The Endeavor

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ENDEAVOR A Publication for Families and Professionals Committed to Children Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing

2011 ASDC Biennial Conference

June 22-26 • Frederick, MD INSIDE THIS ISSUE: ASDC Conference Information p. 34 Mainstreaming Revisited: Is It Working? p. 25 Has It Ever Worked? Advantages of Early Visual Language p. 52





y October 10, 2011 y October 28, 2011 y November 11, 2011

Get in on the sights and smells of Gallaudet by visiting us during an Open House. Tour the campus; have lunch with faculty and students; chat with academic, financial, and admissions counselors; and attend a panel of Gallaudet students who will tell it like it is. And while you’re here, take in the many notable museums, monuments, and memorials that make Washington, D.C. a city of endless educational possibilities. Come and see how you can stand out at Gallaudet. To register, go to and click on the Open House information box.

OFFICE OF ADMISSIONS, EDWARD MINER GALLAUDET (EMG): VP : 866-563-8896 | Voice: 800-995-0550 | |


American Society for Deaf Children #2047 800 Florida Avenue, NE Washington, D.C. 20002-3695 Fax: (410) 795-0965 Toll-Free Help Line: (800) 942-ASDC (2732) The Endeavor Staff Editor Tami Hossler Publication Services T.S. Writing Services, LLC ASDC STAFF Director of Advocacy Cheri Dowling © 2011 ASDC. The Endeavor is ASDC’s news magazine published four times a year. Published articles and advertisements are the personal expressions of their authors and do not necessarily represent the views of ASDC. The Endeavor is distributed free of charge to ASDC members.

ADVERTISING For advertising information, contact ASDC is a 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation.

A Look Inside EVERY ISSUE ASDC Board


A Note from the Editor


President’s Column


Websites of Interest


Membership Form


FEATURES Benefits of Deaf Role Models


Ask the Expert: Not Signing My Child’s IEP


Strategies for Visual and Spoken Language Development


When is a Cow a Dog?


Through Your Child’s Eyes: American Sign Language


I Deafinitely Can! Hear My Deaf Song


Mainstreaming Revisited: Is It Working? Has It Ever Worked?


Essential Components for Family, School and Community Partnerships


Conference Information (Workshops, schedules, and much more)


ASL/English Bilingual Programming and Early Childhood Education


Advantages of Early Visual Language


The Case for Deaf Schools


Going Green!

Would you like to help save trees and costs by receiving an online version of The Endeavor instead of a hard copy? If so, send an e-mail to 1

ASDC BOARD Executive Council Board of Directors President Beth S. Benedict, Ph.D. Germantown, MD

Treasurer Timothy Frelich, M.A. Jessup, MD

Vice President Joe Finnegan, M.S., M.A., Ed.S. St. Augustine, FL

Executive Secretary Kristen Di Perri, Ed.D. Falls, PA

Members at Large


Jeff Bravin, M.A. West Hartford, CT jeff.bravin@asd-1817. org

Robert Hill, M.A., M.Ed., Ed.S. Tucson, AZ

Jodee Crace, M.A. Indianapolis, IN

Tami Hossler, M.A. Miromar Lakes, FL

John Egbert Ham Lake, MN

Erin Kane, Ph.D. Rochester, NY

Lisalee Egbert, Ph.D. Sacramento, CA legbert@saclink.

Carolyne Paradiso, M.A. Sulphur, OK cparadiso@osd.k12.

Richard Flores St. Augustine, FL richardflores@hotmail. com

Todd Reeves, J.D., M.S. Etna, PA

Tony Ronco, P.Eng. La Mesa, CA Avonne Rutowski, M.A. Austin, TX avonne.rutowski@tsd. Council on Education of the Deaf Representatives Beth Benedict Cathy Rhoten

A Note from the Editor able tools and resources, What a fun time of year! in addition to new friendThe kids are home from ships. Be sure to check out school and families are the workshop overviews on planning their summer page 36 or visit www.deafvacations. This year, why not make asp for more. your vacation something And don’t worry, ASDC that everyone will enjoy? Tami Hossler has not forgotten the kids. Every two years, ASDC The conference planners at holds its national family conference. The Maryland School for MSD have worked hard to make sure the Deaf, in wonderfully historic Fred- every one of your children are entererick, is the host for this year’s confer- tained, having the time of their lives and meeting new friends while learnence, which will be held June 22-26. The conference is a great place for ing something new. An overview of the parents to meet and network with children’s program is on page 47. This issue of The Endeavor focuses other parents and professionals from across the nation. The workshops that on home-school-community partnerare scheduled are amazing, and feature ships. One of the best ways to build a dazzling array of topics and people. these partnerships is to attend the Parents and professionals are sure to ASDC Conference. Hope to see you there! leave this conference with many valu-

ASDC’s Barbara Boyd Passes Away ASDC board member Barbara Boyd passed away suddenly on Feb. 14. She is greatly missed by all of us at ASDC. During her service with ASDC, she lent her incredible talent to The Endeavor as managing editor and provided wisdom as a board member. She taught at California State University, Northridge, for more than 30 years and had recently retired. The many awards and honors she received throughout her life came from entities like the City of Los Angeles, Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness, IMPACT, National Center on Deafness, and the Jewish Deaf Congress Hall of Fame. Her contributions to the Deaf community, as a volunteer, tutor, and mentor were extraordinary. 3

President’s Column

Succeeding Through HomeSchool-Community Partnerships Home-school-community economically distressed partnerships, the theme of communities work to build this issue, is decidedly the positive partnerships with best way to nurture our their students’ families; 3) children to the fullest. It Schools in more economiis a renowned fact that the cally depressed communiamount of family involveties make more contacts ment is strongly corre- Beth S. Benedict, Ph.D. with families about the lated to students’ level of problems and difficulties academic success. their children have, unless The family involvement model, devel- they work at developing balanced partoped by Joyce Epstein, Ph.D., a Johns nership programs that include contacts positive accomplishments Hopkins University professor, reflects about the concept of home-school-commu- of students; and 4) Single parents, nity partnerships. After extensive parents who are employed outside the research, Epstein (1995) concluded home, parents who live far from the that in each category, the vast major- school, and fathers are less involved, ity of subjects responded affirmatively on average, at the school. An exception to the following: families care about is evident when the school organizes their children, students from all grade opportunities for families to volunteer levels desire more school involvement at various times and in various places from their families and teachers, and to support the school and the children. administrators desire more family Epstein’s findings led to the creation involvement but are unsure how to of a framework of six types of involvemake it happen. ment, covering the ways in which Four major findings from this schools tailor their practices to best research in family involvement are: meet the needs, interests, time, ages 1) Partnerships tend to decline across and grade level of students and their grade levels, unless schools and teach- families. Type 1: Parenting—Help all ers work to develop and implement families establish home environments appropriate practices of partner- that support children as students. ship at each grade level; 2) Affluent Type 2: Communicating—Design communities currently have more effective forms of school-to-home positive family involvement, on aver- and home-to-school communications age, unless schools and teachers in about school programs and children’s 4

progress. Type 3: Volunteering—Recruit and organize parent help and support. Type 4: Learning at Home— Provide information and ideas to families about helping students at home with homework and other curriculumrelated activities, decisions, and planning. Type 5: Decision-Making— Include parents in school decisions, developing parent leaders and representatives. Type 6: Collaborating with Community—Identify and integrate resources and services from the community to strengthen school programs, family practices, and student learning and development (Epstein, 2001, p. 704). I have added a seventh category. Type 7: Deaf-Related Issues—Provide information and education to families on deaf-related issues to maximize the ability of deaf and hard of hearing children to grow into well adjusted and confident deaf and hard of hearing adults (Benedict, 2003). Clearly this model encourages positive interaction among families, schools and communities, however, we need to keep in mind that Dr. Epstein’s framework does not specifically address issues faced by families with deaf and hard of hearing children. Therefore, the seventh type needs to be focused on as well, since it is clearly the most important for our deaf and hard of hearing children. This category provides information and educates

families on issues regarding communication opportunities and skills, educational possibilities, and auditory and visual technologies. In addition, this category supports the need for educating families about special education laws and rights (such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). Furthermore, Type 7 includes information on the social needs of deaf and hard of hearing children and provides support as parents and children learn to communicate with each other. It also provides deaf role models, contacts within the deaf community, and sponsors sign language classes, as well as classes in spoken English and written English classes. Epstein’s framework, with the addition of Type 7, can be used as a selfinventory to see how you are doing with home, school and community partnerships. Is your school providing the support you need?


Kudos to Youth in Action Dear ASDC, Two years ago I met a new kid on my crew team named Tom, who was deaf. On this particular day after my race, I was listening to my iPod when Tom sat down next to me. Because none of the other kids on the novice team knew sign language, no one even tried talking to him. Trying to reach out to him, I took out my phone and started typing; it was the easiest way I could think of to communicate with him. After an hour of typing and passing the phone back and forth, I realized that we had a lot more in common than I would have guessed. He taught me some signs like “How do you say?” and most of the alphabet. It was actually an interesting challenge and unlike anything I had ever done before. In the weeks ahead, Tom and I became good friends. He went to a different school with a sign language program, but we saw each other and “talked” all the time on Facebook and via text. As soon as I got home, I rushed to my computer, eager to learn more sign language. I started with the basics on an easy sign language dictionary site, and then I found sign language games to play that helped me learn more signs. After a few days, I was signing in the mirror, and I could actually speak fairly well with Tom. Whenever I didn’t know a word, I 6

would just sign out the letters, and then he would tell me the sign for it, expanding my sign language vocabulary. I was so excited to be learning this language because now I was able to effectively communicate with Tom which led to a terrific friendship. Becoming friends with Tom also led to my first business venture and a philanthropic cause. I decided I wanted to buy retro “Wayfarer” style sunglasses. I thought that if I bought the sunglasses in bulk, then I could sell the extras to kids at school to pay for the one pair of sunglasses I actually wanted. The next day at school talked to some of my friends about joining me in this venture, but they informed me that selling things in school was not allowed. In my enterprising mode, I realized that if I sold sunglasses for a charity, not only would I be able to sell the sunglasses in school, but profits would go to benefit the greater good, instead of my own wallet. I went to the school library to look up charities, where I stumbled upon ASDC. I knew I had found my fund. I would like to donate my profits to your organization. Please find a check in the amount of $152 to continue your good work for this important cause. Sincerely, Stuart Yamartino

Fashion Show Benefits ASDC By Kayla Rodriguez I’m 17 years old and I go to Stanton Academy. I was born in Prosser, Wash., but grew up in Grandview. I currently live in Yakima, Wash. I struggled with my hearing throughout my elementary school years. As an eighth-grader in 2007, I was formally diagnosed with hearing loss at the Hearing & Speech Center in Yakima. I wanted to challenge myself, so I chose to do a fashion show. The fashion show was great! I raised $122. Calypso’s Bridal and Quinceanera Boutique was kind enough to let me borrow prom dresses, vests, and ties. Lupita’s Boutique let me borrow quinceanera dresses. There were eight models, six female and two male. There was also a raffle drawing during the show.


continued from previous page Dear ASDC, I am from Bothell, Wash. I am learning American Sign Language (ASL). Now I know how important Deaf education is not only for Deaf children but also for their parents. In my ASL class we are learning about

Attendees were automatically entered in the drawing with the admission fee, which was two dollars. Local businesses in Yakima donated haircuts and free manicures, and Maurices donated a $15 gift card. I also found a local designer to do t-shirts; I bought white shirts and he did the design for free. I sold the shirts for five dollars, and every one of them sold. I have always been considered the “quiet” girl. Being in charge of a fashion show really helped me to get out of my comfort zone. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to do it, but I did, and I am proud of myself.

