Endeavor Fall 2013

Page 1

FALL 2013


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

Deaf Education 101 INSIDE THIS ISSUE: Selecting the Best Educational Program for Your Child 2014 ASDC Conference at TLC

A Parent’s Perspective on Mainstreaming

p. 6 p. 39 p. 59

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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) (202) 644-9204 VP asdc@deafchildren.org www.deafchildren.org Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/ ASDC-American-Society-for-DeafChildren/215538915154965

THE ENDEAVOR STAFF Editor Tami Hossler asdctami@aol.com

Managing Editor Anita Farb Publication Services T.S. Writing Services, LLC www.tswriting.com ASDC STAFF Director of Advocacy Cheri Dowling asdc@deafchildren.org © 2013 ASDC. The Endeavor is ASDC’s news magazine published three 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 asdctami@aol.com. ASDC is a 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation.

A Look Inside EVERY ISSUE ASDC Board


A Note from the Editor


Past President’s Column


Membership Form


FEATURES Selecting the Best Educational Program for Your Child


Shine a Light on Public School Programs by Asking These Questions


An Overview of K-12 Educational Interpreting


Standardized Visual Communication and Sign Language Checklist


ASDC Conference – Family Strong: Together We Stand


Public Laws on Special Education


Understanding What the IFSP Is


Is My Child Receiving a Free Appropriate Public Education?


Dispelling the Myths and Celebrating the Strengths of Schools for the Deaf


Deaf Education: A New Philosophy


A Parent’s Perspective on Mainstreaming


Parents Are Educational Team Members and Advocates


Going Green! Help save trees and costs by receiving an online version of The Endeavor instead of a hard copy. Email your request to asdc@deafchildren.org. 1

ASDC BOARD Executive Council Board of Directors President Beth Benedict, Ph.D. Germantown, MD beth.benedict@gallaudet.edu

Treasurer Timothy Frelich, M.A. Jessup, MD timothy.frelich@gallaudet.edu

Vice President Avonne Rutowski, M.A. Austin, TX avonne.rutowski@tsd.state.tx.us

Executive Secretary Tami Hossler, M.A. Miromar Lakes, FL asdctami@aol.com

Members at Large Past President Jodee Crace, M.A. Indianapolis, IN jscrace@aol.com Peter Bailey, M.S. Framingham, MA peter_bailey@tlcdeaf.org Mich Bignell Plainfield, IN michbignell@gmail.com Jeff Bravin, M.A. West Hartford, CT jeff.bravin@asd-1817.org Carrie Davenport, Ed.S. Columbus, OH davenport@osd.oh.gov

Rachel Coleman Salt Lake City, UT RachelASDC@gmail.com

Erin Kane, M.A. Rochester, NY erin.kane@rit.edu

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

Tony Ronco, P.Eng. La Mesa, CA t_ronco@hotmail.com

Stefanie Ellis-Gonzales, M.A. Pleasanton, CA stefaniedena@gmail.com Robert Hill, M.A., M.Ed., Ed.S. Tucson, AZ robert.hill@asdb.az.gov

2014 Conference Chair Chris Kaftan The Learning Center chris_kaftan@tlcdeaf.org


Council on Education of the Deaf Representatives Serving on the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing Beth Benedict, JCIH Chair Jodee Crace

2015 Conference Chair Deb Skjeveland Indiana School for the Deaf dskjeveland@isd.k12.in.us


A Note from the Editor Fall is the time of year donate or join ASDC, and when parents are back in information about our the swing of monitoring hotline. and advocating for their The next issue of The child’s free and appropriate Endeavor will get you all education. I’m so excited geared up for our 2014 about this issue because it ASDC Annual Conference Tami Hossler is packed full of informaat The Learning Center tion for families and profesin Massachusetts. Even sionals and articles to help though next summer seems you maneuver through your child’s a long time from now, it will be here bilingual (ASL and English) needs in all before you know it. Start your planning educational environments. now so that when next summer comes The ASDC website is currently being along, you’ll be all set to join ASDC and revamped to provide comprehensive, other families at this terrific event. up-to-date resources to families. You As always, feel free to contact me at can still visit it for resources, ways to asdctami@aol.com. Enjoy this issue!


A Message from the Past President

Beyond the Past, Living in the Present, and Working Towards the Future The summer has headed es? Students deserve a into the past. With school quality education to ensure in full swing, we’re now their futures. Parents and facing the present and family members are also living for today so that our educators who reinforce children who are deaf or important skills and tools hard of hearing (DHH) can within their homes and Jodee Crace build a successful future. communities. We all want to provide the ASDC wants to make most positive daily living and experi- information and knowledge about ences in all areas for our children. Deaf education today simple and accesI am now ASDC’s past president. sible to all. As ASDC’s slogan says: With In my two-year term, the board was ASL and English, Your Child Can Learn! very productive, accomplishing many Thrive! Succeed! of the goals we set out to achieve. In I hope we all can very productive June, the board elected the 2013-2015 living-in-the-present moments so that executive committee. Returning as our children can do their best. president is Beth Benedict, continuing as vice president is Avonne BrookerRutowski, joining as secretary is Tami Hossler, and continuing as treasurer is Timothy Frelich. As I reflect on Deaf education after having been a student for many years, and currently as an educator, a provider, and a parent, the field continues to remain vital in its influence on our children’s educational and social outcomes, on communities, and on society. While we may believe we know what’s best for DHH children, how do we simplify the world of Deaf education so that it is meaningful and Past President Jodee Crace (right) productive for DHH students as we hands over the presidential gavel to President Beth Benedict. create policies and teaching approach4


DeafNation Expo Fall Schedule DeafNation Expo will have several shows in the fall. Sept. 21: Rochester, NY Rochester Institute of Technology Oct. 12: Pleasanton, CA Alameda County Fair Oct. 19: Portland, OR Portland Expo Center Nov. 2: Chicago, IL Harper College Be sure to sign up for free admission tickets on at: www.deafnation.com/dnexpo

Study on Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing and Have an Autism Spectrum Disorder A survey is being conducted by Dr. Raschelle Theoharis of Gallaudet University and Dr. Deborah Griswold of the University of Kansas to identify the educational, social, behavioral and communication characteristics of children who are deaf or hard of hearing and have an autism spectrum disorder. This survey does not require your name or other identifying information. If you are interested in participating, please visit kansasedu.qualtrics.com/ SE/?SID=SV_74ITz9n4M8ZM1bn_.

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Selecting the Best Educational Program for Your Child Most parents want to know the best educational program for their deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) child, or if a particular program is better than another. Some parents would like for the child to have it all. Yet others are not sure what to look for or to expect. The only way to make an informed decision is by observing and gathering information through visits to various educational programs. Seeing for yourself is key. Some questions you may want to ask during your visits are: • Is this program specifically designed to meet the needs of DHH children, or is it a generic program? Generally, a specialized program will be along the educational continuum, such as regular classes, special classes, and special schools. These programs need to meet your child’s individualized academic, linguistic, and social needs. • Does the program use the same curriculum for all children? Are adaptations readily available to access the curriculum (such as visual and auditory assistive devices)? 6

Is the program home-based, centerbased or a combination of the two? A home-based program is the local public school your child would normally attend. A center-based program brings a group of students with similar needs together in a centrally-located school. Both program types need to include instruction specifically tailored to your child’s learning outcomes. What are the available approaches to learning?

