The Relevance of Cultural Sensitivity in Early Intervention

Emily Gardiner, Carmel French

Abstract


This research utilized a blend of quantitative and qualitative research designs to explore the perceptions held by early interventionists regarding family-centred care, cultural diversity, and cultural sensitivity. The Executive Directors (N = 11) of early intervention programs in Nova Scotia completed the Cultural Diversity in Early Intervention Survey. Early intervention professionals (N = 10) employed in two urban programs were interviewed. Participants were asked to discuss their interpretations of family-centred care and cultural sensitivity, and to highlight any associated areas of challenge. Results demonstrated that for the most part, participants had excellent conceptual understandings of early intervention and family-centred care. Their descriptions of cultural sensitivity were less well defined. This is likely due to the fact that no participants had received training specific to cultural sensitivity and were unsupported by necessary resources, such as translators.

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