Deaf organizations around the world and I thought I would write to a local organization. Therefore, I want to thank you for all you do around the country and how much you help the American Deaf [people]. Love, Megan Taylor 7

Benefits of Deaf Role Models • Coping with fears surrounding learning a new language and meeting Deaf people • Seeing what is possible for their child through interacting with the role model • Becoming language and communication models for their child

Does your state have a Deaf role model program within its early intervention services? Check with your state’s early intervention department or the outreach department of your state’s school for the Deaf. If there is no program, enlist the help of other parents and organizations to start the process of working with the state’s early intervention department to establish such a program. What is the purpose of the Deaf role model program? The Deaf role model program provides children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families the opportunity to interact with and learn from a Deaf or Hard of Hearing adult. Ninety percent of deaf children have hearing parents. Most of these families have little or no experience with Deaf people. Families involved in this program have shared the following benefits: • Learning sign language • Being introduced to the Deaf community and Deaf events • Being exposed to Deaf culture 8

What do Deaf Role Models do when they visit families? • Teach sign language • Share their experiences growing up as a Deaf or Hard of Hearing person • Socialize with children and families on a weekly basis and at special activities • Share their career and work experiences • Demonstrate natural communication • Focus on five areas in their home visits: Language/communication, making the child’s world accessible, Deaf culture, literacy, and building community • Visit with all family members Who are the Deaf role models? Deaf role models are professionals in and members of their communities. They are specifically trained to work with families of Deaf and Hard of Hearing children. *Excerpts from the New Mexico School for the Deaf Outreach. Contact Stacy Abrams for more information on its program at Stacy.Abrams@nmsd.k12. or (866) 760-9562.

Partnering with Parents: The Shared Reading Project “I didn’t know how to read books with my son... I didn’t know where to start. The Shared Reading Project really helped us… At the beginning I was scared to make mistakes and I tried to be perfect, but now I know there is no way to be perfect… The main thing is for my son to love the books.” This is a father’s experience with the Shared Reading Project (SRP), a program to teach parents and caregivers how to read to their deaf or hard of hearing children using American Sign Language (ASL) and how to use the 15 Principles for Reading to Deaf Children. The 15 Principles are firmly rooted in research on how deaf parents read to their deaf children and how deaf teachers share stories with their deaf students. Parents of deaf or hard of hearing children learn about the 15 Principles from a deaf tutor who visits their home once a week. The tutor brings a popular children’s storybook and demonstrates how to read the book in ASL to their children. After practicing with the tutor, family members read the story to their deaf children, with the tutor providing useful tips. A book bag containing the book, a DVD for practice, a bookmark with tips, and an activity guide, is left with the family for a week.

During the week, family members read the story to the child again and again. If they forget signs, they can watch the DVD, which has a deaf signer, to reinforce what the tutor previously taught. Though families may initially be concerned that they can’t communicate with a deaf tutor, they soon find they enjoy the experience and see the benefits of sharing books with their children. Participants note that reading to their deaf or hard of hearing children has become a pleasurable event and a real opportunity to bond. One mother said, “Now I have more confidence, so I read to him every night.” Based on data collected from SRP families, they have become more skilled and confident signers. They have also reported additional benefits such as improved communication with their children and an increased acceptance of their children’s deafness. When parents and caregivers are able to share books with their deaf children, they help lay the foundation for future reading and academic success. For more information about the SRP or to learn how you can set up a program in your area, e-mail training. 9

Ask the Expert: unique experiences of deaf Conference Schedule youth and siblings will be Not Signing My Child’s IEP Wednesday Registration and

addressed through art, drama, youteam do not provideactivities; consent, or if you and building Family Fun Night! Families do not respond to a request to provide sibling workshops; and games, What if I doitems not sign willhappens sample menu frommy consent, the school district will not be trips, and more. child’s Individualized Education field Frederick area restaurants, considered liable for violating IDEA’s Program free appropriate learn(IEP)? about Frederick cultural Evening Activities:public Familyeducation During an IEP meeting you may find requirements. Further, venues, shop at local merchant oriented activities each the school is yourself in a and position you don’t evening not required convene booths, enjoywhere activities offer to family andan IEP meetagreesuch withasthe level of services being ing. In other words, if you do not face painting, a petting social time. On one evening, offered by the school. Perhaps you participants provide consent for initial will explore provision of zoo, games, and more. believe your child should receive addi- special education and related services, Frederick’s sights, shops, Thursday – everything pretty much stops. tional audiologythrough services, Saturday or more sign galleries, and parks; enjoy language support. You mayThree feel that Parent Workshops: Many people believe that by signing dinner on their own; and refusing signofthe IEP gives you lever- an IEP parents are giving the school full to days concurrent experience living history age against the school district. workshops on issues, choices, permission to provide services. In fact, Ghost Tours. There are several and casesthe in many which a through the law is silent on obtaining parental consequences, parent must provide consent consentHall: for services provided in the available resources that in canorder Exhibit Sponsors, for profoundly the school impact to proceed. One is annual IEP.related So, under the of law, the businesses to any thesigning consent for initial evaluation. If the or not signing in and of itself has no development of deaf or hard of conference key areas, school district wants to evaluate your hearing children. Professionals educational institutions and child to determine eligibity for special will present in each of the five organizations, and local education and related services you key areas covering such agencies and vendors will must provide consent in order for the diverse as family information and school to do topics so. If you do not provide display When is consent dynamics, cochlear implant products inparental the Exhibit Hall. consent the school district can file a required before the school effective use, language due process complaint against you. Museum: MSD’s Bjorlee can proceed? development, secondary If, after evaluation, your child is Museum is packed with conditions, choices, found eligible for education special education and historic First, information before initialand evaluation to community support options related services, she or he will not auto- artifacts see if relating the childtoisthe eligible for speschool, and access, and many more. and matically receive special education cial education and related Frederick, the Hessian Bar- services, related services. The school needs to and second, before initial Children’s Program: A racks, multiple wars, and provision obtain parental consent before initialof special education and related comprehensive three-day ly providing special education and more. services. Once the parent has proprogram of Ifplanned, related services. you do not provide Sunday Final education vided morning consent for– special supervised activities for respond consent, or if you do not breakfast and services Conference and related the school may andprovide teens ages 0 to 21 to a children request to consent, the Wrap-Up; airport continue to provide services to the in four ageisgroups. The to file a school district forbidden child unless the parent revokes contransportation provided. needs and you. If due informational process complaint against “SampleEsq. Our City” WithOpening Barbara Raimondo,

Parental Consent


bearing on the services the child will receive if you have already provided consent for initial provision of services. The child still may continue to receive services unless you revoke consent, in which case the services will stop. So what is a parent to do when she disagrees with the IEP offered by the school? The law requires schools to give “prior written notice” whenever the school or school district: • proposes to initiate or change, or • refuses to initiate or change the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of the child, or the provision of a free appropriate public education to the child. When the school proposes something or refuses something—such as something you request—it must give prior written notice. The prior written notice must include: • a description of the action proposed or refused by the school; • an explanation of why the school proposes or refuses to take the action; • a description of each evaluation procedure, assessment, record, or report the school used as a basis for the proposed or refused action; • a statement that the parents have protection under the procedural safeguards of this part; • sources for parents to contact to obtain assistance in understanding the provisions of this part; • a description of other options considered by the IEP team and the reason why those options were rejected; and • a description of the factors that are relevant to the agency’s proposal or refusal. If the school does not provide a prior written notice, you can request that it do so. If the school does not already have a form, you can request that the school use the form provided by the U.S. Department of Education at speced/guid/idea/modelform-notice.doc. This can serve as a starting point for discussions about why the child should or should not receive the service in question. It can also serve as part of the record if you decide to file a due process complaint. If you feel your child requires more services than the school is offering, don’t focus on whether or not you sign the IEP. Instead, use the protections provided by the prior written notice requirements. 11

In the News... Parents in Action Many schools for the Deaf have been recent targets of state budget cuts. The Texas School for the Deaf (TSD) is no exception. One senator even suggested charging tuition. Neil Leach, father of a Deaf daughter who attends TSD, joined forces to testify in front of the Texas Senate, and told of his daughter’s “unbelievable” experiences in mainstream public school. He told of how she had to attend music classes, went days without having an interpreter and wasn’t exposed to visual learning. Since enrolling at TSD, her reading has jumped nearly three grade levels and she has communication access. “Has anyone up here had a deaf child who needs special education?” he asked the senators. “It’s a completely different education. To charge tuition would be ridiculous.” Excerpted from Gallaudet University Regional Center at NECC Offers Family Sign Language The Massachusetts Department of Public Health recently awarded a three-year contract to the Gallaudet University Regional Center (GURC) at NECC to operate a statewide Family Sign Language Program (FSLP). Eligible families with a child up to age three who is deaf or hard of hearing receive 20 weeks of child-centered instruction from qualified sign language instructors, tailored to the individual family, scheduled at a time convenient for family members. Studies have shown 12

that language acquisition at a very early age is critical for every deaf and hard of hearing child and leads to the development of literacy skills needed throughout the child’s life. For more information, contact (978) 556-3701 TTY/Voice, or email fslp@ Deaf Teen America Pageant

The 13th annual Deaf Teen America Pageant was hosted at the Indiana School for the Deaf. Two Florida seniors, Brooke Stanfield and Keith Banks, were crowned Mr. and Miss Deaf Teen America. They both attend the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. Hearing Aid Tax Credit Bill The Hearing Aid Tax Credit Bill has been reintroduced by Representatives Tom Latham (R-IA) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY). This bill would

provide assistance to millions of people who need coverage to purchase hearing aids. HR 1479 would provide a $500 tax credit per hearing aid for children and people age 55 and older. Fact Sheet on Academic Achievements Now Available According to the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2 dataset, a gap exists between the academic achievement of youth with hearing impairments and their peers in the general population in reading, mathematics, science, and social studies. The fact sheet, Students with hearing impairments: Secondary school experiences and academic performance, provided by the National Center for Special Education Research gives a national picture. For more, visit pubs/20113003; The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities website is at Outstanding Deaf Women Recognized The Pearls will recognize 20 outstanding Deaf women on June 4 in Studio City, Calif. These Deaf women deserve the honor and have been extraordinary in their respective categories. Several years ago, The Pearls founder Sheena McFeely watched Oprah’s television special, “The Legends,” where Oprah honored outstanding African American women who serve as great

role models in their professions. This inspired Sheena to establish “The Pearls.” The event will be broadcast online on Sept. 10. To view the full list and video interviews, visit Research “An international team of researchers has found that people fluent in sign language may simultaneously keep words and signs in their minds as they read. Judith Kroll, at the Pennsylvania State University, and her colleagues found that deaf readers were quicker and more accurate in determining the meaningful relationship between English word pairs when the word pairs were matched with similar signs.” To read the full article: 2011 Teacher of the Year

Michelle Shearer, former teacher at the Maryland School for the Deaf, was recently honored by President Obama as 2011 Teacher of the Year. She currently teaches AP chemistry at Urbana High School in Maryland. Shearer will take a sabbatical from the classroom this year to travel and present across the country. 13

Early Language Acquisition Strategies: ASL and Spoken Language On April 9, a statewide early intervention in-service underscoring the importance of partnerships between Deaf and hearing service providers was hosted by the Indiana School for the Deaf. Attendees included SKI-HI parent advisors, Deaf role models, speech language pathologists, service coordinators, and ASDC and Hands and Voices members. This full-day program focused on research and strategies for developing spoken and visual languages in birth to three year olds. Presentations included The Brain, Language Milestones, Spoken Language, Deaf Parent Experience, and Bilingual Acquisition: ASL and Spoken Language, by director of outreach services Cindy Lawrence. For more information on any of the presentations or in-service, contact Cindy Lawrence at