Do they include creative learning centers, direct instruction by teachers of deaf students and/or highly qualified and certified educational interpreters? Visiting one or more programs of each type will help you see which program best fits your child’s needs. How well do the staff and children communicate with each other? Is the information presented in and outside of the classroom fully accessible to the child? Does the program have DHH peers and


adults for consistent and ongoing language engagement and holistic experiences throughout the day? Ultimately, language needs to be at the heart of the educational program you seek. Instructional Methods Adapted from www.deafeducation4 parents.com (this website is no longer active). There are three general approaches to Deaf education: bilingual, oral, and total communication. Bilingual The bilingual philosophy recognizes American Sign Language (ASL) as the DHH child’s primary language and uses ASL for instruction and conceptual understanding. English is taught for reading and writing. The two languages are not intermingled, just like other languages (such as Spanish and English) are not intermingled. Talking and signing at the same time is not promoted. This approach also includes speech therapy for children requesting listening and spoken language services. The goal is mastery of both ASL and English. All the staff are bilingual and children are exposed to deaf peers and role models. This approach also includes a bicultural aspect whereby both hearing and Deaf cultures are taught, along with Deaf heritage. Oral/Listening and Spoken Language In general, oral programs emphasize listening and speaking. Children are taught through oral/verbal instruc-

tion or via an oral interpreter. No sign language is used. Oral programs may use one or more of the following strategies/ tools for instruction: speech and audiological training, assistive devices, and developing listening skills. Many oral programs are private schools,although some are public. Three variations of the oral approaches are: 1. Auditory/Verbal Method: This method involves intensive listening therapy (instructors cover their lip movements) to build language through listening, and no sign language is used. Most children in this program usually have at least some residual hearing (but it is not an absolute requirement) and use hearing aids or cochlear implants. 2. Aural/Oral Method: Similar to auditory/verbal therapy, natural gestures are allowed along with lipreading. 3. Cued Speech: This method uses handshapes to identify sounds and phonics. It is not a form of sign language. Total Communication Total communication has many variations. Its original intent was to use a variety of methods that best met the needs of the child. Today, it is commonly used in public schools systems; teachers may use ASL or a system of signs (which are not languages) such as Signed Exact English, Signed English, or Pidgin Signed English. Many times these systems are coupled with speaking. Some programs may include the use of Cued Speech to assist in spoken 7

English access. Such programs may also work with speech and language therapists, and use assistive devices in instruction of DHH children. American Sign Language (ASL): The native language among Deaf adults in the United States and Canada, ASL is recognized by linguists as a true language distinct from English, having its own structure, syntax and other features found in other languages. It is a visually comprehensive language for Deaf people just as spoken languages are auditorially comprehensible to hearing people. Pidgin Signed English (PSE): Not a language, PSE (sometimes called “contact communication�) is a form of sign that is not English nor ASL. Many deaf people use this as a form of communication when signing to hearing people. The signs may vary on a continuum from manually coded English to ASL. Signed Exact English (SEE): A system of signs that codes English into a visual form, SEE includes prefixes and suffixes to show all parts of the English language. It is not a sign language, nor is it used by the majority of Deaf adults.


Signed English: A manually coded form of English similar to SEE, Signed English borrows vocabulary and uses three-dimensional space that makes it more ASL-like. It is not a language, nor is it the language preferred by the majority of Deaf adults. Cued Speech: A tool to make spoken language visible, Cued Speech uses eight basic hand shapes representing groups of consonant sounds and four locations representing groups of vowel sounds. It is also not a language. Educational Programs Residential schools and public schools are free educational programs that must abide by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Schools for the Deaf Schools for the Deaf are considered center-based programs and often have a critical mass of peers and language models that allows for full access to all the daily experiences in a school environment. The staff is highly qualified and trained specifically in Deaf education. Direct instruction is a key component, ensuring access to the curriculum. Specialized services and accommodations are available such as audiology, speech-language therapy, assistive devices, and environmental


alerting systems. Schools for the Deaf are typically state-run schools. Most are both an educational facility and a housing facility for large numbers of DHH students. Some students who live nearby may commute each day, while others stay during the week and return home on the weekends. Extracurricular activities allow for participation in sports, leadership training, and the arts. Socialization is a key component of attending a school for the deaf, allowing for students to develop selfesteem, connections to others, executive function and social skills, and build lifelong networks. Public Schools Center-based/Day Schools: Separate programs for DHH students typically found in larger cities, they often have a larger number of DHH students than home-based mainstream programs, with no hearing students. Teachers are trained in Deaf education. Home-based Day Schools: They are usually district- or county-run programs on public school campuses with hearing children. Instruction may range from self-contained classrooms with a teacher of deaf students to varying amounts of mainstreaming in

regular classrooms. They may include resource rooms as a place for additional services and instruction in English or other academic subject areas such as speech and language therapy. The child spends the majority of time in a general education classroom. Itinerant Programs: Generally for children placed in general education classrooms who receive “itinerant” services from a teacher of deaf students as additional support. The itinerant teacher often works with a number of students at different school sites. The amount of time and number of days that a child receives services varies according to each student’s need and is usually specified in the child’s IEP. 9

Private Schools Private schools typically provide oral education with intensive speech and listening therapies wrapped into the general educational curriculum. According to the Wrightslaw website, since private schools are not government-funded, they are not required to provide special education services, a free appropriate education, or an IEP. However, they are not permitted to discriminate against a child with a disability and may need to provide certain accommodations. Postsecondary Education IDEA and other laws require institutions of higher learning to provide interpreters as a means of providing equal access, for students attending their school. There are a number

of colleges and universities around the nation that specifically serve deaf students and have academic degrees associated with Deaf education and ASL instruction. There are also institutions of higher learning with programs especially for DHH students, such as California State University Northridge (CSUN), Gallaudet University, Lamar University, McDaniel College and National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) at Rochester Institute of Technology.

