Project SKI-HI Banner

SKI-HI was the Institute's first model program. This program offers support and resources in natural environments for families with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, age birth to five, who are deaf and hard of hearing.

The SKI-HI resource manual contains information and activities for families on early communication, audition, hearing aids, American Sign Language (ASL) resources, aural-oral language, total communication, and psycho-emotional support. The SKI-HI approach for information gathering, child assessment, and program planning needed for developing the Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) is also covered in the manual. This program and its materials are currently being used by service providers around the country with more than 5,000 children annually. Twenty years of strong data from many of these service providers support the effectiveness of the program.

SKI-HI can provide important assistance in meeting the challenges of two current trends. First, with Universal Newborn Hearing Screening, the United States is moving toward much earlier identification of hearing loss in infants and referral to early intervention agencies by three months of age. Appropriate intervention strategies must be promptly available for the large numbers of these very young infants and their families.

A second development is the increase in the number of early intervention programs who serve young children with hearing losses. Personnel in these programs are requesting and needing additional training in order to effectively serve this population. In addition, service delivery personnel with expertise in deafness frequently request information and training to keep pace with the rapidly changing field.

Training is available in the SKI-HI model through two formats: (1) six days of on-site training, and (2) four days of on-site training combined with home study. Training is conducted by national trainers experienced with the program and its resources. Technical assistance is also available in implementation of SKI-HI programming.

Requirements for Becoming a SKI-HI State Trainer

In order to become certified as a SKI•HI Local Trainer within a local area or state, the applicant must meet the following requirements:

  1. Be committed to the SKI-HI philosophy of early family-centered home intervention and maintain and encourage the principles of the SKI-HI Model.
  2. Have successfully completed a full 6-day SKI-HI Basic Training Workshop conducted by a certified State/Local/National SKI-HI Trainer.
  3. Be employed by an agency that encourages the use of the SKI-HI Model and uses the SKI-HI Curriculum Manual as their primary curriculum source.
  4. Provide a letter from the administrator of his/her employing agency: • Agreeing to the applicant’s holding the position of State/Local SKI-HI Trainer • Agreeing to the release of the trainer for planning and conducting training workshops (including travel time) • Demonstrating that there is a need for this applicant to be a SKI-HI Certified Trainer and that the applicant will be used in this capacity on a regular basis • Demonstrating that the agency or state is working on financial support for local SKI-HI training.
  5. Have at least three years experience working with children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families in a home-based setting using the SKI-HI Curriculum, incorporating the SKI-HI Philosophy of home-base early intervention.
  6. Continue to maintain direct service to at least one family/child in a home-based setting using the SKI-HI Curriculum throughout his/her tenure as a SKI-HI Trainer. This ensures that his/her knowledge and skills with the curriculum and skills as an early intervention service provider are maintained.
  7. Demonstrate skill in presenting/teaching with groups of adult learners.
  8. Be affiliated with an organization that supports the SKI-HI Philosophy and the SKI-HI Curriculum in its entirety.
  9. Have completed a 2-day Parent Advisor Update Workshop on the new curriculum manual and have used the new SKI-HI Curriculum Manual with at least one family for at least one year.
  10. Be committed to presenting to the participants in local workshops the SKI-HI Model in total as presented in the SKI-HI Curriculum Manual and the SKI-HI Trainer’s Manual. Local practices and procedures may and should be embedded or covered in addition to the standardized training procedures.
  11. Agree to conduct the Basic Training Workshop in conjunction with another SKI-HI Certified State/Provincial or National Trainer (at least a team of two trainers) in order to ensure that all materials are presented appropriately and thoroughly and to address the learning needs of adult participants.
  12. Have completed academic course work, training, and/or experience in a related field (deaf education, speech language pathology, audiology, early childhood development with experience working with children who are deaf or hard of hearing, etc.)
  13. Be willing to successfully complete the SKI-HI Trainer’s Training Workshop, certify as a trainer, and maintain that certification by adhering to all of the listed certification requirements.

These requirements have been set into place to ensure the integrity and quality of our SKI-HI name and the caliber of workshops that are delivered to professionals across the country. If you have questions or concerns about any of these requirements, please feel free to contact Paula Pittman at 435-797-5600 to discuss them.

IMPORTANT: In order to obtain periodic updated trainer certification, both the local agency and the trainer have the following responsibilities:

  1. The trainer must continue to maintain direct service experience with one or more families every year.
  2. The trainer must receive satisfactory participant evaluations on training workshops conducted.
  3. The trainer must report workshop data to the SKI•HI Institute after completion of the workshop.
  4. The agency must continue to support the trainer in her/his responsibilities in planning and conducting workshops.
  5. The agency/trainer must participate in mutually determined verification by the SKI•HI Institute that the local workshops adhere to the fidelity of the Model and that the trainer maintains the high quality of SKI•HI trainers throughout the network.

SKI-HI Curriculum

The SKI-HI curriculum is a comprehensive family-oriented program for children who are deaf and hard of hearing 0-5. It contains information written in user-friendly topics for parents in an array of program areas. The topics have accompanying visuals, activity sheets, handouts, and follow-up reference information and materials.

The basics of early intervention is presented including information about parent advising, cultivating family-centered partnerships, parent support, the first home visits, and assessment. What it's like to be deaf and general ways that persons who are deaf communicate is the theme of a new section. One section focuses on programming for infants 0-12 months. The amplification section includes new information about high tech hearing aids. There is also a section on programming for young children with cochlear implants. How to promote early parent-child communication interactions is the focus of still another section.

Two sections focus on basic early communication approaches for young children who are deaf and hard of hearing. The first approach is early visual communication and the second one is early verbal communication (learning to talk and listen). There is a section on exploring language methodologies, and five follow-up language programs are offered: Bi-Bi, Signing English, Aural-Oral, Cued Speech, and ASL Emphasis. An early literacy program has been included as well as a program on play and concept development.

A portion of the curriculum is devoted to special issues including sensory integration; natural environments and routines; serving children with unilateral, mild, moderate, and conductive losses; uditory neuropathy and special medical conditions; and serving children with other special needs.

To view a listing of the most current SKI-HI Trainings scheduled click here.

For More Information about SKI-HI, or how to access SKI-HI services in a particular state, contact Paula Pittman at: paula.pittman@usu.edu.