Strategies for Visual and Spoken Language Development

1. Mirroring: copying the action of the infant to get them to do it again. 2. Parent-ese: the way of talking or signing to a child using slow exaggerated language, exaggerated facial expressions, and melody and rhythm. 3. Self Talk: the technique of talking to yourself about what you are doing while you are with your child. 4. Parallel Talk: the technique of talking about what the child is doing. 5. Bumping Up Targets: increasing the target goal in slight increments. 6. Rephrasing: the act of stating the sentence again in a different way through expanding upon the grammar or vocabulary. 7. Three Times Rule: stop after three attempts to avoid frustration. 8. Expressive Need: creating a situation in which expressive language is needed. 9. Expectant Pause: pause before responding 10. Sandwiching: start with the target, provide support needed to reach the target, then end with the target. Example: Sign the word, spell the word, sign the word. When the child is older, this changes to spell the word, sign the word, spell the word. 14

When is a Cow a Dog? By Kristin Di Perri, Ed.D. Parents naturally want their children to read with ease. Fluency and comprehension requires active engagement with the printed word. Readers must use their stored knowledge to interact with print in a meaningful way. When reading effectively, continual connections are constructed between print and personal pieces of organized information. This mental storage of information in an organized manner is known as schema theory. The amount of schemata one has stored on a particular topic will greatly affect their comprehension. This is one reason why reading can be a difficult challenge for your child. Even so, there are things you can do that will greatly help. Let’s consider a visual image to understand how humans cognitively organize and categorize information. Before computers, a trip to the library meant stopping first at the card catalogue. This chest-high set of drawers contained rows and rows of tiny cards that organized the entire library in an orderly fashion. Understanding the system allowed an individual to narrow their search quickly and walk to the exact spot a desired book was located. Our brains organize information in a

similar way. With each new experience, our brains take in information that can be categorized and stored. This process continues to be updated and refined as new information in encountered. For example, a one year old is playing outside and the neighbor’s Dalmatian comes over. Mom says, “Oh look at the dog! You can pet the nice dog.” The child files away a card in his “Animal” drawer that notes, “four-legged animals, black and white, called dogs, friendly.” The next day the family goes to a farm. The child sees a Holstein cow and promptly says or signs, “Dog!” This label seemingly matches the existing “card” in his drawer. Mom quickly says, “Oh no, that’s a cow.” Now the child must make a new category, “cows.” Thus the category is refined to make two classifications that, while different, also share similar aspects. This process continues throughout our lives. So how do life experiences support reading? The fuller the “drawers” in our brains, the easier it is to read a variety of materials. The more information one knows about a topic, the easier it is to understand the overall piece. Suppose you have 15 seconds to write as many related words as possible on the following topics: 1) camping; 2) Laurent Clerc; 15

3) rBGH. How many words or related ideas would you have for each topic? Depending on your experience and interest, some words will have more entries than others. This means that for familiar topics, your drawers are full of information; reading a piece on this topic would likely be easy for you. Conversely, the fewer related words or ideas you have, the harder it may be to understand what the passage is talking about. How can parents help their children in this area? Provide and share as many experiences as possible with children. Extend those experiences beyond the normal observational points. For example, take young children to the grocery store. Depending on the age, a variety of Sacramento State

ASL and Deaf Studies Program


For More Information: 16

topics can be discussed. Direct them to notice specific patterns in the store. What foods are grouped together? Where can you find frozen foods? What kind of containers hold food? How many kinds of pasta are there? What are some of their names? What do they do with the food that is old? How can you pay for the food? What happens if you don’t have enough money for what you selected? Ask the manager if you can get a behind-thescenes look at how food comes in, is ordered, and so on. Even simple trips to the grocery store can be varied learning experiences. Another activity at home for younger children is to actively build cognitive connections across items in a game format. Using magazine pictures or

Consider a Donation to ASDC We hope you will consider a taxdeductible charitable contribution to ASDC. By donating, you are investing in the future of education for deaf children, strengthening networks among families, and providing a promise of a better future for our children. Donations may be sent to: ASDC #2047 800 Florida Ave., NE Washington, DC 20002 Or donate via PayPal at www.; click on Donate.

Internet clip art, place three or four pictures in front of the children and ask them to pick a word/sign that connects all of the pictures. For example, pictures of an orange, a beach ball, and a Hula Hoop might elicit possible answers such as “things that are round” or “things kids have in the summer.” Extend this game by using only English words or ASL words. A game by Mattel, Apples to Apples, is fantastic for older children. We tend to think of reading as a “paper” activity. However, what the child brings to the process before even opening a book can determine whether the experience will be a successful one. Parents have a wonderful opportunity to continually influence the stor-

age of new information by providing superior learning through a rich variety of experiences. Though on the surface it seems minimal, continuing to present children with opportunities to use higher cognitive processes (such as consider, evaluate, predict, draw conclusions, etc.) will have a significant impact on reading.

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ASDC’s Renewing Educational and Organizational Members Beverly School for the Deaf Children’s Center for Communication 6 Echo Ave. Beverly, MA 01915 (978) 927-7070 (866) 320-3233 VP California School for the Deaf 39350 Gallaudet Dr. Fremont, CA 94538 (510) 794-3666 California School for the Deaf 3044 Horace St. Riverside, CA 92506 (951) 782-6500 Cleary School for the Deaf 301 Smithtown Blvd. Nesconset, NY 11767 (631) 588-0530 Delaware School for the Deaf 620 E. Chestnut St. Newark, DE 19713 (800) 292-9590 dspdhh/dsd 18

Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind 207 N. San Marco Ave. St. Augustine, FL 32084 (904) 827-2210

Oklahoma School for the Deaf 1100 E. Oklahoma Ave. Sulphur, OK 73086 (580) 622-4900

Indiana School for the Deaf 1200 E. 42nd St. Indianapolis, IN 46205

St. Joseph’s School for the Deaf 1000 Hutchinson River Pkwy. Bronx, NY 14065 (718) 828-9000

Kansas School for the Deaf 450 E. Park St. Olathe, KS 66061 (913) 791-0573 Michigan School for the Deaf 1667 Miller Rd. Flint, MI 48503-5096 (810) 257-1400 (810) 515-8243 VP Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf 615 Olof Hanson Dr. P.O. Box 308 Faribault, MN 55021 (800) 657-3996 TTY/V

Scranton School for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children 1800 N. Washington Ave. Scranton, PA 18509 (570) 963-4546 (866) 978-1886 VP www.thescrantonschool. org Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf 300 E. Swissvale Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15218 (412) 371-7000 (866) 755-5261 VP Willie Ross School for the Deaf 32 Norway St. Longmeadow, MA 01106 (413) 567-0374

Keep Your Family Connected This Summer For kids, summer means vacations, camps, amusements parks and late nights with friends. Parents need the ability to communicate with their children when they are apart. The introduction of mobile video relay services (VRS) is expanding communication access for deaf children and their parents. Many VRS providers now offer free applications that provide VRS and point-topoint calling on mobile devices and software, which can turn a PC with a camera into a videophone. These applications and software can be downloaded, at no cost, to PCs and mobile devices with front-facing cameras. One VRS provider that offers a full suite of mobile deaf communication products is Sorenson Communications. Sorenson’s PC software, ntouch™PC, works anywhere an Internet connection can be established. Children can use their laptops to stay in touch from a cyber café, at camp or in classes. Sorenson also offers ntouch™ Mobile, a free application that can be downloaded to mobile devices and used with a WiFi, 3G or 4G connection. With these new services, families need never worry about being separated, whether they are in different areas of an amusement park, at the beach or with friends. To learn more, visit

Experience the

of your world in touch Introducing ntouch™ Mobile, the new SVRS® app from Sorenson Communications® that turns your smart phone into a VP that fits in your pocket. It’s the evolution of video relay, helping you connect everyday, everywhere.


Experience what’s next in VRS from Sorenson Communications. Learn more and apply at

Copyright © 2011 Sorenson Communications. All rights reserved. ntouch™ and respective branding property of Sorenson Communications.


Sharing the Gift of Reading with Parents By Noreen Collins Parents of Deaf children may struggle to learn how to sign to their children. They take classes, watch videotapes, and try to sign with Deaf adults. But if a parent wants to “read” a story to their Deaf child, how do they learn to do that? At St. Joseph’s School for the Deaf in New York, parents were invited to learn exactly how to do that with stories like Henny Penny, The Carrot Seed, and Llama llama. As part of the Parent Education Program, families of 17 students met with David Rivera, Deaf storyteller, on April 15 for an hour. Rivera talked

about how reading/signing to a child is so critical, and shared his experiences growing up, as well as how he reads/signs to his hearing children every night. He showed parents how to sit with a Deaf child when reading to them, and discussed how reading the same story over and over again can enrich children’s language. Parents then met in smaller groups to practice. They watched a DVD and practiced their signs with staff guidance. They then brought the books and DVDs home with them to practice. It is the school’s goal to have parents come into class and sign a story to their children’s classes.

My Yesterdays In a changing world of the deaf By Mervin D. Garretson My Yesterdays is the life story of a totally deaf fiveyear-old boy growing up in an oppressive atmosphere of anti-sign language sentiments. At times frank and controversial, this book is more than an autobiography as the boy becomes an educator and advocate in a world dominated by oralists and professional audists. Included are bits of deaf history, commentaries on American Sign Language and sign communication, deaf culture, national and international organizations of the deaf, plus nutshell biographies of Gallaudet presidents the author has known since the 1940s, and other notable people in the field. My Yesterdays is available from Barnes and Noble and Hardcover $29; softcover $19.99; eBook $9.99. Or call (888) 795-4274. Author Mervin D. Garretson also has some available at discount prices, autographed upon request. 20

Tips for Keeping Your Child Entertained in the Summer During summer break, children can experience more than the normal amount of time in the car with parents running errands, going to the doctor, or just down time at home. Meltdowns can easily be avoided by being prepared. Keep a “bag of fun” for when you are on the go, and include: • Flashcards • Stickers • Miniature toys • Dice • Crayons, Pencils, and Paper • Books • Finger Puppets • Photos

When you are home and the kids are just plain bored: • Keep a box loaded with crafts • Stockpile supplies for special recipes • Keep games on hand • Invent a play and make your own props • Have a scavenger hunt Just a little creativity and some planning ahead can go a long way in keeping the kids entertained and happy.

Be sure to stop by ASDC’s website at!


Through Your Child’s Eyes: American Sign Language

A New Video on ASL for Parents and Professionals

Through Your Child’s Eyes: American Sign Language has been created by the California Department of Education and California State University, Northridge with funding provided by the Annenberg Foundation. The video focuses on American Sign Language (ASL) for children. Research tells us: • All babies benefit from sign language. Thousands of hearing babies learn to sign before they talk. ASL is a language for the whole family and community. • Vision is the natural pathway for brain cognition, connections and language acquisition for deaf and hard of hearing children. It taps into the child’s strengths. • ASL supports the development of written and spoken English and other languages. • Children can easily acquire and use more than one language at the same time. • ASL is one of the most widely used languages in the United States. • Time is of the essence. Infancy is a critical period for language access and language acquisition. But it’s never too late – hearing people of all ages can learn ASL. Purchasing or Requesting Copies of the DVD DVDs are distributed free to families with deaf or hard of hearing infants and toddlers throughout California. For professional use, and for distribution outside California, DVDs are $10.00 each, including shipping and handling. Checks should be made payable to CSUN Corporation, Fund #3080. CHECKS ONLY, no cash. For more information, please contact:

ADA Final Regulations

The Department of Justice published final regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for Title II (state and local government services) and Title III (public accommodations and commercial facilities) on Sept. 15, 2010, in the Federal Register. These requirements, or rules, clarify and refine issues from the past 20 years and contain new, and updated, requirements, including the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design. For more, visit 22

I Deafinitely Can!