ASDC has a videophone number! (202) 644-9204

Read the Odyssey Today! The 2013 issue of the Odyssey focuses on the successes and challenges of acquiring services and support to meet the unique needs of DHH students. This issue features an article written by ASDC board members. Â Download it for free from www.gallaudet.edu/ Clerc_Center/Odyssey/2013_ Issue.html. 10


CEASD’s Child First Campaign Proposes Alice Cogswell Act of 2013 As part of its Child First campaign,the Council of Educators and Administrators for Schools of the Deaf (CEASD) has developed a proposed bill, the Alice Cogswell Act of 2013. This bill would amend the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to “promote and better ensure delivery of high quality special education and related services to students who are deaf or hard of hearing.” The bill addresses students’ language and communication needs, state plans, the continuum of alternative placements, qualified personnel, natural environments, and other issues. The main principles include: Individualized Education Program (IEP): A program tailored to the child that supports the child’s progress in the general education curriculum. For deaf and hard of hearing children, this includes consideration of language and communication. Evaluation: An IEP is based on information gathered through an appropriate evaluation. The evaluation must be performed by qualified personnel. Least Restrictive Environment (LRE): To the maximum extent appropriate, students with disabilities are educated with students who are not disabled. Procedural Safeguards: The student and his or her parents have certain rights that are protected by law, such as the right to be involved in developing

an IEP and the right to be part of the team that decides placement. In order to meet deaf and hard of hearing students’ educational needs, programs must first address students’ language and communication needs. Today, however, the implementation of IDEA pays little attention to this. Instead, implementation often focuses on the location the child is being educated, rather than the supports and services available at that location. Child First is attempting to shift IDEA’s focus back to the child’s individual needs. It also attempts to ensure that deaf and hard of hearing children’s IEPs and educational placement facilitate full language and communication development, which will lead to greater educational success. It is time to ensure that deaf and hard of hearing students across the nation experience the same kind of access to language development, social interaction, and academic opportunities experienced by their hearing peers. Equality and Quality Education for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children: A 11

Statement of Child First Principles Quality access to language and Conference Schedule communication is a human Wednesday Registration and and educational right. Opening “Sample Ourand City” This right is fundamental indisFamily Fun Night!ofFamilies pensable in the provision a free and will sample items(FAPE) from in appropriate publicmenu education Frederick areaenvironment restaurants,(LRE) the least restrictive learnand about cultural for deaf hardFrederick of hearing children under the IDEA. Sadly, the implemenvenues, shop at local merchant tation of IDEA adequately booths, and does enjoynot activities protect this right. such as face painting, a petting

zoo, games, and more.

Language and communication are centralexperiences to the educational unique of deafprogress of deaf and hard of hearing children. youth and siblings will be

addressed through art, drama, Research for full access to and team supports buildingneed activities; all interactions. sibling workshops; and games, Research shows that children and field trips, and more. adults learn more from social interac-

Evening Family tion and Activities: activities than from anything else. Children need to have access to oriented activities each and be offer connected evening familywith and a variety of peers and adults with whom they can social time. On one evening, communicate spontaneously participants will explore and effectively. As fundamental as this issue is, Frederick’s sights, shops, such genuine opportunities galleries, and parks; enjoy are all too often on elusive theand deaf or hard of dinner theirfor own; hearing child at school. experience living history through Ghost Tours. The IEP determines the LRE for a child

Language deprivation is disabling. Thursday through Saturdayand – Ongoing access to language Parent Workshops: Three communication is taken for granted full days of concurrent for every hearing child and is essential workshops on issues, choices, for healthy cognitive functioning and development. Without such access, consequences, and the many deaf available and hard of hearing that children served under IDEA. resources can lose Exhibit Hall: Sponsors, the opportunity to become The IEP identifies profoundly impact the thinking, businesses related tothe anyunique of theeducaliterate, self-sufficient development of deaf or hard of conference key areas, individuals. Instead,Professionals educational institutions and hearing children. First is a national campaign to they will experience disadpresent in each of What: the fiveChild organizations, and local ensure that the Individuals with Disabilities vantages and delays that such key areas covering agencies and vendors will Education Act (IDEA) appropriately addresses can become impossible diverse topics as familythe language, display information and communication, and educational to erase. It is diminished dynamics, cochlear implant products inof thehearing Exhibit Hall. needs of deaf and hard children. exposure to language effective use, languageWho: Child First was developed and is being and communication – Museum: MSD’s Bjorlee secondary driven by national that advocate not development, being deaf or hard Museumorganizations is packed with conditions, education choices, for the educational rights of deaf of hearing per se – that historic information andand hard of community support options hearing children. disables a deaf or hard artifacts relating to the school, and access, many more. Why: In 1975 when IDEA (then the Education of hearing child. and EducaFrederick, the Hessian Barfor All Handicapped Children Act) was tional programs Program: must Children’s A racks, multiple wars, and passed, many children with disabilities were precluded ensure that deaf and comprehensive three-day more. from going to school, either by law or because hard of hearing children program of planned, schools were not equipped to teach them. IDEA Sunday morning – Final have opportunities for supervised activities for changed that by requiring states, local school language development, breakfast and Conference children and teens ages 0 to 21 districts, and schools airport to provide them with an on-going interactive Wrap-Up; in four groups. Theindividualized education. access, and age age-approtransportation provided. informational priate language needs use. and 12


tional needs of the child, which ultimately leads to the placement choice. IDEA requires a continuum of alternative placements to be available, as any single placement cannot be the same LRE for all students. Because LRE varies by student – a setting that meets the needs of one may not necessarily meet the needs of another – all placements on the continuum, including specialized programs and schools, are equally valid and necessary. Discussions about LRE that focus solely on location without taking into account the quality of education, support services and social interactions a child experiences in that environment are misguided.

One size does not fit all. As with other students receiving their education through special education, a “one size fits all” approach cannot be used to determine a deaf or hard of hearing child’s IEP goals or subsequent placement. Each child’s unique strengths and needs must drive these. Every child must have an education and learning environment that goes beyond mere physical inclusion – it must provide accessible language development and interaction opportunities so that the child is a true member of the school community. To learn more and to show support for this bill, go to www. ceasd.org/child-first/alice-cogswell.

ASDC-Supported Legislation in Florida Through a collaborative effort lead by the Florida Association of the Deaf, Florida recently passed legislation that requires schools to develop an individual communication plan for each deaf and hard of hearing student. The communication plan spells out details of how the student will access the curricu- L-R: June McMahon, Tim Wood, lum, school environment and extra Lissette Molina-Wood, Gary Lieffers and Tami Hossler curricular activities. Since its passage, stakeholders have been meeting with the Florida Dept. of Education creating a comprehensive Communication Plan. The goal is to develop a communication plan that satisfies all stakeholders. CS/HB 461: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students: Requires DOE to develop model communication plan to be used in development of IEPs for deaf or hard of hearing students, requires DOE to disseminate model to each school district, and provide technical assistance. Effective July 1, 2013. 13

2013 Summer Camp Fun Deaf Youth Sports Festival in Indiana The Deaf Youth Sports Festival, also known as MDO, is a program that offers deaf and hard of hearing children the opportunity to discover their potential, realize their talents and strengthen their abilities to achieve a positive future through organized Olympic-style sporting events and activities. Founded in 1983 as the Mini-Deaf Olympics, the program has served thousands of youth. This year, the 31st annual festival was held at the Indiana School for the Deaf for Deaf or Hard of Hearing school-age youth. For more information, visit www.mdoyouth.org.

