The day parents learn that their child is deaf or hard of hearing is a day they will never forget. It is also the beginning of a journey of discovery. They are not alone in this journey. There are parents and professionals who will support them and share experiences and insights along the way.

Mother sitting on a blanket with two young daughters.

We chose the title 1-3-6 Family Educator Program because we know how critical Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) is: hearing screening no later than 1 month of age; diagnosis no later than 3 months of age; entry into early intervention no later than 6 months old. 

Who are the 1-3-6 family educators?

Educating parents is vital because it is their job to make decisions that are right for their child and family. Parents are faced with new challenges when they first find out their child has a hearing loss.  What communication and language methods (ASL, Cued Speech, Listening & Spoken Language Approach, and Total Communication) will they be using with their child?  Will their child wear device(s) to aid their hearing loss (hearing aid(s), bone-anchored-hearing-aid(s), and or cochlear implant(s))?. Services and the professionals will change often throughout our lifetimes, which is why the family education component is so critical. With the support of 1-3-6 Family Educators, parents will be in a better position to advocate for their child.

In 2014, 1,369 babies did not pass the newborn hearing screening before leaving the hospital. 50% of those babies (689) did not go back for another test to determine if their baby had any hearing loss. In response, through a collaborative agreement with the Virginia Department of Health EHDI Program, the Center for Family Involvement trained parents as 1-3-6 Family Educators. 1-3-6 Family Educators visit birthing hospital newborn screening teams and audiology clinics across Virginia to talk about their hearing screening practices and how to get infants back for another test of their hearing. Below is a postcard the 1-3-6 Family Educators developed for parents to remind them about the importance of following up on their baby’s hearing test.

To get parent support, learn more about the 1-3-6 Family Educator Program, or find resources for children who are deaf/hard of hearing, please call or email Irene Schmalz: or Valerie Abbott: or call (877) 567-1122

Graphic or people looking at a computer which says “join us” with a private facebook group icon

CFI has created a new closed FB page and would love to have you join us! This group is for Virginia parents, caregivers, family members of all children who are deaf or hard of hearing. In this group we welcome and honor all forms of communication choices. Link to Facebook Group

Follow us on Facebook

Link to Facebook Page

Youtube Video Library

Link to Playlist 

Meet Irene

Meet Valerie

Virginia Resource Guide for Families of Children who are Deaf Hard of Hearing

Virginia Hearing Aid Loan Bank

Parent Infant Program and Sign Language classes for families

Program Centered Families – Resources

Bilingualism: Benefits of being bilingual in both English and American Sign Language

Virginia Resource Guide for Families of School Aged Children who are Deaf Hard of Hearing

ASL Resource Brochure

Screening Next Steps Postcard

VDH Family Support Audiologist Poster

Fotonovella Part 1 – Baby Screened at Hospital

Fotonovella Part 2 – Baby was Diagnosed by an Audiologist

Collaborating with Latin X Families 

To view a recent presentation on Virginia’s collaboration with the Virginia Department of Health on the 1-3-6 Family Educator Program, click here:

EHDI Conference Presentation

Check out our latest EHDI Learning Community Video

The “Ensuring Accessibility to all Survivors” project is excited to announce the training modules Supporting Survivors Who Are d/Deaf or Hard of Hearing Training Module. The training features an overview of how to recognize abuse, how to support someone when they disclose, and resources available to support survivors who are d/Deaf or Hard of Hearing. The training is designed for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Specialists in collaboration with the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Please contact Jackie Robinson Brock with any questions.

700 East Franklin Street
P.O. Box 843020
Richmond, Virginia 23284-3020
FAX: (804) 828-0042
TTY RELAY: (800) 828-1120

HELPLINE: (877) 567-1122


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