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Live Video Visits, Phone Consultations, and In-Person Early Intervention (EI) Services: What’s Right for My Family?

You can receive EI services in three ways: live video visits, phone consultation, and in-person services. Live video visits are new to Illinois. With new guidance from the Bureau of Early Intervention, here are some things to consider when deciding which option is best for your family. 

Who Chooses the Way My Family Receives EI Services?

You will have a conversation with your service coordinator and providers to determine whether to receive in-person services. Your service coordinator will document your preferences.

What Should Be Considered When Deciding How to Receive EI Services?

Keep in mind that:

  • EI providers are limited to only serving 20 families in-person, which includes families the provider may see outside of EI. The 20-family limit also includes in-person evaluations.
  • Only one provider can be in the home at any time.
  • You and the EI provider should discuss options for live video visits and/or phone consultations during COVID-19. Just as with in-person visits, you will receive coaching during live video visits and phone consultations. If, however, live video visits and phone consultations would not be successful, you may consider in-person visits.
  • Providers may, or may not, have been vaccinated.
  • In-person services will be prioritized for families based on need, risk factors, and inability to meet outcomes via live video visits and/or phone consultations.

What Safety Measures Are Required for In-Person Visits?

  • Adhere to the most recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) guidelines, whichever are most restrictive.
  • Conduct prescreenings to determine risks for COVID-19.
  • Review the local COVID positivity rate.
  • Wear masks throughout the visit.
  • Minimize the number of in-person contacts, to the extent possible.
  • Limit in-person services in one area/room of a home, or have them outside if possible.

EI providers should:

  • Change clothes or wear an overshirt/smock/lab coat between EI visits.
  • Reduce or eliminate the number of items brought into the home.

How Will I Know My Rights During This Process?

Your rights are in your procedural safeguards, which will be given to you by your service coordinator. If you have questions about the process or your rights, you can contact:

  • The Bureau of Early Intervention (217-782-1981,
  • Family Resource Center on Disabilities, if you live in Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, or Will counties (312-939-3513,
  • Family Matters, if you live anywhere else in the state (866-436-7842,
Live Video Visits, Phone Consultations, and In-Person Early Intervention (EI) Services: What’s Right for My Family?