Hear My Deaf Song

By Amber Medina Ask Corey Reutlinger if he’s extraordinary and he’ll probably smile, shrug and wonder why anyone may think so. A pure and applied mathematics major from Lexington, Neb., Reutlinger loves art and writing poetry. He’s a lifeguard at a pool in the summer, and he volunteers as a youth mentor at an elementary school. He’s an active member of Hastings College’s Campus Acquaintance Rape Educators, and he’s a standout top performer on the nationally ranked Hastings College Forensics Team. And most people are surprised to learn that Reutlinger is deaf. Starting in the first grade, Reutlinger learned to rely on his hearing aids and

reading others’ lips when they spoke. The traditional classroom setting where the teacher talks while facing the chalkboard has always been a challenge for Reutlinger, but he hasn’t let that slow him down. “It’s a funny issue being deaf,” Reutlinger said. “It can be awkward for people, because sometimes they forget I am deaf. I want to break down that ‘sound’ barrier and break the stereotype that deafness is a disability. For me, deafness has never been a disability. It’s just a different way of living.” Reutlinger’s speech, A Program of Oral Interpretation, which advocates for the Deaf culture and the hearing culture to better recognize each other, earned a sixth-place standing at the American Forensics Association-National Individual Events Tournament (AFA-NIET) this April, and was among six forensic events that qualified Reutlinger for nationals. He also earned a quarterfinalist standing in both Poetry and Prose Interpretation at the National Forensics Association Tournament (NFA) this year. In competition, Reutlinger performs for the judges a combination of speech, sign language and silent articulation to help promote a better appreciation of

I Deafinitely Can!

The Endeavor is excited to feature stories of deaf and hard of hearing individuals who test and go above their limits. If you know of someone with a story to tell, e-mail the editor at 23

an understudied form of communication and the beauty of communicating through silence. He openly critiques oral privilege and directly challenges this type of ethnocentrism. “I’m impressed by Reutlinger’s desire to challenge speech team conventions that have been established through decades of competition,” said John Perlich, Ph.D., Hastings College Professor of Communication Arts. “Reutlinger is teaching them that ‘speech’ is beautiful in a myriad of forms and that inclusiveness is possible. Speech team culture often implicitly gives privilege to those who literally use a voice for their message, and Reutlinger’s participation is a challenge to the previously unstated boundaries for competitive speech. His message is personal, sincere and driven with emotional conviction.” Perlich says he is especially impressed with Reutlinger’s ability to overcome the difficulty hearing his own words, enunciation and the quality of his voice in a room. “I’ve worked with Reutlinger frequently over the last two seasons and his growth as a speaker has been profound. He has never once used his physical limits as an excuse. In fact, I’ve learned that he enjoys being challenged and takes pride in overcoming adversity.” “Deafness has a unique quality to it. I see it as a gift,” Reutlinger said. “I enjoy being a person who is hearing disabled and being able to speak without making it apparent that I can’t hear, and people enjoy watching it.” When asked about audism, the attitude that speaking is superior to sign24

ing, Reutlinger dismisses the issue as another thing that won’t be getting in his way of achieving his goals. “For me, I’m living within both the hearing culture and the Deaf culture,” he said. “There’s a pride within the Deaf culture. As a minority culture, we are still able to integrate into the hearing culture. In the Deaf culture, everybody is the same as in the hearing culture. We are able to do the same things. We learn the same things. It’s just a different form of communicating. However, it’s a story that’s not told, that’s not discussed, even though a lot of us will lose our hearing some time in our lives.” Reutlinger plans to attend graduate school studying math and, hopefully, coaching forensics. He’s looking at several schools, including Harvard or Northwestern. Hear My Deaf Song, the headline of this article, is a line from the poem Reutlinger wrote for his speech. It, too, advocates for people to read the story and listen to the message within it.

Described and Captioned Media Program

Free-Loan Media for Educational Accessibility

The DCMP library provides over 4,000 captioned educational media titles to teachers, family members, and others who work with K-12 students who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind.


Mainstreaming Revisited: Is It Working? Has It Ever Worked? By Jess Freeman King, Ed. The reader may notice that the references used in this article date back to 1988 and 1989. The reason is that the initial red flags raised regarding mainstreaming the deaf child are still prevalent today. The tragic result is that more than two generations of deaf children have been lost to mainstreaming due to the misinterpretation of “appropriate” and “least restrictive environment” as expressed in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Since the mid-1970s, American education for the child who is deaf has stood at a quagmire in the crossroads regarding what is appropriate and most restrictive. Resultantly, what has transpired, and continues to transpire, has left many deaf children emotionally, socially, linguistically, and educationally impoverished. The basic tenets of IDEA are that the child with a disability will be educated in the most appropriate and least restrictive environment, and that this environment will lead to socialization of the child with non-disabled peers. Two issues are immediately raised: Should the deaf child be categorized as disabled; and, for the child who is deaf, can socialization ever occur without deep and meaningful communication with peers and teachers?

Has not history taught us that African-American, Hispanic, Asian, and Deaf children do, in fact, grow up to be African-American, Hispanic, Asian, and Deaf adults who have and continue to find their niches in American society, often not because of their education, but in spite of it? Has not history taught us that given a truly appropriate education and equal opportunities, children of various cultural heritages can and do find their places as valued, contributing members of American culture? Has not history taught us that continuing to make the same educational-placement mistakes (even though the names of the mistakes have been updated to fit the current sociopolitical jargon) makes absolutely no sense? The IDEA’s least restrictive environment (LRE) clause is a controversial, but much promoted component, and it should be understood that the primary


concern with this aspect of the law is its inappropriate interpretation and application, as applied to the deaf child, not its basic philosophical premise. The law states that the LRE should be most like a “normal” environment that promotes and enhances socialization skills. However, misinterpretation of the law has placed and continues to place the appropriate and successful education of the deaf child in jeopardy. It is apparent that without communication of a deep and meaningful nature between peers, teachers, and the deaf student, it is impossible for socialization to occur— thus resulting, in fact, in providing the most restrictive environment. This misinterpretation of “least restrictive” has created a situation in which many deaf children have been, and continue to be, placed in inappropriate mainstream programs within public schools. Often, these placements have been accomplished disregarding or misunderstanding the child’s linguistic preferences, language development needs, identity, and sociocultural needs. The mainstreaming placement decision is often made by administrators, special education specialists, audiologists, and speechlanguage pathologists who do not understand the predisposition of the deaf child to acquire a natural, visual language (even though the deaf child is primarily a visual learner, with or without advanced technological enhancements). The placement team also often 26

makes the erroneous assumption that having an interpreter provides for equal language access and remediates the child’s social and emotional needs. The decision to place a deaf child in the mainstream with an interpreter is often based on the fallacious premise that the interpreter will be the communication equalizer. This is not necessarily the case, as many interpreters are not certified or qualified, and do not possess the skills to truly equalize communication in the classroom. It is equally appalling to note that many public school districts offering educational services for deaf children have historically had and continue to have only one or two deaf students in the entire program. Certainly, the emotional, social, language access, and educational consequences that impact the deaf child as a result of such programs are frightening. It is evident that most deaf children placed in mainstream programs are being educated near hearing children, rather than with them. In programs such as this, deaf children are given the worst of both worlds, instead of the best. They are given a limited, partially

accessible language, a limited social environment, and resultantly, a limited education. Accepting the premise that many mainstream programs for deaf children are inappropriate, ineffective, and most restrictive, how might these programs be structured so as to be appropriate, effective, and least restrictive? The following suggestions are offered for consideration by local school districts, special education administrators and teachers, audiologists, and speechlanguage pathologists: 1. The program should include a critical mass of deaf children (at least five per class) in order to provide for socialization, identity development, and language growth and enhancement. 2. Homogeneous grouping possibilities should exist that will facilitate grouping by age, IQ, and linguistic competence. 3. Only teachers who are qualified/ certified and have a respect for and understanding of Deaf culture should have deaf students in their classes. 4. Only teachers who can communicate directly and appropriately with deaf students should be uti-

lized in classes with deaf children. 5. Deaf adult role models should be present on a regular basis in the educational process, either as administrators, teachers, or aides. 6. Curriculum that includes Deaf history and Deaf culture should be available in classrooms that have deaf children. 7. Only intelligence, achievement, and other placement tests that have been normed on a deaf population and administered by personnel who can communicate fluently with the deaf child should be used. 8. Inter preters involved in the program should be highly certified and knowledgeable concerning Deaf culture. 9. Hearing administrators, teachers, and students in the school should be offered continuing opportunities to learn and use American Sign Language. It is most important that local school districts consider that the program offers a quality education that will truly prepare the student to compete as an equal in the hearing world. This does not mean or suggest that the adequacy and success of deaf children be measured by how closely they 27

resemble their hearing peers, but that they are educated to become successful Deaf human beings, not imitations of hearing people. The education received should enable deaf children to believe that their deafness is not a pathological condition fostering the attitude of incompleteness. Rather in a quality educational program, the student most respected by his/her teachers and peers should not be the one who is most like the hearing, but the one who is welleducated, successful, and Deaf. References • Commission on Education of the Deaf, Toward Equality: Education of the Deaf, Washington, DC; U.S. Government Printing Office, February, 1988. • Johnson, R., S. Liddell, and C. Erting, Unlocking the Curriculum: Principles for Achieving Access in Deaf Education, Gallaudet Re-

search Institute Working Paper, 89-3, Washington, DC; Gallaudet University, January, 1989. King, J. F., Does Repeating the Mistakes of the Past Protect the Innocent?, A Deaf American Monograph, 61-64, Silver Spring, Maryland; National Association of the Deaf, 1996. King, J. F., Inappropriate and Most Restrictive: The Dilemma of the Deaf Student in American Education, Tejas, Vol. 16, No. 1, SpringSummer, 1990. Thomas, R., Taking Back Our Rights, a paper presented at the American Society for Deaf Children Annual Conference; Faribault, Minnesota, June, 1989. Siegel, L., Educational Isolation of Deaf Children, Newsletter of the Independently Merging Parent Associations of California Together for the Hearing Impaired (IMPACT-HI), 1st Quarter, 1989.

DID YOU KNOW? ASDC has a lending library, at no charge, for all members. To check out books and DVDs, visit, call (800) 942-2732, or e-mail 28

Invest in Our Future!

