to increase SWCI parents'knowledge about and self-efficacy and intentions to support their children on HE transition topics, such as how to apply for HE classroom accommodations. CIU addresses a pressing need. Increasing numbers of SWCI are entering HE and preliminary data indicate that they experience myriad academic and social challenges compared to their hearing peers, such as high dropout rates and poor academic and social outcomes. However, there is a lack of self-advocacy programs specific to SWCI and the HE transition. Experts are calling for evidence-based programs to develop a core set of self-advocacy knowledge and skills which may mitigate these challenges and support a successful HE transition. CIU will meet this need as a unique resource in the field. At the completion of this project, we will have a prototype website, consisting of SWCI and parent contents on core transition topics, such as applying for HE accommodations, understanding legal rights, and self- advocating in academic and social situations. Phase II will add interactive components and additional topics. The feasibility evaluation will explore the extent to which exposure to the CIU prototype changes SWCI knowledge on HE transition topics, positive attitudes towards self-advocating in HE environments, self-efficacy to self-advocate, and intentions to self-advocate, and parents'knowledge about and self-efficacy and intentions to support their children on HE transition topics. Taken together, CIU and its feasibility results aim to develop SWCI and parent self-advocacy knowledge and skills that support a successful academic and social transition to HE and establish CIU's feasibility for further development in Phase II. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: CIU meets a pressing need. Increasing numbers of students with cochlear implants (SWCI) are entering higher education but both they and their parents lack the self-advocacy knowledge and skills for a successful academic and social transition. CIU will address this problem by using a state-of-the-art, evidence-based, website to increase SWCI's knowledge on HE transition topics, positive attitudes towards self-advocating in HE environments, self-efficacy to self-advocate, and intentions to self-advocate. CIU will also increase parents'knowledge about and self-efficacy and intentions to support their children on HE transition topics. CIU will be the only self-advocacy training tool of its kind and thereby innovatively meets calls for interventions to ameliorate these transition challenges for this vulnerable population.