Aspen Camp for the Deaf Aspen Camp for the Deaf (ACD) serves Deaf and hard of hearing individuals by providing safe, high-quality experiences that support educational, emotional, social and recreational growth. While ACD remains committed to its primary mission of serving deaf and hard of hearing people, it is also committed to responsible stewardship of its unique 17-plus acre site. They have opened the site to other disabilities, other non-profit organizations, and to the general public in the valley. More information is at www.aspencamp.org.



NAD Youth Leadership Camp The NAD Youth Leadership Camp (YLC) is a fourweek summer camp program for deaf and hard of hearing high school students. The camp provides opportunities for the students to develop scholarship, leadership skills, and citizenship qualities in a nature-oriented environment. Each year, the camp brings 64 campers – 32 male and 32 female – from all over the United States and internationally. This highly popular program has graduated over 2,500 alumni in its 43 years of existence. Many of the camp alumni have become successful leaders and advocates; alumni include businessmen and women, teachers, professors, lawyers, doctors, NAD board members, and employees. The YLC is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. To learn about the camp and its successes, see www.nad.org/youthleadershipcamp.

Parent Package: Gallaudet University and Visual Language and Visual Learning

Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2) is a Science of Learning Center funded by the National Science Foundation. VL2 focuses on the development of fundamental knowledge about visual language and visual learning—specifically, the advantages and benefits of being bilingual in both English and American Sign Language (ASL). Science of learning studies show us that bilingual deaf and hearing children have many cognitive and language advantages over children who only have one language. In the last seven years, VL2 has found and confirmed a number of important discoveries for parents, educators, and professionals who work with deaf and hard of hearing children. Parents wanting further data on ASL/English bilingualism and child-focused materials such as bilingual books can visit vl2parentspackage.org. 15

Encouraging Parent Involvement

Family Weekend Retreat at Texas School for the Deaf

By Lisa Crawford Family Weekend Retreat is an annual tradition at the Texas School for the Deaf (TSD). This special weekend, taking place for nearly 30 years, gives families a chance to meet other families with a deaf or hard of hearing child. Parents and other adult family members attend educational workshops, and presenters include diverse professionals, parents and deaf and hard of hearing adults. The children are entertained throughout the weekend by TSD staff and multiple childcare volunteers, recruited from college Deaf education and interpreter training programs across Texas. A special SibShop is also offered for hearing siblings. For many, this may be one of the few opportunities all year where they can interact with other deaf and hard of hearing children. Family Weekend Retreat’s goal is to give parents the opportunity to gain knowledge and 16

resources, as well as network with and learn from others who have walked similar paths. This year was a record-breaker in two ways: the highest-ever number of families, and the expansion to two campuses. We hosted 76 families, a whopping 40% increase over our previous record. Activities were held at both TSD and St. Edward’s University just a mile away. The theme was “Blending In and Standing Out,” reflecting the choices parents must make regarding their child’s educational and social-emotional needs. Six strands were offered: Technology and Education, Deaf Plus, Birth to Elementary, Mainstream Considerations, and Sign Language. The topics helped parents think about when and how to take the lead, how to follow their child’s lead, how to work successfully with professionals, and how to teach their children to be


strong self-advocates. Sessions included technology updates on hearing aids and cochlear implants, American Sign Language and Shared Reading Project classes, speech/language evaluations, self-advocacy skills, literacy strategies, and IEPs. The families went to an ice cream social and rocket activity hosted by Texas Hands & Voices, swam at the TSD pool and played games. Program supporters included the Texas School for the Blind and Visually-Impaired (TSBVI) and Texas Hands & Voices and their Guide By Your Side (GBYS) Parent Guides. TSBVI hosted the keynote speaker, Djenne-Amal Morris, who spoke about the challenges and joys of parenting while “keeping it real.” Texas Hands & Voices sponsored the

closing presentation speaker, Karen Putz, a deaf mother to three deaf and hard of hearing children. She spoke about her life’s journey and the importance of following your passion. The Houston Ear Research Foundation also sponsored a breakout session speaker, Jan Gilden. Exhibitions were hosted by Gallaudet University Regional Center, Texas Hands & Voices/GBYS, TSBVI, and the Houston Ear Research Foundation. A big Texan THANK Y’ALL goes to all the partners for their support, and to the TSD staff and volunteers for all the long hours and hard work during the weekend. Special appreciation also goes to all the families who came. TSD is already looking forward to next year’s event.

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ASL Tales: More than Meets the Eye used in classrooms where all the students, deaf and hearing, could use that book/DVD as part of the regular curriculum? Or what if children were in an early childhood program where they learned signs from master storytellers instead of learning vocabulary only, and deaf and hearing children could communicate more directly? These questions reflect the vision of ASL Tales. The ASL Tales team of volunteers hope that their Maybe you’ve heard of or seen an ASL Tales book/DVD. Perhaps you thought books can change how mainstream it would be a fun book for your child/ society understands, and values ASL. Each product comes with a glossastudent/relatives. If so, you’d be right. But what if that fun book/DVD also ry and ASL clues on a DVD. By using helped deaf children develop a curios- these tools, even signing novices can ity and love for literacy in both Ameri- fully understand the ASL story and can Sign Language (ASL) and English, learn some grammar and culture. The and showed them the deeper mean- rich visual language of these books lets ing encoded in English, reducing their all deaf children enjoy literature at a sign-for-word reading? What if the developmentally critical time. ASL Tales has just completed two DVD tools also helped parents and caregivers learn about ASL while enjoy- new books and is releasing new apps ing great literature with their deaf chil- this fall: The Boy Who Cried Wolf, illusdren? What if there were audio record- trated by Deaf artist Connie Clanton, ings in 10 spoken languages so that narrated in ASL by Dee Clanton and non-English-speaking families could retold by Susan Schaller; The Tortoise enjoy these enriching stories? What if and the Hare was illustrated by Deaf the books were so much fun for kids artist Daniel Winship, narrated in ASL down the street that they learned by Alisha Bronk and retold by Susan more than signs? What if there were Reiners. applications for hearing children to Learn more about ASL Tales products at enhance their meta-language and reading comprehension so the books were www.asltales.net. 18


Book Review: Zoey Goes Zoey Goes is a children’s eBook series narrated in American Sign Language (ASL) and written in English. Zoey, a Deaf dog, goes on adventures with her human partner, Fir. They explore new places, meet people and learn from the obstacles they run into. The first book in this series is currently available in the iBookstore, with the second book underway. According to Deaf education researcher Debbie B. Golos, many children’s books present being deaf as a medical condition. This sends a message, especially to deaf children, that there is something wrong with them, and that they must adapt to hearing norms in order to be accepted. The goal for the Zoey Goes series is to create a positive representation of Deaf people, so young readers can develop a healthier perspective of being deaf as a linguistic minority. The Zoey Goes team consists of all Deaf people, offering a unique visual lens on the world. The Zoey Goes books have ASL videos along with the majority of characters being ASL-using Deaf people—a rarity in children’s literature. Aspects of Deaf culture are evident throughout the book, such as how Deaf people call other people’s attention and make eye contact, and even the so-called “Deaf Standard Time (DST).” The team hopes that deaf children read the stories and say, “That’s me!” Although the book is targeted at deaf children, it is also beneficial for hearing children, who can experience the same cultural enrichment. Supplemental materials are also available for educators who provide a bilingual curriculum, such as a glossary, a prereading guide and vocabulary development; these materials can be found at the Zoey Goes website at www.zoeygoes.com. 19

