I am the Director of Programs at BEGINNINGS for Parents of Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. We are a not-for-profit that serves families who have children with hearing loss ages birth through 21. We have a single office in Raleigh and have parent educators working throughout North Carolina in home based offices. We realized that our demographic data on families in North Carolina was valuable and in 2000 developed an ACCESS based database. Well, we developed 2 because we could not find a platform that could accommodate our quantify of data as well as overcome the large region we serve. Managing two databases that had grown unstable became nearly a full time job. When Chuck explained FamilyTrac to me, I jumped at the chance to develop a new way to manage data. We were able to define our activities as they changed through a child's lifetime. We created an interface that met our needs exactly, and then tailored reports to meet the reporting needs of our executive director for fundraising. I am able to see with one click how many families are still waiting for home visits or IEP meetings at those important transitions in a child's life. But most importantly for me, this is all managed and secured off site. No more retrieving lost data in the middle of the night. I am now free to help our parent educators provide the best services to our families, rather than making sure we can track those activities in the past.
Director of Programs
BEGINNINGS for Parents of Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Meeting the technological and training needs of a culturally diverse area like the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) brings unique challenge for any data system development in the Pacific. Knowledge and experience in working with EHDI programs and cultural sensitivity to the Pacific island people was an essential consideration when FSM was making a selection for the FSM-EHDI tracking and surveillance systems. Chuck Scheier of Scheier Ltd. and Sue Scanlan of Scanlan and Associates, met the expectations of the FSM-EHDI project and continue to provide incredible support to the development of a challenging data system for the FSM, now known as the FSM-EHDI Hearing Evaluation Record (HER). Major observations have been attention to details to the needs of the FSM, continual and immediate feedback on any question at any time of the day, user-friendly technical assistance, and endless patience for everyone, whether they are highly trained technology specialists or a data entry clerk. The "no question is a dumb question" attitude particularly stands out in their approach to technical support. They both give new meaning to the notion of, "bending over backwards" to provide data systems support.
Velma A. Sablan, Ph.D.
Project Evaluator & Technical Consultant
This year was the first time that FSM was able to complete the CDC HSFS Survey using FSM-HER and FamilyTrac. It gave me great feeling to be able to sit at my desk and logon onto FamilyTrac and go to FSM-HER and Click on CDC Survey and the report comes out. Not only that the system generated the Survey but it even allowed me to email it out directly to the intended recipients.
FamilyTrac saves a lot of call times to the hospitals and it allows me to review individual state screening data every day and anytime I want screening information.
The developers are very reliable and realistic in developing a system that cater to the need of a population so diverse like ours.
Department of Health & Social Affairs
Government of the Federated States of Micronesia