The NAD joins hands with ASDC in investing in the future of deaf and hard of hearing children

National Association of the Deaf


Essential Components for Family, School and Community Partnerships By Maryann Swann Partnerships with families are based on blending the resources within each family, local community, and the resources of the Maryland School for the Deaf. The Family Education and Early Childhood Department (FEECD) at the Maryland School for the Deaf (MSD) strive to ensure this partnership with each family through three components: services in natural environments, connections to the Deaf community, and parent support. Natural Environments Home visits provide support to families in natural environments, at home, in daycare, and other settings as requested by the family. The home visit is individually designed and based on the desired family outcome. Teachers support families and children learning in their community settings with emphasis on establishing communication between the child and their family using a bilingual approach in these various social learning environments. Early Literacy activities occur in local libraries and book stores throughout the state to encourage family participation in early reading activities. At each campus, play groups are offered for infants aged six months to two years two mornings a week, while two-year-old and three-year-old chil30

dren may attend preschool classes five mornings a week. High standards of early childhood education prepare young students for the rigorous expectations of kindergarten. Instruction in the FEECD classroom is curriculum based using state approved early childhood curricula which spirals into the K-12 state curriculum. FEECD educators have the expertise and communication skills necessary to deal effectively with the linguistic, social-emotional, and early academic needs of young deaf and hard of hearing children. Deaf Community Deaf and hard of hearing adults are significant assets to hearing parents with deaf and hard of hearing children. Deaf and hard of hearing professionals within the MSD program provide families with a bridge to the Deaf community by helping families become connected to Deaf community events and organizations. The teacher becomes a mentor to the family, offering guid-

ance and support while giving families and their children a sense of belonging and identity. Meeting others with similar experiences creates awareness that they are not alone in this world. Parent Support Weekly parent support meetings are provided at each campus as a vehicle for parents to meet and share their common experiences in raising their children. Regional meetings are provided to families throughout the state so they can meet with each other in their own geographical area. Families gain knowledge of, and access to, local community support. Finally, the MSD Family Support and Resource Center provides continued support to families beyond the early years. The Family Support and Resource Center is a birth


through 21 resource center. This unique program under the guidance of a parent coordinator provides families with a monthly newsletter, evening support groups, lending library, and links into national resources using a parent to parent model of support. We hope that each child and family will thrive given the essential components of a family, school and community partnership. Swann is the director of Family Education and Early Childhood Department at the Maryland School for the Deaf; Maryland School for the Deaf is the host school for the 2011 ASDC Conference. She may be reached at

Rochester Institute of Technology

Prepare for Success Cutting-edge career education for students with hearing loss • Dynamic, high-tech learning environment • Hands-on experience in your field • Outstanding access and support services For more information, call 585-475-6700 (voice/TTY) or email 31



2011 ASDC Conference

Parent Choices: Keys to Your Child’s Future June 22-26, 2011

Hosted by the Maryland School for the Deaf Frederick, MD Erin Buck, Conference Co-Chair: or 301-360-2054 (Voice) Lori Bonheyo, Conference Co-Chair: or 866-729-7602 (VP/Voice)

Crucial information and resources to help families understand and successfully raise deaf and hard of hearing children. Did you know that well over 90% of babies born without hearing have hearing parents? Many parents need information about deafness and hearing loss and how to communicate with and raise their children. Early and active parent engagement is critical to the development of every deaf child. At the ASDC conference, in-depth Deaf Studies &/Deaf Education The Department of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education (DSDE) supports Lamar University’s mission by preparing teachers and leaders to create culturally- and linguistically-affirming environments that empower Deaf students and the Deaf community.

Degrees Offered

●Bachelor’s of Arts in American Sign Language (B.A.) ●Master’s in Deaf Studies/Deaf Education (M.S.) ●Doctorate in Deaf Studies/Deaf Education (Ed.D.) The department offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Sign Language (ASL). This degree program preparts students interested in teaching ASL in EC-12 programs. This degree also offers a track for students interested in pursuing sign language interpreting licensing. Our Master of Science degree in Deaf Education, accredited by the Council of Education for the Deaf (CED), provides preparation for teachers entering the classroom with bilingual-bicultural (ASL-English) philosophy. Our Doctor of EducaGabriel A. ‘Tony’ Martin, Ed.D., Chair (409) 880-8175 or P O Box 10076 ● Beaumont, TX 77710● (409) 8808170 ●TDD (409) 880-2322 ● Video Phone by Appointment

Deaf Studies & Deaf Education


information and resources are available in one place. For parents and siblings, this conference is often a life-changing experience, especially those from isolated areas or low-income families. The conference often is the first, or only, connection to such detailed information, resources, and peers. Registration Conference registration includes all activities and meals from Wednesday’s opening evening through Sunday morning, except for Thursday’s “Explore Frederick” and dine out evening. Registration and other forms can be found online at by clicking on the ASDC tab on the bottom left of the home page and at by clicking on “Conference” on the home page. Who Should Attend Any parent of a deaf or hard of hearing infant, child, or teenager will benefit from this conference and is encouraged to attend. More than 500 participants are expected. Over half will be parents, both hearing and deaf. Many will bring their children. Families that have attended a previous conference often return to continue to benefit from conference activities. They are mentors and role models for new participants. Parent Choices: Keys to Your Child’s Future This theme reflects Frederick area history and examines opportunities and choices in five key areas of critical importance to families with deaf

children: Family, Communication, Education, Extracurricular Opportunities, and Community. Participants will learn from professional experts in relevant fields and benefit from meeting and networking with local, regional, and national service providers, exhibitors, and other families. Conference Objectives • Increase parents’ awareness and knowledge of key issues related to raising a deaf child. • Support parents’ ability to make choices that positively impact their child’s development. • Provide information and experiences that strengthen relationships and promote understanding and acceptance among parents, hearing siblings, and deaf children. For the conference schedule overview, go to page 45. About ASDC and the Maryland School for the Deaf (MSD) ASDC is the primary independent nonprofit organization in the U.S. that supports and educates families with deaf or hard of hearing children. More information can be found at MSD is an independent state agency and Maryland’s center of knowledge and experience in the education of deaf and hard of hearing children from birth to age 21. More information can be found at 35

2011 ASDC Workshops Overview 20 Powerful Tips to Empower Parents at the IEP Table Dr. Lisalee D. Egbert All parents with special needs children have an IEP (Individual Education Plan) and/or IFSP (Individualized Family Service Plan) in place before the child starts school. The following tips are meant to empower you as parents and to lead you to advocate for your child throughout their education. Growing Up Deaf: Issues of Communication in a Hearing World Rose Pizzo & Judy Jones Growing up Deaf is my memoir, being in a hearing classroom, understanding nothing. Years later, I became a teacher of hearing adults. My presentation is an insider’s view of Deaf people. My stories describe frustrations/joys of communicating with the world, and the importance of ASL. My story is your children’s story. Making the Communication Plan Effective for your Child Julie Johnson & Della W. Thomas Mentioned frequently as part of the Deaf Child’s Bill of Rights, the communication plan is designed to assist the IEP team in considering the communication needs of the child, access to peers, role models, etc. This session will help parents and professionals maximize the communication plan to its fullest. 36

Raising Children Who Love to Read: How to Support the Process at Home through VisuallyBased Activities Dr. Kristin Di Perri How can parents and caregivers instill a love of reading with their deaf and hard of hearing children at home? What kinds of activities can parents do to support and enhance reading development? In this presentation we will discuss activities that are manageable, stimulating and cognitively engaging for your child. Literacy Begins with the Story: Bringing the Story to Life and Capturing the Child’s Imagination… Let’s Motivate Them to READ! Dr. Lisalee D. Egbert & Tracy Brennan-Spalding When reading a bedtime story at home or studying Shakespeare in the classroom, bringing literacy to life through American Sign Language will build reading skills. This workshop will serve to give parents, teachers, and interpreters’ resources to enrich the educational experience for the visual language learner. Developing Verbal Behavior with Deaf Children Chris Duck Language delays frequently accompany deafness. However, a verbal behavior approach that looks at language as behavior

and analyzes it by how it functions for the child can assist parents and teachers in the development of language. Specific techniques to aid this development will be presented. Perceived Quality of Life in Youth who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing Poorna Kushalnagar Youth with mild to profound hearing loss participated in the development and standardization of a new Youth Quality of Life-Deaf and Hard of Hearing (YQOLDHH) instrument. We report a summary of findings these relate to general and DHH-specific youth perceived quality of life. Supporting our Children with Technology Outside of the Classroom Dr. Lisalee D. Egbert & Eric M. Wright Deaf children have many opportunities to continue literacy learning outside of the classroom and to become more confident when interacting with the “real world.” While we have Deaf children with limited or unintelligible speech, or minimal language development, technology is there to help them interact in the everyday world. The World Around Us: Ideas for Optimal Interaction Trudy Suggs Parents often turn to books or websites for tips on how to interact with deaf children. Yet there is nothing better than real-life tips. The presenter shares ideas, such as using frozen food to learn about tempera-

ture and wearing deaf-themed T-shirts to teach reading, for optimal interaction and greater confidence. Communications with the Deaf Child in a Hearing Home: Comfort, Collision, and Compromises. Jacqueline Z. Levine and Josh Mendelsohn Mother-and-son presenters Jacqueline Z. Levine and Josh Mendelsohn address the challenges of being hearing parents with a deaf child as well as being a deaf child with hearing parents. Major focus will be given to communication and involvement in deafness and the Deaf community.

Action Research: A Case Study of Shared Reading between Hearing Parents, Deaf Children and their ASL-Fluent Tutor Deirdre Schlehofer The Shared Reading Project (SRP) is devoted to training hearing parents to read to their deaf children with the assistance of ASL tutors. Using an action research paradigm, a researcher and a tutor collaborated with two sets of SRP parents on the development of assessment tools. Their experiences and results will be discussed. 37

Getting Back to Clerc’s Roots: Bilingual Education E. Lynn Jacobowitz & Adonia K. Smith Deaf learners are not widely encouraged to learn ASL, yet hearing learners are. It is our professional responsibility to demythologize misconceptions about ASL, accomplished by language planning, understanding linguicism, and creating bilingual materials. This workshop discusses the importance of having ASL curriculum materials for language acquisition, cognitive development and literacy.

Assimilating Cued American English and American Sign Language Dr. Daniel Koo & Amy Crumrine The aim of this presentation is to introduce a new bilingual-bicultural model in which ASL and English is used in face-to-face interactions. In this bilingual model, deaf children will gain full visual access to English and be able to converse with their peers in English equally as well as ASL. Consequently, children will be able to acquire receptive and expressive skills in ASL and English before literacy begins. 38