Shine a Light on Public School Programs by Asking These Questions By Rachel Zemach Today the majority of deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) students attend local public schools. Public schools may have self-contained classrooms, general education classrooms where DHH students are with hearing peers, resource rooms where DHH students are given additional support in specific courses, or a combination of all three. A DHH student may also be mainstreamed in a general education classroom for one or more subjects. Mainstreaming can be successful or a waste of time. Many DHH adults who were mainstreamed have expressed concerns about inadequate opportunities to develop their academic, linguistic and social skills. Gina Oliva’s 2004 book, Alone in the Mainstream, A Deaf Woman Remembers Public School, reflects such experiences. As a Deaf person (and also a parent) who has taught DHH students in the public school system for 10 years, I’ve learned that mainstreaming can be positive and successful when done carefully, or detrimental when done haphazardly. You, as the parent, need the advocacy tools to ensure your child thrives in a mainstreamed setting. 20

Inclusion If a DHH child sits all day in a large class, copying from classmates’ papers or from the board while struggling to figure out what is going on through minimal cues, straining to hear the auditory reading of the weekly story, is this inclusion? What if there is an interpreter who diligently signs all day but whom the child doesn’t look at, doesn’t get along with, and/or doesn’t understand? What if the child is so young that she or he doesn’t understand why the interpreter is signing or why no other student has an interpreter? What if the child fakes understanding or simply survives from task to task in a rote, cooperative, survivalbased manner without comprehending the material or genuinely participating in classroom discussion or activi-


ties? What if the student doesn’t raise his or her hand because of embarrassment? What if almost a year goes by without the teacher realizing the remarkable intellect possessed by this child? What if school administration has persuaded the teacher that the goal of mainstreaming is social assimilation or speech skill-building, rather than acquiring a high- quality education? These are just a few examples of what I have seen happen in a public school. While there are times that I’ve seen mainstreaming succeed, I have also seen sharp declines in skills and morale among DHH students who are mainstreamed, or mainstreamed too many hours. I’ve seen DHH students thrive more in self-contained classrooms with deaf peers learning from a teacher who can directly and fluently communicate with them. Children who previously sat slumped over, bored, quiet, and disengaged in their mainstream class were transformed into whip-smart and fully engaged students, raising their hands joyfully, and learning the same concepts with great speed and depth, in a selfcontained classroom in the very same day. Student placement should be based on cognitive abilities that contribute

to linguistic and social acquisition. It also should be balanced. Unfortunately, the student’s auditory level often determines placement. In a large hearing classroom, even a child with a moderate hearing level (from my observations) can miss anywhere from 35% to 95% of the spoken content, even with hearing aids, cochlear implants, FM systems, and/or interpreters. The teachers may simply be unaware of this because they are busy addressing the class as a whole, managing the behavior of multiple kids, and often are not appropriately trained in Deaf education. Thus the interpreter is often the one who has the most information about what the child understands – or doesn’t understand. Questions to Ask... So let’s get started. The first set of questions can be asked at the start of the school year and at IEP case conferences. At any time of the year, you can make an appointment to observe your child’s classroom(s) and/or meet with the designated administrator to revisit the IEPs, or to simply ask questions. Get the school staff thinking about these issues. The Educational Interpreter • Does my child have consistent, 21

skilled and certified interpreter(s) daily? Or are there different interpreters sent (by an agency) each day? Your child’s success is dependent upon the interpreter’s skills, so this is very important (see article on page 26). Does the interpreter have experience with children my child’s age in an educational setting? Does the interpreter know how to adjust signing levels to my child’s needs? An interpreter whose background is in high school and community settings may not be suited to a kindergartner’s needs. Will the interpreter come to the IEP meetings? The interpreter has a direct connection with the student and can vouch for the student’s successes and challenges. How will the interpreter, DHH teacher, and general education teacher collaborate for maximum success?

Teachers of Deaf Students Ideally the school will have a fulltime or itinerant DHH teacher. Keep in mind that itinerant teachers may typically have large caseloads and may only meet with your child for a very short time once a week. Be clear on what services your child is getting from the DHH teacher. Ensure that the services are actually provided. • What are the DHH teachers’ qualifications? 22

Do they have the appropriate credentials? What professional experience do they have? Just like choosing an electrician for your house, you want a teacher who is experienced and properly trained. • What about the teacher’s personal experience? For example, is he or she deaf? This can provide tremendous benefits to the student, such as identity and esteem. • If the teacher is deaf, is he or she involved in the Deaf community and knowledgeable about Deaf history and culture? Deaf teachers modeling daily life as a deaf adult can bring perspective, humor and coping skills to students. Over the course of 10 arduous, fascinating years, I’ve learned that DHH children, regardless of their hearing levels, use of hearing aids or cochlear implants, or listening and speaking skills, need exposure to Deaf role models who support them in their clearly and fluently expressing feelings and ideas, and help them gain pride in the identity as a Deaf person. I have seen self-esteem soar when this happens.


This feeling of pride and well-being does not cut off the DHH child from the hearing world around them or their families. On the contrary – it makes them content, assertive when necessary, clear in their understanding of why they are or are not happy in a given time or setting, clear that they are not alone in these feelings, clear that their feelings are justified, and clear that there are alternatives. It does not take anything away from their speech or language skills, or from their friendships with hearing people. It does, however, cast a clear light on what they experience in the hearing world. I have seen hard of hearing children who are mainstreamed, whose academics are soaring, and whom administrators would refer to as kids who “have a lot of hearing,” who show incredible pride and are enthralled in the beauty of ASL. I have seen them laughing raucously and cathartically at seeing ASL comedy or embracing historical or civil rights lessons, and spontaneously making powerful connections from these lessons to their obtaining equal access. I have seen their eyes and hearts light up with sudden bril-

