The Colorado Home Intervention Program (CHIP) is a family-centered, in-home, statewide early intervention program that provides support for families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH).
Every year, about 150 children are born with hearing loss in Colorado, and 93 percent of those are born into hearing families. CHIP uses a data-driven, home-based early intervention approach to support the language acquisition and development of those children from birth until they reach 36 months of age.
CHIP was an early adopter of LENA technology, having used the first versions of LENA software in 2008. Throughout development and piloting, Dr. Christie Yoshinaga-Itano, an advisor to the CHIP program and researcher at the University of Colorado-Boulder, and Dinah Beams, CHIP Program Director, have helped to shape LENA innovations tailored to the needs of the D/HH community.
“We’ve been a proud partner of CHIP for many years now, and they are truly a best-in-class organization that sets the global standard for D/HH early intervention approaches and outcomes,” said Dr. Stephen Hannon, president and chief operating officer of LENA.
In 2017, CHIP adopted LENA SP, the latest version of LENA technology that is designed for use by researchers, early interventionists, and language professionals. The technology collects a full day of the child’s audio environment, then translates the audio into data about talk provided in easy-to-read, actionable reports for parents.
Parents receive detailed reports on the amount of adult words, child vocalizations, and the number of conversational turns their child is experiencing. The objective feedback helps families to better understand their child’s language needs and to more effectively adapt their communication strategies.
CHIP’s therapists and audiologists can also use the information to make recommendations for adjustments to hearing augmentation and other assistive technologies. For example, the audio environment report sheds light on the child’s opportunity to access adult speech and participate in conversations.
Program data is managed through LENA Online, a cloud-based software system that makes it easy for CHIP staff around the state to upload, access, analyze, and report data.
“The cloud-based enhancements to LENA technology have dramatically simplified our logistics and improved our ability to provide rapid feedback to families and early intervention providers, as well as enhanced our assessment process in order to support better language outcomes for children,” said Dr. Yoshinaga-Itano.
Funding through the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), and the Disability Research and Dissemination Center (DRDC) has enabled collaboration between the University of Colorado-Boulder and LENA to support continued testing, refinement, and enhancement of LENA SP.
The Colorado Home Intervention Program is a family-centered, in-home, statewide early intervention program that began in 1970. The program was moved under the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind in 2001. The Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind provides a system of statewide regional coordinators, the Colorado Resource Coordinators (CO-Hears) who as part of the Colorado Early Hearing Detection and Intervention team assist the families in enrolling in early intervention, in providing a developmental progress monitoring program and providing in-service education to the early intervention providers serving these families throughout the State. The early interventionists providing CHIP services serve approximately 325 children in the state who are deaf and hard of hearing, birth to 36 months of age, and are contracted by the local Part C agency to work with these families. The CHIP program has participated in research on the developmental trajectories and outcomes of infants and toddlers who are deaf or hard of hearing since the mid 1980s, funded predominantly through federal grants. For more information, please visit the Colorado Home Intervention Program information page.