Living and Working with Deaf Children with Additional Disabilities Affecting Language Development Dr. Donna Morere This presentation focuses on language disorders, nonverbal learning disabilities, and ADHD. These disorders hinder language development, either directly or due to visuospatial, executive functioning, or attention issues. Symptoms of these disorders and supports and accommodations will be presented, as well as strategies for coping with secondary behavioral issues. Family Friendly Guide to Neuropsychological and Psychological Assessments (Part I): Preparing for an Assessment Dr. Shawn Rhine Kalback & Gregory A. Witkin We will present the reasons why a child may be referred for a psychological or neuropsychological evaluation and what is done during an evaluation. Special emphasis on preparing for the evaluation in order to get the most information out of the evaluation process and what to look for in an assessment will be discussed. Family Friendly Guide to Neuropsychological and Psychological Assessments (Part II): After the Assessment is Completed Dr. Jennifer Reesman, Roxanne Hughes-Wheatland & Dr. Lori Day This is a continuation of Part I, and covers what to do after the neuropsychological or psychological assessment is completed. We discuss how to get the most out of a feedback session, how to make sense of a writ-

ten report, and turning findings and recommendations from the assessment into strategies that can be used in your child’s IEP. Roundtable Q & A: Ask the Psychologist and Neuropsychologist Dr. Jennifer Reesman, Dr. Shawn Rhine Kalback, Roxanne HughesWheatland This is a time for roundtable discussion and informal question and answer time for discussion of assessment and intervention issues. Bring your questions and participate in this interactive discussion with our three panelists. Parental Influence on Educational Placement Decisions Elizabeth Gibbons The results of a survey that examined the relative influence exerted by parents as they made educational placement decisions for their children will be presented. The finding that teams considering the placement of deaf students were more collaborative than those considering placement for hearing children with disabilities will be discussed. Deaf Children and Emotional Development: Impact on Academics, Social Skills, and Diagnoses Anna Crisologo Children’s abilities to understand emotions through facial expressions (or “affect”) have been linked to academic success, popularity and self-esteem. This presentation will review emotional development in deaf children and its academic, social, and diagnostic impact. New re-

search and strategies to address risks for weakened emotional development will be discussed. Seven Common Pitfalls of Parenting Your Hearing Impaired Child Allison Freeman This presentation will identify seven common pitfalls unique to parents of children with hearing loss in communicating and disciplining their children. Parents will learn to distinguish differences between what is normal developmental behavior and behavior due to hearing loss. Specific and effective techniques will be provided in communicating and disciplining your child. Language Time: ASL Michelle Gough & Julie Cantrell Mitchiner Current and former bilingual preschool teachers will share practices for young children to develop American Sign Language skills. Participants will actively participate in this session. The participants will also gain a deeper understanding on the importance of supporting young children in building strong foundation in ASL. Tools in the Tool Box: Strategies to Help Families Build Early Communication and Language in Their Deaf or Hard of Hearing Child Elizabeth Richardson & Amy Ruberl Early identification and family involvement are important stepping stones to developing language and communication skills in deaf children. This presentation will share strategies for families to de39

velop early communication and language with their child who is deaf/hard of hearing by providing visual access to the language of the home. Bilingual Storytelling: Everybody Learns! Alisha Bronk Professionals have long attempted to teach families sign language, often with limited success. Linked ASL/English storytelling, honoring the features of each language, offers Deaf and hearing readers an opportunity to enjoy books together.. This shared literacy experience supports language learning and is the foundation for enhancing communication in daily life. Creating a College-Going Mindset Rick Postl We live in a world that still struggles to understand, appreciate and accommodate hearing loss. College is a place where one can really create a ripple effect; however, getting to college requires creating a college-going mindset early and throughout your child’s young life. Mental Health Therapy in the Deaf Community: The Importance of Addressing Trauma Rachel Morgart & Christine DeBeradinis Deaf children are at an increased risk of experiencing trauma. There is a shortage of culturally appropriate mental health services and resources for the Deaf community. This presentation will provide an overview of trauma, its impact on children and families who are Deaf, and the importance of mental health treatment. 40

Music and Movement Adrienne King This session will provide support for use of music and movement activities with young Deaf children, demonstrate how these activities align with the curriculum, offer strategies for parents to use at home, and provide opportunities for participants to create visual music and movement activities. Innovative Practices in ASL/ English Bilingual Early Childhood Education: Meeting a Range of Student Needs Bobbie Jo Kite & Susanne Scott This session will provide participants with a description of and rationale for ASL/ English bilingual programming in early childhood for deaf and hard of the hearing children. Included will be a discussion of the language planning process that supports the development and use of two languages at school and at home. Concepts about Books: Reading and Writing at Home Mickey Palmer-Morales During the industrial age and prior to that, children’s instruction in reading and writing did not start until they began school. In the past few decades, more parents are wondering what they can do to help their child get ready for school. This presentation will help parents to help their child explore reading and writing. The Keys to Parent-Family Involvement in Deaf Child’s Self-Actualization Tami Hossler & Jodee Crace

Self-actualization is reached through the hierarchy of needs (Maslow’s), child development (Erickson’s), and the principles of valuing our Deaf and hard of hearing children’s being. How do we, as parents and family members, foster these keys? This presentation will weave together the principles, stories, and an informal dialogue. Lay Advocacy 101 Pamela Conley The presentation will provide practical information for parents of Deaf children to better advocate within the educational system for their children. Topics include successful methods to approach CSE/ CPSE meetings and some techniques to help parents frustrated with issues related to their Deaf children’s education. Reading to Young Deaf or Hard of Hearing Children Adrienne King, Sarah Fairbanks, Patricia Muldowney, & Louise Rollins This session will review highlights from ASL story times with young deaf and hard of hearing children. Teachers will share how to choose books for deaf and hard of hearing children, model /share specific reading strategies, and demonstrate how to expand book sharing by creating activities related to the story. Preliminary Findings From the Early Education Longitudinal Study (EELS) Leah Murphy & Gregory A. Witkin The benefits of this presentation on the preliminary findings of the Early Education Longitudinal Study’s parents’ surveys to the membership of ASDC will allow us

to better understand the benefits of early pre-academics with young deaf children. These findings can then lead to new collaborations and interventions to increase the early literacy skills that will lead to proportionally more deaf children becoming skilled students. The findings provide a fresh perspective of parents’ choices and current belief trends toward their deaf children and deaf education in general. New collaborative dialogue could begin among professionals, faculty and families. In addition, the findings could also lead to opportunities to develop new curriculums to prepare both pre-service and in-service teachers to work with families of deaf children. Embracing Cultural Diversity in Deaf Children Bobbie Jo Kite & Christi Batamula When you think about culture, you may immediately think about “other” people. Each person has his own culture. Helping children to discover their own sense of self requires us to examine our own culture. Children should be encouraged to embrace 41

their uniqueness as part of their family and classroom. Parenting and Education of Internationally Adopted Deaf Children from China Donnasue Graesser In the China international adoption program, there is a trend towards the adoption of older and “special needs” children by American families. There is a growing population of Chinese adopted children who are older (age 4-13) and deaf. This seminar will focus on the unique challenges presented to these children and their adoptive American families, including communication, language acquisition, education, and socialization. Promoting Language Development in ASL: Here’s a Parent-Friendly Guidebook! Tawny Holmes Parents are invited to view a new guidebook on promoting language development in ASL in young deaf children. Including tips from actual parents to research-based summaries, parents will enjoy this lively and useful guide with suggestions on how to promote language skills throughout their child’s daily activities.. Innovative Strategies for Meeting the Needs of the Troubled and Troubling Child Mary Ellen Ketter & Benjamin Moonan There are many unique challenges presented when addressing a child who is experiencing an unmet need, often displayed by students in the form of being off-task 42

or restless, refusing to complete assignments, isolating themselves, or becoming physically aggressive. A variety of strategies for resolving the unmet needs and improving outcomes at home, in school and in the community will be detailed in this interactive presentation. FIRST Robotics Program Cindy Hutchinson This presentation is to inform the participants about the FIRST Robotics Program. This program has activities for young to high school aged children. Participation in this program will inspire students in the science and technology fields. Parents and students work together with mentors building skills in science, engineering, and technology. We’re Only Human: Common Communication Challenges that Families Face When Parenting a Child with Hearing Loss. Tara Nikou, Gail McCall, Jill D’Amore, Kim Simon, Mary Jo Redfern & Sheri Morgan We’re only Human is a video-based workshop, where participants will meet the Fumbly Family. The Fumblys will demonstrate “rookie mistakes” commonly made by parents of children with hearing loss. Participants will identify the Fumbly’s parenting blunders; brainstorm possible solutions for the family, and learn suggestions of how to avoid these language challenges with their own families. Reading and Thinking for Meaning Edna Johnston & Adrienne Rubenstein

The key to literacy instruction is the recognition that all reading is thinking. Reading instruction should guide thinking in a two-fold manner. The first task is to make sense of the literal information presented, and then secondly, to glean from this information what can be implied. Educators must teach students a variety of thinking strategies to guide them through the meaning making process. Developing Successful Personal Finance Skills: Your Deaf/Hard of Hearing Child Michael Kane It’s never too early! As a parent or an educator, you might want to start teaching your deaf/hard of hearing children/ students basic financial literacy skills. This workshop includes concrete ways, examples and resources on how to introduce your child/student—ranging from preschool to high school ages—to the world of finances. Key to Success: Parental Involvement in Language Acquisition Debra Patkin Deaf or hard of hearing children’s linguistic success depends on both the parents being proactive and involved in their

child’s early education program, and on ensuring that such program builds and maintains strong relationships with parents. College Planning: Saving for a College Education Stephanie Summers The presentation will look at how much college costs today, projected costs for the future and the building blocks that goes into funding a college education. We’ll look at different taxadvantaged ways to save for college, such as 529 plans. We’ll also examine the role of financial aid, and see how your savings choices can impact your child’s eligibility for aid. Don’t we want to see our children achieve the ultimate goal of theirs? Work-to-Learn Maryland School for the Deaf MSD’s Work-to-Learn program provides job development and on-site support to students and employers. This seminar will focus on the challenge of placing and supporting students in community jobs. Parents and educators will learn how to support working students with the goal of improving academic performance, enhancing social skills, and setting realistic post-secondary plans. 43

Resilience Factors Associated with Adaptation in Families with a Child with a Hearing Impairment Awie Greeff Family resilience qualities were explored in 54 families having a child with a hearing impairment. Results showed that family time and routine, social support, affirming communication, family hardiness, problem solving skills, religion, a search for meaning and accepting the disability, were factors associated with resilience in these families. Advocacy for Children Using the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Barbara Raimondo, Esq. This presentation will cover the structure and requirements of IDEA. It will also

address the relationship between the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and IDEA. Future directions these two laws may take in upcoming reauthorizations will be explored as well.

To learn more about the ASDC conference presenters, visit

Did You Know? The International Association of Parents of Deaf was founded in 1967 by concerned parents of deaf and hard of hearing children. The organization changed its name in 1985 to the American Society for Deaf Children. Today: • • • •

ASDC is the oldest national organization founded by and governed by parents of deaf and hard of hearing children. ASDC depends solely on donations, memberships, and proceeds from conferences for operations. ASDC’s board is a “volunteer” board with members who pay their own travel and lodging expenses for all ASDC events. ASDC has offered 20 summer conferences to more than 6,000 parents across the United States. Become a part of this innovative organization by joining today! See membership form on page 60. 44

Conference Schedule Overview Wednesday, June 22 All Day: Transportation/Shuttle from BWI 1:00–5:00 p.m.: Check in and Registration (MSD, Best Western, Sleep Inn) 5:00-6:30 p.m.: Opening Ceremony (Welcome by MSD Superintendent James E. Tucker, introduction of the Holcombs and their involvement with ASDC, performance by Quest: Visual Theatre) 6:30–9:30 p.m.: Sample Our City Family Fun Night (face painting, petting zoo, meet-and-greet by age for the children, juggling, campus tours, and sample menu items from Frederick-area restaurants)

Adult Workshops 9:00–9:40 a.m.: Keynote Speaker Dr. Nancy Grasmick 9:40–10:40 a.m.: ASDC Board Presentation 11:00 a.m.–Noon: Workshop Sessions Noon–1:00 p.m.: Lunch –Main Cafeteria 1:00–2:00 p.m.: Workshop Sessions 2:15–3:15 p.m.: Workshop Sessions 3:30–4:30 p.m.: Workshop Sessions 4:45–5:00 p.m.: Exhibits and Museum 5:00 p.m.: Pick up from the Children’s Program

Thursday, June 23rd General Information All Day: Shuttles provided to/from hotels 7:00–9:00 a.m.: Breakfast at MSD 7:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.: Exhibitions and Silent Auction Time TBA: Museum

Evening Activities 5:00–10:00 p.m.: Explore Frederick, including dinner on your own. (Maps provided.) 5:30–6:30 p.m. and 7:00–8:00 p.m.: Historical Ghost Tours (2 groups) 6:00–8:00 p.m.: Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center—Deaf View/Image Art (De’VIA) Exhibit and Refreshments Time TBD: Optional Family Swim