liance when a connection is made in the curriculum to a Deaf-centered concept. After seeing this, repeatedly, I am deeply convinced that a Deafcentered identity is not just for profoundly deaf children. It is like a coat of armor for all DHH children that makes them happier. Their self-esteem in a hearing school will be under frequent siege they grow up, but a Deaf identity and sense of pride will make them significantly healthier, emotionally. • How will the teacher work to meet the deaf child’s need in a system designed for auditory-based children? What type of assessments do they use? Are the tests deaf-normed? Or is there, for example, a heavy emphasis on phonics in reading instruction? Are the announcements delivered via loudspeakers only or also through visual messaging boards? How supportive and prompt is the administration with these needs? I remember working with a deaf child who was struggling academically. For a long time, I tried many avenues to get an appropriate assessment for this child. To the parent, the child seemed okay; she was cute, funny, and lovable. But as her teacher, I saw her limitations in learning. When I brought my concerns to the attention of the school psychologist, the reply was the job, for the triennial IEP, was to document on paper that the child was “still deaf ” so she could continue receiving services. Eventually, this child was transferred to a deaf school. Within 23

a few days the school’s assessment team had identified this child as having other issues related to retention and learning. Thus, they transferred this child to the school’s special needs department where she finally received the appropriate services she needed. • How will the DHH educator/staff involve the Deaf community and provide Deaf role models? It is within your rights to ask for a Deaf role model in your child’s IEP. The Administrators Special education programs, including the DHH program, are usually overseen by an administrator. Administrators typically have little to no background in Deaf education, although they may have a speech therapy background. Most have never taken a Deaf education course or even interacted with deaf people. This lack of training and knowledge about the population they serve is unfortunately common. Typically, they do not realize the benefits and importance of hiring fluent Deaf educators. Administrators should be held to the same standards you have. Ask 24

them the following questions—and be brave. You have power as a parent. The questions will gain you respect, even if grudgingly. • What credentials and trainings do you have pertaining to Deaf education? • Do you use ASL? Are you familiar with Deaf culture? • Is your program primarily taught in ASL? Why or why not? If the program uses Total Communication and systems of sign/signed supported speech such as Signing Exact English (SEE), keep in mind these are not languages. Such systems often don’t make sense, leading the child to be confused and disengage from what they are reading. Be very cautious and research it from a deaf perspective. Countless deaf people who learned ASL at an early age are beautifully proficient in English. • Does your staff regularly collaborate respectfully with deaf staff about the DHH students? For a successful mainstreamed educational experience, the DHH teacher, interpreter, ASL


specialist, speech-language pathologist, occupational therapist, and the general education teacher need to communicate weekly or biweekly on curriculum, lesson plans and the student’s ongoing progress in all areas. This can happen via a simple notebook, emails, or in person. Excellent education requires vigilant communication and being ahead of the game to ensure no gaps exist. How do you keep current in the Deaf education field? Do you attend the state’s Deaf education conferences, stay abreast of literature, and dialogue with deaf professionals? How do you go about hiring DHH teaching staff? What strategies do you employ in hiring the most qualified individuals from the deaf community? Are the deaf individuals then valued and respected as staff members? Are they regarded and treated as the experts in Deaf education? How do you ensure your staff’s ASL proficiency level? The speech-language pathologist and occupational therapist should be fluent, or at least be actively pursuing fluency. Sometimes there will be a DHH educator who happens to be hearing, but is fluent in ASL and is a community ally. Who evaluates the staff’s proficiency? (Hint: This should be

done by a deaf, native signer.) Are you taking steps to encourage the general education staff to learn signs? These questions are a good starting point to shine on how a mainstream program operates. Talk to other parents. Be skeptical and look closely. You may feel intimidated by the system, but be courageous and ask anyway. Seek the advice of qualified deaf professionals. Be your child’s advocate; your child will gain advocacy skills by watching you. Look into your child’s eyes daily to see if they are shining with happiness and fulfillment, or are exhausted and dull. Their eyes contain valuable information for you. Your child deserves the best anywhere an education is available. Rachel Zemach may be emailed at rachelztile@gmail.com. 25

An Overview of K-12 Educational Interpreting This RID Standard Practice Paper is republished with permission. Qualified educational interpreters/ of the IEP team. transliterators are a critical part of For students who do not require the educational day for children who specialized instruction, but do require are deaf or hard of hearing. This paper access to education through the use of addresses the legal requirements, roles an educational interpreter, Section 504 and duties of the educational inter- of the Rehabilitation Act is the law that preter, including qualifications, and ensures this service is provided. Section guidelines for districts when hiring an 504 or the Americans with Disabilities educational interpreter. Act (ADA) are the legal resources supIn 1975, Public Law 94-142 estab- porting interpreter service for schoollished the Education for all Handi- related, non-academic programs such capped Children Act, followed by the as summer programs, optional class Individuals with Disabilities Education trips and other activities. Act (IDEA). As a result, the continuum of educational placement options Qualifications expanded and requirements were estabK-12 educational interpreters/translished for an Individualized Education- literators, whose job it is to help make al Program (IEP) team to determine the education accessible for deaf or hard of educational needs of the child, and for hearing students, are part of a complex the school to provide a free, appropri- system. Simply knowing American Sign ate public education (FAPE). Because Language (ASL) or other forms of sign many students attend school in The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc., (RID) general education Standard Practice Paper (SPP) provides a framework of classrooms, the need basic, respectable standards for RID members’ professional for qualified educawork and conduct with consumers. This paper also provides tional interpretspecific information about the practice setting. This docuers is critical to the ment is intended to raise awareness, educate, guide and students’ opportuniencourage sound basic methods of professional practice. ty to be fully particiThe SPP should be considered by members in arriving at an pating mem- bers. appropriate course of action with respect to their practice Educational interand professional conduct. preters are identified It is hoped that the standards will promote commitment as related service to the pursuit of excellence in the practice of interpreting providers and are and be used for public distribution and advocacy. valued participants 26


language does not qualify an individual to be an interpreter. If interpreters are not highly qualified, they cannot provide students with access to a free, appropriate pub- lic education (FAPE). Professional sign language interpreters develop their specialization through exten- sive education, training and practice over a long period of time. There are various credentials that inter- preters may obtain in these specialty areas. Interpreting in the educational setting requires additional knowledge and skills relevant to children. In the classroom, the instructional content varies significantly according to grade level. In the primary grades, the interpreter needs a broad basic knowledge of the subject areas such as mathematics, social studies and language arts, and should have an understanding of child development. At the secondary level, the interpreter needs sufficient knowledge and understanding of the content areas to be able to interpret highly technical concepts and terminology accurately, as well as, be prepared to support the educational team in educational transitioning. When hiring or assigning an interpreter to a student, the individual skills and knowledge of an interpreter should be considered in order to meet the unique needs of the student. Throughout their careers, interpreters advance their knowledge, skills and professionalism through continuing

education and training, as well as, through participation in the profession’s national organiza- tion, the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID). Appropriate academic and professional credentials are an essential indicator of competence. RID, along with an increasing number of states, recognizes the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA) as a credential necessary for interpreters working in the educational setting. Although the required score on the EIPA for state standards may vary, RID recognizes interpreters as certified members (Ed:K-12 credential) who successfully pass both the written component of the EIPA as well as the performance component of the EIPA at a 4.0 or above. Both the National Association of the Deaf (NAD)-RID exams and the EIPA tests are standardized, psychometrically sound and evaluate measureable knowledge and skill sets, including judgment on issues of ethics, culture and professionalism. Educational interpreters should be credentialed using NAD-RID exams and/or the EIPA. RID currently requires members to have a two-year degree to sit for an NAD-RID certification exam. Effective June 30, 2012, a four-year degree will be required. In addition to recommended credentialing, an educational interpreter should also be able to demonstrate: • Ability to communicate and adapt, 27

