diversity hearing healthcare

4 ways to actively involve families and reflect diversity in your practice

Creating inclusion and focusing on cultural sensitivity can help improve your services to families from underrepresented and culturally diverse families. Learn about an upcoming webinar that might inspire you.

“Practicing cultural humility requires less emphasis on knowledge and a greater focus on fostering self-awareness, interpersonal sensitivity, an attitude of openness, and learning from differences.”
– Community Outreach 1

One mechanism to engage and improve hearing health services to families from underrepresented and culturally diverse families is to ensure that parents are at the table of program planning.
Creating practices around inclusion can improve audiological services and help meet the needs of each family.

Outcomes include a more diverse and inclusive planning process, bringing fresh perspective to complex issues, (e.g. decreasing no-shows for appointments) and ultimately bringing about better consumer satisfaction.

4 ways to promote family inclusion and respect of diversity

  1. Implement a parent advisory group. Of course, ensuring diversity of families represented in such groups is important.
  2. Review promotional materials to ensure all parents and children feel welcome through inclusion of images of diverse or target population of children/adults.
  3. Recruit for positions from diverse sources to attract staff who represent a variety of perspectives. The interview process can include questions, case studies and rubrics to assess candidates based on their respect/understanding/sensitivity to a range of perspectives, including families from historically underrepresented populations.
  4. Develop and maintain a current demographic and cultural profile of the community of your service area that can be used to prioritize and respond to its cultural and linguistic characteristics.
Tips for creating a parent advisory group
– Consider providing childcare or childcare stipend
– Meet infrequently to respect time constraints of families
– Consider virtual meeting opportunities
– Share outcomes so they can see that their input is making a difference


Guidance from the experts at NCCC

Georgetown University National Center for Cultural Competence (NCCC) aims to address growing diversity and persistent disparities and to promote health and mental health equity.

They recommend having a defined set of values and principles and demonstrate behaviors and attitudes that enable you to work effectively cross-culturally. This includes:

• Valuing diversity
• Conducting self-assessments
• Managing the dynamics of difference
• Acquiring cultural knowledge
• Adapting to diversity of the communities you serve

The NCCC promotes the understanding that cultural and linguistic competence is integrally linked to quality of care—you can’t have one without the other.

How can you build your skills to support diverse families?

By going straight to the source of course! Putting in mechanisms where you can provide families a safe and respected opportunity to provide their views on what they consider effective services.

Building your skills can lead to improved understanding of cultural differences and increase your ability to be present. Or course, this inclusivity and respect can positively impact the family’s well-being and overall outcomes.

Two successful programs highlighted in upcoming webinar

A webinar was created to present how two family-based programs are specifically addressing not only how to more effectively reach and support families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing from underserved and diverse populations, but also how to develop leadership in these parents.

These parent leaders have become active participants ‘at the table’ with professionals creating and implementing programs. An opportunity to participate in this webinar where two of the family leaders share their journeys is available and coming soon. See information and additional resources below.

Learn more and register for this webinar sponsored by the Hands & Voices Family Leadership in Language and Learning (FL3) Center by clicking here.

For further learning on the topic: Hands & Voices has released a new resource titled, Advancing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility Guidelines: Transforming a Community for all Families with Children who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing

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