The SKI-HI Institute in the Department of Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education at Utah State University recognizes that the early years of a child's life hold vital importance. A sensory disability or developmental delay by itself or combined with other disabilities can affect the young child's ability to learn and progress. At the same time, such disabilities and/or delays add to the challenges families, caregivers, and service providers already face in nurturing and helping the young child to become all he or she has the potential to be. It is to these impacts on children that the SKI-HI Institute dedicates its work.
There are four tasks that constitute the work of the SKI-HI Institute. The first task is to conduct practical research related to the use of best practices with young children with sensory disabilities and developmental delays and to develop practical intervention strategies, programs, and resource materials for use by caregivers and service providers of these young children (e.g., teachers, paraprofessionals, deaf mentors, parents, interveners, therapists) in a wide variety of settings (e.g., in the home or other natural settings, local school district programs, institutions, private agencies, department of health programs).
The second task is to apply those best practices and use the above resource materials in the implementation of intervention programs that partner with families, caregivers, and service providers of young children with sensory disabilities, developmental delays, and sometimes other disabilities as well.
The third task is to facilitate the use of these best practices and resource materials by families, caregivers, and service providers in many programs and settings across the nation and internationally. This is accomplished through a variety of training/learning opportunities provided through the Institute's projects in collaboration with Utah State University (e.g., technical assistance, inservice training and preservice credentialing via on-site sessions, home study, distance education). It is also accomplished through information communicated and disseminated via correspondence, newsletters, and telecommunications.
The fourth task of the SKI-HI Institute is to facilitate the sharing of information, best practices, and materials between programs and individuals through support of regional workshops, newsletters, telecommunications, parent-to-parent networks, and by incorporating ideas from the field into its current programs and products.