• •

• •

• •

as a member of the educational team, on matters regarding interpreting and communication Fluency in written and spoken English Fluency in various forms of communication including ASL or the sign mode determined by the educational team Ability to both produce accessible language and understand child and adolescent signers An understanding of the stages of child development particularly as these relate to language development Knowledge specific to language development of deaf and hard of hearing children Knowledge of grade specific academic content

The Role of the Educational Interpreter/Transliterator The fundamental role of an interpreter/transliterator, regardless of specialty or place of employment, is to effectively and impartially facilitate communication between persons who are deaf or hard of hearing and hearing persons; including, but not limited to administrators, staff, teachers, service providers, parents and peers within the educational environment. The educational environment not only includes settings within the classroom but also: • Speech therapy and other related services • Field trips • Club meetings 28

Athletic practices and competitions • Extracurricular activities Along with the educational team, educational interpreters will help create and maintain an inclusive environment. To achieve this goal, interpreters will: • Interpret or transliterate in a mode that reflects the student’s language use, as outlined in the student’s IEP • Work with the classroom teacher to adapt classroom/school activities to promote participation of deaf or hard of hearing individuals • Model social strategies to encourage interaction between individuals who use sign language and those who do not • Ensure incidental information is interpreted • Provide plans for a substitute interpreter, as needed • Position themselves appropriately to assure visual access to educational content Professional Codes of Conduct Interpreters/transliterators, like many other professionals, adhere to a professional code of conduct. K-12 interpreters are to comply with the professional practices outlined by individual school districts. The EIPA Code of Professional Guidelines is another recommended resource for the K-12 setting. Furthermore, K-12 interpreters should read and be familiar with the NAD-RID Code of Professional Conduct. Fundamen-


tal professional practices for the K-12 interpreter are: • Follow the student’s IEP or Section 504 Plan • Maintain confidentiality – information is only shared within the educational team • Maintain professional boundaries, respect privacy of students and foster independent student learning • Provide an interpretation that meets the linguistic needs of the student • Conduct oneself appropriate to the academic setting • Demonstrate respect for students and colleagues • Engage in professional development activities • Prepare for classroom academic content, including previewing text books, teacher’s lesson plans or electronic presentation slides • Research technical educational vocabulary, as necessary • Preview educational films, as necessary • Provide information to teachers on how to access and utilize captioned media Non-Interpreting/ Transliterating Duties As a related service provider, educational interpreters/transliterators share their professional expertise while supporting the educational needs of deaf or hard of hearing students. When not interpreting or preparing for interpreting, other duties may be part of the

educational interpreter’s assignment, such as: • Presenting in-service training to classroom/school personnel about the roles and responsibilities of the interpreter and/or deaf/hard of hearing related issues • Working with teachers/staff toward the goal of increasing interaction between deaf or hard of hearing students and their peers • Providing academic support, such as tutoring the deaf or hard of hearing student, as outlined in the IEP and under the guidance of a certified teacher • Providing sign language support to classmates of the student who is deaf or hard of hearing • Providing information or referral regarding Deaf community resources Time for non-interpreting duties will vary from one work setting to another and may be influenced by a number of factors including: • The number of students who are deaf or hard of hearing in the school or district and distribution across grade levels and school buildings • The possibility of physical injury due to stress or overuse • The nature of the employment (full-time or part-time) • The interpreter’s education, experience, knowledge, skill and personal attributes • The qualifications and availability of the interpreting staff • The amount of interpreter 29

preparation time needed due to academic content Supervision It is the responsibility of the school or district administration to evaluate, supervise and support all staff. The complexities of the role and responsibilities of the educational interpreter/transliterator on staff are not always understood by the administrative team or the general education staff. When possible, it is beneficial for the supervisor to have knowledge of the role and specialized interpreting skills needed, along with general language development patterns for children of all ages who are deaf or hard of hearing. If the supervisor does not know how to assess interpreting skills, an outside expert may be consulted. Following are some general professional skills that can be assessed and supported by the administration: • Effectiveness as a team member, including interpersonal communication skills • Professionalism including being prepared for class and when appropriate, providing academic support (tutoring) in keeping with the goals of the teacher • Attire that complies with school policy and is appropriate for the visual communication needs of the student • Respect for all students including maintaining confidentiality of information about all students and staff 30

Ability to advocate for the needs of the student and the interpreter in all school settings • Consistent attendance and dependability • Participation in ongoing professional development that enhances interpreting skills and increases academic knowledge Ideally, interpreters within a school or district are given time to meet on a regular basis for professional growth and peer support. When possible, a lead interpreter or someone with the skills to assess interpreting competency as it relates to communication with children in the academic setting, is available to provide ongoing support. Mentors, possibly from the at-large community of interpreters, may also be valuable players in supporting the professional growth needed to increase the effectiveness of the interpreter’s work with the student. If these resources are not available within your district or community, appropriate in-service and skill training is often available in most states and via distance classes. Additional Resources • RID: www.rid.org • Educational interpreters toolkit: www.rid.org/content/index.cfm/ AID/131 • EIPA: www.classroominterpreting. com © 2010 the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. Written by the Professional Standards Committee, 1997-1999. REV4/00. Updated 2010.


Standardized Visual Communication and Sign Language Checklist By Laurene Simms, Sharon Baker, and Diane Clark Teachers and parents have long used developmental checklists to help monitor a child’s developmental progress. Researchers design these checklists based on what they recognize as age-typical developmental milestones. Teachers and parents can use checklists to help identify how a child should be performing at a specific age. That way, teachers and parents can know if the child is on a typical developmental trajectory and/or plan any necessary interventions. There are no standardized checklists with norms to evaluate deaf and hard of hearing children’s success in American Sign Language (ASL)/English bilingual classrooms. Therefore, the focus was on creating a new standardized scale, called the Visual Communication and Sign Language (VCSL) Checklist for Signing Children, referred to as the VCSL Checklist. The VCSL Checklist was designed to clearly document the developmental milestones of children from birth to age five who are visual learners and are acquiring sign language in a user-

friendly format that is accessible to parents and teachers, not just specialists and experts. To use the VCSL Checklist, one should be familiar with ASL linguistics. Parents can use the checklist, but if they are unfamiliar with the grammar of ASL, they should work with a teacher or early interventionist who has greater knowledge of ASL grammar. Parents who use the checklist and determine that their child may be behind in ASL acquisition should consult with their team of early interventionists to develop plans for further language evaluation. The checklist can also serve to indicate potential problem areas in a timely manner so that further in-depth remediation can be implemented to prevent serious and prolonged language delays. Following the administration and scoring procedures will allow parents, early 31

