1 (800) 654-SPAN (7726), 8:00 am–4:00 pm    

Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI)
Mentoring & Family Engagement Project

Supporting Deaf/Hard of Hearing Children and Their Families

Increasing the number of newborns and infants identified as Deaf/Hard of Hearing (D/HH) enrolled in Early Intervention services, and providing support to families/parents/caregivers of newborns and infants who are D/HH

Just in time resources for families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing

This guide is a tool to help families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) connect to family-to-family supports with a focus on state-level resources.

NJ Deaf Mentor Program

What is a Deaf Mentor?

  • An adult who is Deaf or hard of hearing who communicates via ASL, Total Communication, Listening and Spoken Language, and/or Cued Speech/Cued English Represents the full range of hearing levels, communication choices, technology use, and education
  • Interacts with children with hearing loss and their families in their home, via technology or in person, and at social events
  • Answers questions and shares first hand experiences
  • Deaf Mentors who communicate via ASL are trained in ASL instruction, teach families about Deaf Culture and introduce them to the Deaf Community
  • Deaf Mentors will be required to complete a comprehensive SKI HI Mentor training program

* Do you have a D/HH child aged Birth–5 years old?

Download the Flyer (PDF) for more information on this FREE program for families interested in having a Deaf Mentor and/or a ASL Deaf Language Associate. (Español)

* Are you a D/HH Adult willing to share your experiences?

Download the Flyer (PDF) for more information on how you can mentor, share your story with families, and/or support a child with a hearing loss in a childcare setting. (Español)

Family Support and Engagement Learning Community

What is a Learning Community?

  • A framework for people to meet around a shared goal
  • An opportunity to effect change
  • A place to develop practical goals
  • It connects people, organizations, and systems
  • Works across boundaries

What are the Expectations?

  • Meet about 5 times per year
  • Be available for conference calls and in person meetings
  • Participate in leadership trainings
  • Share experiences
  • Share ideas to improve quality of care for newborns with hearing loss

* Are you interested in sharing your experiences?

SPAN is looking for parents interested in participating in the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Family Support and Engagement Learning Community.

Download/print/share the flyer (PDF): English / Español

Communication access services available upon request. Stipends available to help cover time and expenses.

About the Deaf Mentor Program

The Deaf Mentor Program promotional video was funded by Special Child Health and Early Intervention Services, New Jersey Department of Health and the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing under the Leveling the Playing Field initiative.

More Information

External Resources

8 Reasons to say Yes to EI for your child who is D/HH: A Hands & Voices resource to share information about the positive aspects of early intervention for families with children who are deaf and hard of hearing.
NJDOE Transition Toolkit for Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing | Resources and informational websites to assist New Jersey students who are deaf or hard of hearing in achieving positive postsecondary outcomes.

ASL Development for Children in New Jersey | The NJ Department of Human Services Division of Deaf and Hard of Hearing offers language acquisition services through an ASL Deaf Language Associate.

Deaf Leadership  |  Video presented by the Family-Centered Early Intervention (FCEI) 2018 Deaf Leadership Committee on the importance of Deaf Role Models for children and their families

Deaf Leadership Comments from Deaf Adults  |  Video coordinated by the Family-Centered Early Intervention (FCEI) 2018 Deaf Leadership committee

Family Outreach Flyer Deaf Mentor COVID-19 | SPAN’s Early Hearing Detection & Intervention (EHDI) Mentoring & Family Engagement Project is looking for families with a D/HH child birth to 5 years old who are interested in having a Deaf Mentor. In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Deaf Mentor Program will continue to match families with a Deaf Mentor through virtual visits using Zoom and FaceTime.

Family Outreach Flyer Deaf Mentor COVID-19 – Spanish | El Programa de Mentores Sordos NJ EHDI de SPAN está buscando familias con un hijo D/HH hasta 5 años de edad que esté interesado en tener un Mentor Sordo. En respuesta a la pandemia de COVID-19, el Programa de Mentores para Sordos continuará uniendo a familias con un Mentor para Sordos por medio de visitas virtuales a través de Zoom y FaceTime.

Family Transition Handbook: Developed by parents, early intervention service providers, and school personnel to provide information about transition from Early Intervention Services to Pre-School.

Raising the Whole Child: Social-Emotional Development in Deaf Children  |  A resource for parents, educators, and others who work with deaf and hard of hearing children about the need  to supplement the social environment for each and every deaf, hard of hearing, or partially hearing student.

“Optimizing Outcomes for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: Educational Service Guidelines”  |  This purpose of these free updated education service guidelines for D/HH is to supplement and update the information needed by teachers, leaders, families, school instructional support personnel and other stakeholders to have the knowledge, skills and vision to help children be successful.

Health Screening & Follow-Up |  Did your child receive a refer result on the newborn hearing screening? The NJ Department of Health provides answers to frequently asked questions and further information and resources on next steps.

Hear to Learn Resources for Parent and Professionals |  The Utah State University Listening and Spoken Language program, Sound Beginnings, helps children with hearing loss reach their potential for academic and life success. This website provides user-friendly materials for parents of children who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as those who care for and work with them.

Oir para Aprender Recursos para Padres y Profesionales |  El programa de la audición y el lenguaje hablado de Utah State University, Sound Beginnings, ayuda a los niños con pérdida auditiva a alcanzar su potencial académico y el éxito en la vida. Este sitio web proporciona materiales fáciles de usar para padres de niños sordos o con problemas de audición, así como aquellos que los cuidan y trabajan con ellos.

ASL Story Telling  |  This video is a resource from the Texas School for the Deaf Education Resource Center on Deafness to improve language learning and literacy for D/HH students.

Online ASL & Deaf Studies Courses  |  Gallaudet University offers a variety of free introductory videos and interactive lessons for learning basic ASL as well as online ASL and Deaf Studies courses.

Raising Deaf and Hard of Hearing Kids | A parenting course ($35.00) that will provide support on your journey with resources for decision making.

The Deaf Children’s Literacy Project is a guided program to support families with children who are deaf, hard of hearing and/or have various processing disorders who may benefit from Cued Speech to achieve age-appropriate language and literacy acquisition.

NJ Deaf Students’ Bill of Rights Brochure: The Deaf Student’s Bill of Rights is a statement of responsibility to ensure that school districts meet the unique needs of students who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind and use varied communication modalities.

Sign Language Classes | The 8 best online sign language classes of 2020 evaluated by the website: thebalancecareers.com

Check out these upcoming events, notices, and links to more resources:

Contact Us


Alyssa Buchholz

Deaf Mentor Program Coordinator

Georgina Buckingham

Karen Burroughs

Suzan Colon

Niahm Donovan

Elinor Goldberg

Loraine Kegerrels

Anita Kurian

RoseMarie Lee

Diana Meade

Dianne Montemorano

Lisa Oshmand

Susan Page

Andrea Turco

Jeffrey Werner


Pam Aasen

Project Director
(732) 956-4917

Pam Aasen

EHDI Project Director


Isaiah Arnett

Pat Dobbs

Tara Invidiato

Krystyna Makowski

Jennifer Percival

Latisha Porter-Vaughn

Melanie Riordan

Vicki Joy Sullivan

Lori Timney

SPAN’s EHDI Mentoring & Family Engagement Project is funded through a subgrant from the NJ Department of Health, Special Child Health and Early Intervention Services, a HRSA funded initiative.