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EITP Winter 2015 Newsletter
Winter 2015 Early Intervention Training Program Newsletter
News and Updates
 EI System Changes
Evaluation, Assessment and Eligibility in EI - Is Anything Really Different?

In November 2015, the DHS Bureau of Early Intervention released a revised CFC Procedure Manual in order to ensure compliance with the federal regulations.

Within the revised manual, there were clarifications in the chapter related to evaluation, assessment and eligibility determination. So, what exactly are the clarifications? Well, first of all, it is important to understand that there has not been a change in the way children can be eligible for Illinois’ system.  Children continue to be eligible for the system based upon the following hierarchy:

  • Physical and mental conditions resulting in delay
  • A delay of 30% or greater in one of more of the 5 domains as confirmed by a multidisciplinary team
  • At-risk conditions

Developmental Domain Name Changes

The developmental domain names have been updated to reflect the federal language and are as follows: cognitive, physical (including vision and hearing), communication, social or emotional, and adaptive.   Early interventionists should begin to utilize these domain names in reports immediately. On November 20, 2015, DHS Bureau of Early Intervention released a Provider Information Notice along with a revised report format that reinforces this language.  The revised report format is available to be used on December 1 2015 but is required to be used no later than December 15, 2015.  See for more information

E = Evaluation = Eligibility

There were also some changes to the way that that service coordinators authorize evaluations and assessments. If the Service Coordinator is working toward determining eligibility for the child (i.e. eligibility has not been established through a medical diagnosis or a review of records), the service coordinator will generate EA authorizations and the team will perform evaluations to determine eligibility for the system. In the instances where eligibility has been determined through a qualifying medical diagnosis or through record review, the Service Coordinator will generate an AS authorization and the team will perform assessments to identify the child and family’s strengths, needs, and resources and plan for the IFSP.   The easiest way to think about this is E = Evaluation = Eligibility! Why is this important? – well you will need to keep an eye on your authorizations and ensure that you are billing in alignment with your authorizations.

Domain Level Performance

The topic that really has people talking is the clarification that we must base our eligibility decisions on domain level performance.   What exactly does this mean for daily practice? It means that we must adjust our practices if we have been determining children eligible based on subdomains (receptive, expressive, gross motor) or more discrete subdomains (grasping, locomotion, pragmatics). Providers must continue to use a testing tool from the Approved Instrument List, but they must integrate the information that the testing tool provides with other sources of information such as their observations of the child, the child’s skills in the context of daily routines and activities, the way in which the child’s challenges are impacting other areas of development or behavior, and come to a team consensus on how the child is functioning compared to age expectations.  Providers will need to integrate what they learned from all of the subscales of their test to come up with a statement about the child’s domain level performance. Gathering, interpreting and analyzing assessment information will continue to be a process that requires the use of professional clinical opinion. Looking at strengths, needs and differences in subdomains will continue to be important and help you to understand the child's development & inform IFSP planning, but eligibility must be based upon domain level performance.

Using Professional Clinical Opinion

Clinical Opinion is a part of our daily work with young children and their families. Professionals use clinical opinion when they are observing how a child moves in and out of positions, when deciding whether to credit a particular task on a testing tool, when discerning the quality of an individual child’s skills, or when observing the interaction styles of caregivers and how those support the child’s development. Our clinical opinion is always with us. Many early interventionists have asked “what eligibility box to check on the report” or “what code to enter into Cornerstone” if the team used their clinical opinion to come to a domain level age equivalent because the testing tools did not provide that information. If teams are using their clinical opinion to integrate assessment information from multiple sources to determine a domain level age equivalent and they feel their testing tool was a reliable representation of that child’s skills, that child would be determined eligible based on “delay”. If the team felt that their testing tool did not accurately represent the child’s functioning, yet through their clinical opinion, have come to consensus that the child is eligible for EI, that child would be eligible based upon delay via clinical opinion.

A few things to remember about determining eligibility for the system:

  • Eligibility is always a team decision, which requires the team, including the family to discuss the results of the evaluation/assessment
  • Eligibility is for access to the EI System, not for particular services within the system
  • There is no one formula for determining eligibility as each testing tool and each child’s circumstances are unique (we can’t simply add up 2 subdomains and divide by 2!)
  • There will be instances where the approved testing tool you use does not give you the neat numbers you need for eligibility, this is an ideal time to look beyond the test results (#’s) and consider all of the eval/assessment information you have available to you.
 CVENT - coming soon to EITP
Coming Soon: A New Registration System for EITP Calendar

EITP will be launching a new event management system in 2016! 