Children’s Program 8:30–8:45 a.m.: Drop-Off 8:50 a.m.–Noon: Morning Activities 12:10–1:40 p.m.: Lunch in Shifts by Age – Kent McCanner 1:50–5:00 p.m.: Afternoon Activities 5:00– 5:30 p.m.: Optional Activity with Parents and Quest for ages 0-4

Friday, June 24th General Information All Day: Shuttles provided to/from hotels 7:00–9:00 a.m.: Breakfast at MSD 7:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.: Exhibitions and Silent Auction Time TBA: Museum 45

Children’s Program 8:30–8:45 a.m.: Drop-Off 8:50 a.m.–Noon: Morning Activities 12:10– 1:40 p.m.: Lunch in Shifts by Age – Kent McCanner 1:50–5:00 p.m.: Afternoon Activities 5:00– 5:30 p.m.: Optional Activity with Parents and Quest for ages 0-4 Adult Workshops 9:00–9:40 a.m.: Keynote Speaker Dr. Peter Hauser 10:20–11:20 a.m.: Workshop Sessions 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.: Lunch –Main Cafeteria 1:00–2:00 p.m.: Workshop Sessions 2:15–3:15 p.m.: Workshop Sessions 3:30–4:30 p.m.: Workshop Sessions 4:45–5:00 p.m.: Exhibits and Museum 5:00 p.m.: Pick up from the Children’s Program Evening Activities 6:00–7:00 p.m.: Ballpark Theme Dinner 7:00–10:00 p.m.: Frederick Keys Baseball Game, Fun Zone, and Fireworks Saturday, June 25th General Information All Day: Shuttles provided to/from hotels 7:00–9:00 a.m.: Breakfast at MSD 7:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.: Exhibitions and Silent Auction Time TBA: Museum Children’s Program 8:30–8:45 a.m.: Drop-Off 46

8:50 a.m.–Noon: Morning Activities 12:10–1:40 p.m.: Lunch in Shifts by Age – Kent McCanner 1:50–5:00 p.m.: Afternoon Activities 5:00– 5:30 p.m.: Optional Activity with Parents and Quest for ages 0-4 Adult Workshops 9:00–9:40 a.m.: Keynote Speaker Dr. David Geeslin 10:20–11:20 a.m.: Showcase of Outreach Programs 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.: Lunch – Main Cafeteria 1:00–2:00 p.m.: Workshop Sessions 2:15–3:15 p.m.: Workshop Sessions 3:30–4:30 p.m.: Workshop Sessions 4:45–5:00 p.m.: Exhibits and Museum 5:00 p.m.: Pick up from the Children’s Program Evening Activities 6:00–6:30 p.m.: Shuttle to the Null Building on Frederick Fairgrounds 6:30–10:30 p.m.: Family Banquet/Buffet and Children’s Program Showcase Sunday, June 26th General Information All Day: Shuttles provided to/from hotels 7:00–9:00 a.m.: Breakfast at MSD 8:30 a.m.–Noon: Exhibitions Time TBA: Museum All Day: Shuttles to BWI Airport All Day: Tours of Columbia Campus provided upon request/sign-up

Children’s Program Activities During ASDC Conference Children will be grouped into the following age groups during the Children’s Program activities (with exceptions based on request): • 0 – 4 • 5 – 7 • 8 – 10 • 11 – 15 • 16 and older Activities will be scheduled by age group. The children will provide an evening showcase on Saturday, June 25, to show conference-goers what they worked on throughout the conference. Some of the activities children have to look forward to include: • Music and Movement for the 0–4 age group • Water play • Learning about and interacting with various types of animals

• • • • •

Art projects Recreational activities Juggling lessons Visual Theatre with Quest Team-building activities with Team Link (based on age group)

Each age group will have an ice-breaker activity at the opening ceremony on Wednesday, June 22; the Chidlren’s Program begins on June 23. Children will have a designated dropoff location based on age group and should be dropped off between 8:30 and 8:45 each morning. They then should be picked up from the gymnasium at 5:00 p.m. A nurse will be on duty at the Student Health Center during Children’s Program hours.

ASDC’s Monthly E-Mail Blast The ASDC monthly e-mail blast is full of information about ASDC, member news, updated conference news, book reviews, websites, and more. If you are a member and are not receiving the e-mail blast, we may not have your correct e-mail address. Please keep ASDC informed about any address or e-mail changes by e-mailing 47

Membership Package for Schools/Organizations ASDC provides a very special membership option for schools and organizations. If your school or organization would like to join ASDC as an Educational Member, ASDC will provide your school or organization with: • A free one-year membership for all of your families • A special thank you in the next monthly e-mail blast • A special thank you in The Endeavor • A special thank you in the news section of the ASDC website • A link to your school or organizations website • A post of your contact information on ASDC’s Educational/Organizational Membership web page.

Membership is only $250. If you would like more information, e-mail or call (800) 942-2732.

These titles and more ... available from 48

ASL/English Bilingual Programming and Early Childhood Education Excerpts from Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center; published with permission.To view the full document, visit

ed spoken language outcomes with their hearing aids and/or cochlear implant(s), even if they have “auditory access.”

What is an ASL/English bilingual program? An American Sign Language (ASL)/ English bilingual program supports the acquisition, learning, and use of ASL and English to meet the needs of diverse learners who are deaf and hard of hearing.

What are the components of an ASL/ English bilingual early childhood program? ASL and English are each developed, used, and equally valued. Deaf and hard of hearing children with varying degrees of hearing levels and varied use and benefit from listening technologies (hearing aids, cochlear implants) are educated together. Teams of deaf and hearing professionals work together to support the development and use of both ASL and English. The team may include paraprofessionals and other support service professionals who provide purposeful use of each language based on the individualized goals of each child. Assessment to document each child’s development in ASL and spoken English. An individualized bilingual plan for ASL and spoken English use is designed for each child.

Why consider an ASL/English bilingual program for young deaf and hard of hearing children? It is important for deaf and hard of hearing children to develop early linguistic competence. It is important for deaf and hard of hearing children to establish early communication with their parents and families, develop their cognitive abilities, acquire world knowledge, and communicate fully with the surrounding world. It is through language that children develop social, emotional and cognitive abilities that are critical to timely development in all areas. Prime language learning time may potentially be lost while waiting for a child to “learn to listen” through his or her hearing aids and/or cochlear implant(s). Not all children demonstrate expect-

What should be included in the development of an individualized bilingual language plan? • Documentation of a child’s proficiency in both ASL and spoken English. • Recommendations to address 49

strategies, materials, and resources to facilitate early language acquisition and literacy development. Recommendations to address family supports to promote language acquisition and language learning.

How is literacy addressed in a bilingual program? • By ensuring early linguistic access • Story signing for all children • Oral read aloud specific to an individual child’s access to spoken English • Incorporation of literacy strategies recognized and used with all children • Use of visual strategies to make letter/sound connections using fingerspelling and/or use of a visual-based phonics system such as Visual Phonics1 • Use of listening-based strategies when appropriate to individual child characteristics 1

See-the-Sound Visual Phonics is a system of 45 hand signs and written symbols that helps to make the connection between written and spoken language less confusing.

Are children encouraged to use amplification (hearing aids/ cochlear implants)? Yes, use of hearing aids and/or cochlear implants is encouraged. Audiological information related to amplification benefit is shared with families and incorporated into a child’s Individualized Family Service Plan/Indi50

vidualized Education Program and individualized bilingual language plan. At school, teachers are responsible for encouraging children to use their hearing aids and/or cochlear implants and conducting daily amplification checks. How can deaf families support their child’s development of spoken English? Teachers and speech-language specialists can work with families to provide strategies and materials that can be incorporated into the home (for carryover of spoken English skills). Some strategies include: • Use of a card reader with recorded listening activities • Internet-based listening activities • Books on tape/DVD • Visual Phonics How can hearing families support their deaf or hard of hearing child’s development of ASL? • Attend family ASL classes • Participate in the Shared Reading Project2 • Collaborate/connect with other families 2

The Shared Reading Project at the Clerc Center is de-signed to teach parents and other caregivers how to read to their deaf children using American Sign Language. The Clerc Center works with programs nationally to establish Shared Reading Project sites in their areas. For more infor-mation, visit Language_and_Literacy/Literacy_at_the_Clerc_ Center/Welcome_to_Shared_Reading_Project. html

Websites of Interest My Smart Hands A website about baby sign language. My Baby’s Hearing A website provided by a Boys Town National Research Hospital team of audiologists, speech-language pathologists, teachers of deaf students, doctors, geneticists, and parents of deaf and hard of hearing children. American Speech-LanguageHearing Association ASHA is the professional, scientific, and credentialing association for 145,000 members and affiliates who are speech-language pathologists, audiologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists in the United States and internationally. Deaf Education This website provides information for Deaf education professionals and others involved in Deaf education. Postsecondary Education Programs Network (PEPNet) PEPNet provides resources and expertise that enhance educational opportunities for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Its website has many useful resources, online training curricula, and webinars.

When to Tell a Child That He Or She Has Usher Syndrome? ushersyndromeblog.blogspot. com/2011/03/when-should-youtell-your-child-that-he.html Written by a parent of a child with Usher Syndrome, this blog entry discusses circumstances of telling your child about his or her Usher Syndrome. Working with Sign Language Interpreters use-sign-language-interpretersappropriately.html This article discusses how to work with sign language interpreters. Teaching Home Safety to Deaf Children teach-deaf-students-home-safety. html Different suggestions and resources are shared to teach deaf children the basics of home safety and emergency preparedness. Starfall ABCs A fun alphabet game that is accompanied by fingerspelling (click on the “interpret” icon on the webpage). Have a website you think The Endeavor readers would like to check out? Let us know by e-mailing 51

Advantages of Early Visual Language By Sharon Baker, Ed.D. Key Findings on the Advantages of Early Visual Language: • The brain is most receptive to language acquisition during “sensitive periods” early in a child’s development. • Deaf and hard of hearing children who receive early intervention services have been found to have better language outcomes up to age five. • High levels of family involvement have been found to produce greater language development outcomes in deaf and hard of hearing children. • Acquiring a complete first language during early childhood is critical for later reading comprehension. • Learning two languages (that is, American Sign Language [ASL] and English) is advantageous for deaf and hard of hearing children. • A mother’s signing skills are predictive of later language development in deaf or hard of hearing children. • A language foundation is an important factor in spoken language development. Early Hearing Detection and Intervention For almost 25 years, since the passage of P.L. 99-457 in 1986, young deaf 52

and hard of hearing children and their families have received early intervention services. Age of identification has been found to be an important factor; therefore providers of early identification and intervention services aim to screen, diagnose, and provide services by 6 months of age. However, early language acquisition is not necessarily a medical event. Early language intervention requires specialists who are knowledgeable of both visual and spoken language development. They work with families to make informed communication and educational decisions. Over the past 20 years, numerous studies have consistently found that the earlier hearing loss is identified and the earlier intervention services are initiated, the more positive the outcomes will be for development. In a recent study, deaf and hard of hearing children who received early intervention services prior to three months of age had better language outcomes. Certainly, during infancy and early childhood, sensitive periods for language acquisi-

tion correlate with the brain’s development. Additionally, early identification has been found to moderate factors that previously had negative effects on language development: for example, socio-economic status, family ethnicity, and the presence of additional disabilities. Multiple Pathways to Language Learning Each deaf child acquires language in his or her own unique way. Level of hearing loss, cause of hearing loss, age when hearing loss occurred, the extent of benefit from hearing technologies, presence of additional disabilities, and family dynamics vary from child to child. Multi-sensory approaches to language acquisition ensure that when one pathway is less effective, another pathway can be used as an avenue for language learning. Early research in bilingual education found cognitive benefits from learning two languages; bilinguals have been reported to have greater cognitive flexibility and greater sensitivity to linguistic meaning than monolingual children. Deaf children can experience similar cognitive benefits from learning American Sign Language and a spoken language through print and listening and speaking when appropriate. Academic Performance of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students Early language has ramifications for academic achievement. Deaf and hard of hearing children underperform in comparison with hearing children of

