Parent Empowerment in Early Intervention Programmes of Children with Hearing Loss in Mumbai, India

Kasturi Arun Kulkarni, Varsha Shrikant Gathoo


Purpose: Since families are perceived to be active agents in the early intervention programmes of young children with disabilities, professionals ought to treat parents as equal partners and keep them informed and involved in various aspects of the intervention.  This study aimed to explore the areas in which parent empowerment is currently being facilitated in the early intervention centres for children with hearing loss.

Method: A qualitative research with conversational analysis was the approach used. Focus group discussions with the two primary stakeholders, namely parents and special educators, were held separately at five sites in Mumbai, to gather their views on the existing areas of empowerment. It was also decided to explore the felt needs of parents in this regard. Person triangulation was used to ascertain the credibility of the data.

Results: Conversational analysis yielded 4 themes with respect to parents: Parental knowledge, involvement, support and needs.

Conclusion and Implications: The study highlighted the gaps in parent empowerment in the programmes undertaken by early intervention centres.  A recommendation is made to develop a common framework for empowering parents. It is envisaged that such a framework will bridge the gap between what currently exists for parents, their felt needs, and current global practices.  This framework could also assist in measuring family empowerment outcomes.


Education; special education; children with hearing impairment; deaf studies; parent education; family studies; child development; early intervention

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