First Voices

Analysis

Cost-benefit analysis of First Voice’s early intervention program

A sound investment

First Voice members provide listening and spoken language therapy services for children who are deaf or hearing impaired in Australia and New Zealand. Deloitte Access Economics was commissioned by First Voice to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the early intervention services provided by these members.

Cost-benefit analysis of First Voice’s early intervention program

First Voice is the national voice for member organisations whose primary focus is the provision of listening and spoken language therapy services for children who are deaf or hearing impaired in Australia and New Zealand. First Voice members provide family-centred, multi-disciplinary early childhood intervention services. These intervention services follow a parent-based model of therapy, where one or both parents are taught how to teach their hearing-impaired child to listen and speak.

Deloitte Access Economics was commissioned by First Voice to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the early intervention services provided by First Voice members.

The total net present value (NPV) cost per child in 2015 dollars was $215,556, while the NPV total benefit per child was $464,711. Therefore, on average, for every dollar invested in a First Voice early intervention program there is a $2.20 return in benefits.

Cost-benefit analysis of First Voice’s early intervention program
Comparative review of reported outcomes from interventions for children with hearing loss

First Voice commissioned Deloitte Access Economics to undertake a literature review of the measureable outcomes arising from different communication learning pathways for children who are deaf or hearing impaired. The purpose of the review was to ascertain the effectiveness of the listening and spoken language approach provided by First Voice centres for children who are deaf or hearing impaired compared with other models of learning language. Findings also serve to inform the subsequent cost benefit analysis.

The context for the review is the introduction of a ‘disability services market’ under the new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Australia. An essential prerequisite for any market to succeed is reliable and accessible information. This is required both to enable consumers to make informed decisions and for the funding authority (in this case the Commonwealth Government National Disability Insurance Agency) to ensure that public funding for early intervention programs is directed through eligible NDIS participants to evidence-based providers with proven outcomes.

Literature review for cost-benefit analysis of First Voice’s early intervention program
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