The CVENT system will allow for better management of your certificates, enhancing viewing options for the training events calendar, and a more streamlined system for registration and transcripts.

Be on the lookout for more information on CVENT from EITP soon!


EL VISTA: Training Opportunity

Illinois State University recently implemented the Early Learning Visual Impairment Services, Training, and Advancement (EL VISTA) grant program, which will serve these vulnerable populations by training credentialed providers of these services for children up to 3 years old through a cohort-based model situated in areas of need across Central, Western, and Southern Illinois. 

This grant supports services for blind children and other research projects.

EL VISTA’s recruits include orientation and mobility specialists and P-12 teachers of the visually impaired, who possess backgrounds working with these populations after age four. Graduates receive the University’s Early Intervention Vision Specialist Graduate Certificate, allowing them to apply for Illinois’ early intervention credential and begin working in the field. 

EL VISTA is a yearlong off-campus cohort model. Intensive summer coursework bookends the program, and participants apply their research to practice during a 10-month practicum in families’ homes, but also in medical centers.  More information about the Teaching with Primary Sources program can be found at Questions about the program can be directed to Satchwell.  (Source: Illinois State University News)   


Opportunity for Doctoral and Post-Doctoral Study at University of Illinois

Family IMPACT Project focuses on families of individuals with disabilities. The purpose of this program is to prepare doctoral students to become leaders who understand and address the modern life-long experiences that families of individuals with disabilities, across the life span, face specific to Individualization, Mobility, Poverty, Adversity, Culture and Trauma (IMPACT).

Doctoral students and post-doctoral scholars will acquire competencies via: coursework, a seminar series and experiential learning. Full-time students funded through Project Family IMPACT will receive:

  • A competitive monthly stipend                • Tuition waiver
  • Fee waiver of most university fees         • Generous research and conference travel allowance

For more information, please visit:

Resources You Can Use
Recorded Webinars on New CFC Procedure Manual

EITP and DHS hosted a webinar series for CFC staff around the new CFC Procedure Manual. The webinars focused on 3 primary topics of the manual: 

  • Evaluation/Assessment
  • Insurance
  • Transition

The recorded webinars are available on the EITP YouTube channel for viewing as a non-credit option.  You can click on the YouTube icon to go directly to our YouTube CFC Webinar Series Playlist!

Free Online Module on Autism Spectrum Disorder: An Overview for Educators

The IRIS Center has released a free online module, Autism Spectrum Disorder: An Overview for Educators (, which provides information on the early warning signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the difference between a medical diagnosis and an educational determination of ASD, the strengths and needs of children with ASD, key team members, how family members might be affected, and strategies teachers can use when working with children with ASD. It includes video examples, practice vignettes, and recorded interviews. For example, see this interview with Ilene Schwartz, who discusses strategies teachers can use in early childhood settings to promote the success of a child with ASD.

 Talking to famlies
Starting Child Outcomes Conversations with Families

Family participation in the child outcomes measurement process is very important as families are a critical source of information about the way in which their child engages and participates across a variety of daily routines, activities and settings. But, how do you involve all team members including parents and other caregivers in the process of measuring child outcomes? It may seem overwhelming, but helping parents, caregivers, and other team members think about the child’s development and skills through the lens of the 3 child outcomes can be helpful in obtaining an accurate picture of the child including his/her strengths and needs across a variety of settings as well as in planning for supports and services for that child and family.

Last quarter, we shared the Decision Tree as a tool to help teams in the measurement process – this is a tool that all team members can use! This quarter, we will share with you some questions that may help parents and other team members have conversations about the child’s development. These questions can support the team in sharing their observations about the child, and can also assist in moving beyond the testing items to thinking about functional skills. These questions can be used at any point in the process – in fact, it may be helpful to review these questions often and take notes about what you observe that’s new or may be happening in a different way. Remember, even small changes are important in the measurement of the three child outcomes.

Outcome 1: Social Emotional Skills and Relationships

  • How does my child relate to family members, close family friends, caregivers, and strangers?
  • How does my child relate to other children at child care or in the neighborhood? With people in the community (such as the park or grocery store)?
  • How does my child show his or her feelings? How does he or she calm down when upset?
  • How does my child show that she or he understands social rules, such as sharing and taking turns?