similar ages in most content areas, and especially in the area of reading. This is a long-standing trend that has not changed regardless of the use of various communication methodologies and the invention of new hearing technologies. Despite uneven outcomes, some cochlear implant teams are now advising families of children with implants to participate only in auditory-verbal therapy, and in doing so, are ignoring the enormous potential of a visual pathway to learning. The lack of early and fully accessible visual language exposure may be a contributing factor to the low levels of reading achievement in the deaf population. Delay of language acquisition can have negative consequences on cognition, academic achievement, and social and emotional health. In contrast to children using auditory-verbal therapy, most children from deaf families enter school ready to learn because as infants and toddlers they acquired a complete first language through communicating with family members who are fluent in ASL. These children tend to perform similarly to what is expected of hearing children at the same age. Given signing adult language models, deaf children with hearing parents can also acquire visual language competence and become literate. The Advantage of Early Visual Language Delay in the acquisition of a first language produces poorer language performance, regardless if the language 53

choice is a signed language or a spoken language. In addition, without access to a complete linguistic code during early development, it is difficult for deaf and hard of hearing children’s language acquisition to parallel that of hearing children. Fortunately, the language areas of the brain have no preference for language input. The most accessible pathway for full access to linguistic information for many deaf children is through vision. Visual languages such as American Sign Language are natural language systems. Visual languages are not merely signs that represent spoken language; they function independently from spoken languages and have fully developed grammatical systems. Some innovative early intervention programs have recognized the need for early visual language learning in children receiving implants. In one such program, a study revealed that children who were exposed to sign language while waiting for cochlear implants developed receptive language: they understood comments, questions, explanations, commands, and they were signing simple phrases. In these programs, children achieving the most effective language outcomes signed early, suggesting that having access to early language, regardless of the modality, can provide a base on which skills in a different language modality can be built. After implantation, these chil54

dren developed spoken language. The sign lexicon that the children acquired before implantation most likely facilitated rapid mapping onto speech. Signed Language and Spoken Language Development Early language experiences create the ability to learn throughout the life span, regardless of the mode of communication. Signed language is sometimes withheld from deaf children in the belief that it interferes with speech development. However, there is no evidence that using a signed language with deaf and hard of hearing children impedes spoken language development. Rather, spoken language skills increase as children learn more gestures and signs. Proficiency in ASL has been shown to positively influence spoken language development and the development of English literacy in deaf students. It is language that facilitates spoken language, not the mode of communication.

tant to note that high levels of family involvement produce higher language outcomes. In addition, maternal signing skill appears to be another powerful indicator that results in better language performance in deaf and hard of hearing children. Further, these factors have been found to buffer the negative effects of late enrollment in early intervention programs. Benefits of Bilingualism There are linguistic and educational benefits of learning two languages (for example, American Sign Language and spoken/written English). Deaf children can acquire two languages simultaneously when adult language models follow language allocation strategies, where the amount of exposure to a spoken/written language is increased as the child acquires first language competence. ASL, in many cases, functions as a first language or (L1), which supports the acquisition of spoken/ written English as a second language (L2). On the whole, bilingual research has shown that fluency in a first language is a strong predictor of second language skill; competence in a second language is a function of proficiency in a first language. Family Involvement Family involvement is a critical factor in the language development of deaf and hard of hearing children, especially those with hearing parents. It is impor-

Integration of Research in Education VL2 publishes research briefs as a resource for educators and parents. The goal is to inform the education community of research findings, to summarize relevant scholarship, and to present recommendations that educators and parents can use when addressing the multifaceted challenges of educating deaf and hard of hearing children. The information provided in this brief is intended to clarify the importance of early visual language development in deaf and hard of hearing infants and toddlers. Research briefs are available at vl2.

NSF-supported Science of Learning Center on Visual Language and Visual Learning, Gallaudet University; first published January 2011. 55

The Case for Deaf Schools By Todd Elliott The issue of continued existence of Deaf schools may be best crystallized by this Twitter dialogue between MishkaZena and me on March 7: MishkaZena: The answer is that the deaf children do have legal protections with the current laws. EllTodd: Yes, deaf children do have protections under the current statutory IDEA framework; the deaf schools, generally speaking, do not. MishkaZena was referring to her blog entry at www.mishkazena. com/2009/02/03/do-states-havethe-right-to-close-deaf-schools-nadanswers/; I recommend that readers read MishkaZena’s story and the comments that follow for a better understanding of possible issues surrounding the continued existence of Deaf schools, especially in light of tightened state budgets. I am a special education teacher in a school district, and the interpretations and opinions in this article are mine alone. I believe in the continuum of placements, including access to the general education classroom and curriculum. However, the Deaf school is an invaluable and essential cornerstone of Deaf education and should be preserved at the state level. I do not practice law. That said, this article is offered for its purely informational and entertainment value. It was written in a conservative bent; a liberal interpretation would be obviously 56

different. Therefore, in this article, no legal advice is given, and no attorneyclient relationship is created. In today’s times, states are facing serious budget crises. Duly-elected legislators and governors have to make hard decisions regarding services, finances, and governance. Which brings us to the issue of possible closures of schools for the Deaf, or state action adversely impacting the integrity and stability of these same schools. Part I: Procedural and Statutory Safeguards under IDEA The Deaf/Hard of Hearing community has a stake in their education, and that such education is available in these state-supported institutions, in addition to other possible placements in mainstreamed environments. One obvious solution to preserve state schools for the Deaf is to look into the IDEA regulations themselves, more specifically Section 300.115(a & b):

“(a) Each public agency must ensure that a continuum of alternative placements is available to meet the needs of children with disabilities for special education and related services. (b) The continuum required in paragraph (a) of this section must— (1) Include the alternative placements listed in the definition of special education under § 300.38 (Instruction in regular classes, special classes, special schools, home instruction, and instruction in hospitals and institutions);” Let’s forget the subtleties of statutory interpretation. This section seems to be pretty straightforward. Parents and advocates can rely on this provision in their due process litigation to ensure access to the Deaf School for their Deaf/Hard of Hearing children. There is one small hitch… Okay, a giant one. Not all due process cases are created equal. The True Cost of Deaf Education Let’s assume the state Deaf School closes; a family goes ahead and sues a school district to gain access to the Deaf School for their Deaf child, and actually wins, relying on this provision. The state could say, “Ok. We lost this one. Send this student to an out of state Deaf school and we’ll pay the tuition. It’s still a whole lot cheaper than reopening and/or maintaining a Deaf School.” After all, the “Most Restrictive Environment” is being forced upon the school district, so distance shouldn’t be a factor in an appropriate place-

ment. A conservative view could hold that it is permissible for a state to send Deaf/Hard of Hearing students to a neighboring state with a Deaf school and pay appropriate tuition. Strength in Numbers All due process litigation are highly individualized outcomes, and winning cases based on Section 300.115 does not necessarily guarantee the existence of Deaf schools in any particular state. However, if there is a critical mass of due process litigation based on Section 300.115, then the state could cave in and reopen and/or maintain the Deaf school. Parents and advocates should not be discouraged by this, and should press on for due process litigation for their Deaf/Hard of Hearing children, to ensure access to a Deaf school. This is why when a Deaf school is facing a serious decline in enrollment, it is usually the death knell of that school. A critical mass of Deaf/Hard of Hearing students is needed to force the state to weigh the financial impact of sending them to a neighboring state and being charged tuition, as opposed to maintaining a school for the Deaf. To summarize, parents can use statutory safeguards contained in the IDEA Act to ensure access to the Deaf school for their Deaf/Hard of Hearing children by utilizing due process. In Part II of this article, I’ll discuss federal preemption and how it could be used as a constitutional “shield” for Deaf schools. I also cover statutory interpretation issues and the need for grassroots activism at the legislative level. 57

as it could mean the continued existence of the Deaf school(s). However, Section 300.115 talks about placement, not the continued existence of any particular program. It will be difficult to pursue a constitutional case against a state based on federal preemption when the state action does not actually conflict with federal law.

Part II: Principles of Federal Preemption Another alternative is to have a national organization, such as the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf (CEASD), a state association of the Deaf, sue the respective states under the principles of federal preemption to preserve state schools for the Deaf. This is based on the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution. (I omitted individuals for the sake of simplicity.) Again, assuming that statutory interpretation of Section 300.115 is straightforward, states violate the section by closing a Deaf school. Under the federal preemption doctrine, an organization can successfully sue the states for state actions that affect Deaf schools adversely, such as closures and defunding/restructuring efforts. Since a state action is involved and there is a constitutional case, a win by a Deaf organization would be huge, 58

Federal Preemption May Be No Panacea It is not an insurmountable problem, though. At best, the state action frustrates or essentially invalidates the federal law, and that may be enough for federal preemption purposes. The courts are very reluctant to invalidate conflicting state laws and actions, as they are state powers and belong to the people. It is likely they will take a narrower scope, excising or invalidating certain aspects of the conflicting state law or action, preserving it as much as possible. Let’s assume for the sake of argument, even if a Deaf organization won a constitutional case against the state(s) based on federal preemption, it does not necessarily guarantee the existence of these Deaf schools. It is possible that the states can meet their obligations under Section 300.115 by sending Deaf/Hard of Hearing students to a neighboring school and pay tuition in a federal preemption case. That said, I like federal preemption a lot from a constitutional law perspective in preserving state schools for the Deaf.

Statutory Interpretation of Section 300.115 of the IDEA Regulations Finally, there are statutory interpretation issues. I’m just playing devil’s advocate here for a minute. The word, “special schools” is not readily defined. What does the regulation mean by that the states must make ‘available’ these alternative placements? Is the list of programs as delineated in Section 300.115 constructed in the conjunctive or disjunctive sense? And so on… A liberal statutory interpretation of Section 300.115 is favorable for Deaf organizations, parents, and advocates. And a conservative statutory interpretation is just as equally unfavorable. It is conceivable that there could be conflicting statutory interpretations of Section 300.115 in different states and federal circuits. Grassroots Activism at the Local and State Level is the True Power In a nutshell, true political power is needed at the local and state level. Do not leave Deaf schools to the whims of due

process litigation, statutory interpretation, and constitutional review. Whenever a Deaf school is facing serious cuts, change in funding structure and power, outright closure, the citizens of that state must give immense support to that school at the legislative level. This is it. Deaf schools and their continued existence is the last frontier of civil rights affecting Deaf/Hard of Hearing people, as access to free and appropriate education is at stake. It is of no coincidence that the NAD marked this issue as their number-one priority at its 2010 conference. Deaf/Hard of Hearing citizens need to make a unified stand and make a strong case for their Deaf schools, exercising that political muscle in the legislative arena. Epilogue Federal preemption is not the only course of constitutional law in which citizens and organizations can utilize in preserving their schools for the Deaf in their states. There may be another avenue in a federal preemption case, in which adverse state action may upset the uneasy balance found between the ADA and IDEA. There is also the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment and the dormant commerce clause. But these are different topics for another day. Better yet, consult with NAD, CEASD, your state association or commission, and/or your attorney or advocate. Continued vigilance on the legislative level is the best defense in preserving this continuum of placements for Deaf/ Hard of Hearing across the nation. 59 Parent Information and Referral Line: (800) 942-ASDC (2732)

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