Session: Lightning Talks
Data-Informed Decision Making in Part C Early Intervention using Shiny R
Data usage and data-based decision-making are indispensable for improving the Part C Early Intervention (EI) services and achieving positive outcomes for children with disabilities and their families. The aggregated Part C data that states report to meet federal reporting requirements are collected and stored at the EI program level. Despite having a robust data systems framework for Part C EI and ECSE services, devised by Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) to guide states on data governance, management, and utilization, there are several unexamined assumptions and gaps at the EI program level. There is a lack of evidence in the literature on what data analytic tools are available to EI local programs and how they utilize data for informed decision-making to monitor and improve program practices and strategies to achieve positive outcomes for children and families. In this article, we present a case study of a local EI program where barriers restricting limited data use were removed by the use of open-source data science programming in R. The study used Part C county-level data to address the need for use of data for operational decision making, accountability, and monitoring at the EI program level. The data were explored using interactive data visualization and results were disseminated to stakeholders through an interactive, data-driven dashboard in Shiny R. Collaborative methodological approach was adopted for data analysis. Hence, through this case study, we discuss the challenges, learnings, and future directions to improve data utilization using open-source data science tools and their use at the Part C EI program level to provide high-quality services to young children with or at-risk of disabilities and their families.
Bio: Asha has extensive international experience in working with children with disabilities and their families from marginalized communities such as asylum seekers, single-parent homes, traveler communities, and children in foster care from diverse ethnicities, in particular, Asian, Middle Eastern, European, and North African, living in the UK, Europe, and India. Asha has represented families of disabled children on several advisory boards and forums including the National Network of Parent Carer Forum (England), and the Council for Disabled Children, UK. She has taken lead on the implementation of large-scale collaborative projects putting policy into practice such as the Every Disabled Child Matters agenda in the UK and EHCP (Education, Health, and Care Plan) under the Children and Families Act 2014 in England. Asha’s research interest focuses on understanding the influence of ecological factors on family relationships, and early social-emotional development within the context of a culture in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Special Education and Clinical Sciences with a concentration in Quantitative Analysis, Data Science in R, and Implementation Science from the University of Oregon.