Outcome 2: Knowledge and Skills

  • How does my child copy others’ actions or try to learn new things?
  • How does my child try to solve problems?
  • How does my child use words?
  • Does my child understand concepts such as numbers and shapes?
  • Does my child understand and respond to directions from others?
  • How does my child communicate his or her thoughts and ideas?

Outcome 3: Meeting Needs

  • How does my child get from place to place?
  • What does my child do when he or she wants something? What if it is hard to reach?
  • What does my child do when he or she needs help?
  • What does my child do when he or she is hungry?
  • How does my child help with dressing or undressing, using the bathroom, and brushing his or her teeth?
  • Can my child feed him or herself?
  • What does my child do without my help?

Remember, parents and caregivers are the experts on their children or the children in their care! When parents, caregivers and professionals work together as a team, children do better.

Adapted from:

Ask Lucy
Ask Lucy

"…questions, boy do I get questions. I may not always have the answers, but with access to a rather wealthy reserve of resources at the Local, State, and National levels I am more than willing to track them down- or at least find leads to them. I am happy to help and happier when I know that I can.   As the Training Events Coordinator and Field Training Support Specialist for EITP, this is part of what I do. So when you have an early intervention question, go ahead and just Ask Lucy…" - Lucy Gimble, EITP Training Coordinator

Lucy answers your questions on Moodle

I receive oodles of Moodle questions, most of which are addressed in our website’s Online Training FAQ pages. However, as we continue to work to make our online learning experience better for our online learners, it seems a good time to address some of the most common Moodle questions that come my way…

What is Moodle and why do I need an account?

Moodle is a learning management system (LMS).  All EITP online training modules are housed on the University of Illinois’ Moodle system. In order for online learners to access those training modules, a Moodle account is required to log on to the University’s Moodle platform. Because this system keeps transcripts of each account, it is important that each individual user has their own Moodle account in order to track online trainings completed and show proof of completion.

I have my Moodle account. How do I get to get to a training?

Once you have a Moodle account, you do not need to setup another account.  You will use this account for all EITP Moodle (online) trainings. 

To get to a training, you first must register for a specific EITP online training by visiting Scroll to the event title you are interested in, click the title and follow the prompts to register for that online training. EITP online trainings have open enrollment and are all currently independent studies designed for our online learners to work at their own pace.

Once you have registered for a particular training, you will be sent an auto prompted email confirming your registration. HANG ON TO THIS EMAIL. Within it are specific steps to access the training modules.  Read the directions carefully, then proceed. The first step in each confirmation is to request your Moodle account; HOWEVER if you have already created your account, go directly to step two. You must follow step two to access the training.

I finished the training. How do I get my Certificate of Completion?

It is now possible for you to print your own certificates for each EITP online training you complete in Moodle. To generate a certificate, make sure you open the link to the evaluation/survey at the end of the training, and follow the link to a survey regarding the training. It is optional to fill out the survey. Next, return to the course in Moodle. To recognize that you've completed the survey, refresh your browser OR log out and then log back in to the training. Your Certificate of Completion should be available to open as a PDF . Then, you can print your certificate!  Your certificate will be saved in this course in Moodle, so you can access it as needed.

PLEASE NOTE that the date of completion printed on your certificate will reflect the date you first open the certificate. Also note that the name printed on the certificate will be your name as you posted it when first requesting your Moodle Account minus any hyphens. (The Moodle System does not accept hyphens).

Research Participation Opportunity

We are collaborating with Jenna Weglarz-Ward, a PhD candidate at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, on a project to examine the needs of early childhood professionals, including child care and early intervention providers, that serve infants and toddlers with developmental disabilities and delays in child care settings.  

For your participation, you will have the opportunity to enter a lottery to win a $25 gift card.  While this survey is not mandatory, this research will help us to better support professionals working across early intervention and child care settings.  If you have any questions regarding this survey, please feel free to contact Jenna Weglarz-Ward , Ed.M. via email at  

Click here to complete the survey

Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events from EITP and others

To view a full list of events, including events not sponsored by EITP, visit our website by clicking the calendar image.  Please note that schedule is subject to change and availability.

To view upcoming events sponsored by EITP only, please visit