interventionists, and teachers to know if a child’s ASL development mirrors that of a child acquiring spoken language. Check vl2.gallaudet.edu for an online version soon. *The merged VCSL Checklist draws from the information and research included in the Signed Language Developmental Checklist (Mounty, 1994), Language Development Checklist (revised) (Evans, Zimmer & Murray, 1994), ASL Development Observation Record (California School for the Deaf-Fremont, n.d.), ASL Developmental Milestones (Marie Philip, the Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf & the Ontario Cultural Society of the Deaf, 2003), ASL Developmental Checklist (Laurent Clerc Center, 2010), ASL Developmental Stages (Ohio School for the Deaf, n.d.), ASL Linguistic/Cultural Behaviors (Kansas School for the Deaf, n.d.), and the Milestones of Language Development (Andrews, Logan, & Phelan, 2008). These prior measures were either teacher-developed to use in bilingual classrooms based on the need to access their students’ language development or early research-based measures that were long and complex to both administer and score. In addition to these school-based measures, research was included that has invested in the development of sign language in deaf and hard of hearing children (Anderson & Reilly, 1992; Masataka, 1992; Meier, & Willerman, 1995; Petitto & Marentette, 1991). – Reprinted from Sign Language Studies, Fall 2013


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.

Become a part of this innovative organization by joining today! See membership form on page 72. www.deafchildren.org 32


Gabby Douglas Supports 2013 Edition of Toys “R” Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids Toys“R”Us, Inc. has released its 2013 Toys“R”Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids®, an easyto-use toy selection resource for children with special needs. This annual, complimentary shopping guide is available in Toys“R”Us® and Babies“R”Us® stores nationwide and online, in both English and Spanish, at www.toysrus.com/DifferentlyAbled. This year’s edition features 2012 All-Around gymnastics gold medalist Gabrielle “Gabby” Douglas on the cover alongside Special Olympics Young Athletes Isabella Caesar and Samuel Lopez. “Having started gymnastics at a very young age, with cartwheels in the backyard and splits on the couch, I came to understand the importance of teamwork and the influence that positive play can have on a child,” said Douglas. The Guide puts products into one or more categories, including auditory, creativity, fine motor, gross motor, language, self-esteem, social skills, tactile, thinking and visual. Building on its nearly 20-year tradition of providing parents, caregivers and gift-givers with reliable toy recommendations for children with

special needs, through this year’s Guide, Toys“R”Us has introduced the Toys“R”Us App Guide for DifferentlyAbled Kids. Understanding the growing influence of technology during playtime, the App Guide features 25 apps identified to help children with special needs further develop key skills. “At Toys‘R’Us, we understand the 33

undeniable joy of watching a child overcome obstacles and experience victories through the magic of play, whether they’re learning to catch and throw a ball, role-playing through dress-up, playing a board game with siblings or learning the ABCs on their very first tablet,” said Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund Chair Kathleen Waugh. Through her support of this year’s Guide, Douglas is also helping cheer on aspiring Special Olympics athletes. The Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund has provided ongoing grants to Special Olympics. Most recently, it pledged $1 million to become a founding partner of the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games and presenting sponsor of the first-ever Young Athletes Festival, The 2014 Special Olympics USA Games will be hosted in New Jersey in June 2014.

A Virtual Guide Experience for Online Shoppers Customers who prefer to browse the catalog and make purchases from their own homes can also take advantage of the shop-by-skill option online at www.Toysrus.com/DifferentlyAbled. Shoppers can view the digital, flippable version of the Guide in both English and Spanish. Toys“R”Us also features product highlights from the Guide throughout the year and provide play and toybuying tips for children with special needs on its Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest accounts. The company will also highlight exclusive content on its social media channels, including a special video message from Gabby Douglas, behind-the-scenes footage and photos from the cover shoot.

App Guide for Differently-Abled Kids This year, Toys“R”Us partnered with Wynsum Arts, a social enterprise dedicated to making app discovery and mobile technology accessible to children of all abilities. Using the skills platform criteria featured in the trusted Guide, 25 apps were selected. Parents and caregivers can determine children’s specific skill-building needs, and then sort through the 25 apps for the most relevant. Like the Guide, at least two, color-coded skill-building icons are assigned to each app for easier identification. All apps featured within this helpful resource can be found in the Google Play Store for Android or the App Store for iOS.

Ongoing Commitment to the Special Needs Community Through the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund, a public charity affiliated with the company, Toys“R”Us, Inc. has long supported the special needs community. Organizations that receive support include American Society for Deaf Children, Autism Speaks, Best Buddies, Children and Adults with AttentionDeficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Eva’s Heroes, HollyRod Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Association, National Down Syndrome Society, National Lekotek Center, National Organization of Parents of Blind Children, Special Olympics, Spina Bifida Association and United Cerebral Palsy.






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Activ. Fee: May req. $36/line. Credit approval req. Early Termination Fee (sprint.com/etf): After 14 days, up to $350/line. IL Port-in Offer: Offer ends: 10/10/2013. $100 port-in credit for smartphones, feature phones and mobile broadband devices. Available only to eligible IL accounts with valid Corp. ID. Requires port-in from an active number (wireless or landline). Svc credit request must be made at sprint.com/promo within 72 hours from the port-in activation date or svc credit will be declined. Ported new-line must remain active 61 days to receive full svc credit. Excludes Nextel Direct Connect devices, tablets, upgrades, replacements, and ports made between Sprint entities or providers associated with Sprint (i.e., Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance), all CL and plans less than $10. Port-in Payment Expectations: Svc credit will appear in adjustment summary section at account level. If the svc credit does not appear on the first or second invoice following the 61st day, visit sprint.com/promo and click on “Where’s my Reward”. IndividualLiable Discount: Available for eligible company, org. or agency employees (ongoing verification) Discounts subject to change according to the company’s org.’s or agency’s agreement with Sprint and are available upon request for monthly svc charges on select plans. No discounts apply to second lines, Add-A-Phone lines or add-ons $29.99 or less. Other Terms: Offers and coverage not available everywhere or for all phones/ networks. Restrictions apply. Nationwide Sprint Network reaches over 283 million people. Sprint 4G LTE network reaches over 100 markets, on select devices. Visit www.sprint.com/coverage for info. Sprint 4G LTE devices will not operate on the Sprint 4G (WiMAX) network. Sprint 3G network (including roaming) reaches over 287 million people. See store or sprint.com for details. ©2013 Sprint. All rights reserved. Sprint and the logo are trademarks of Sprint. Android, Google, the Google logo, Google Play and Google Wallet are trademarks of Google Inc. The HTC logo, and HTC One are the trademarks of HTC Corporation. LTE is N135210 MV1234567 a trademark of ETSI. Other marks are the property of their respective owners.


2014 ASDC Conference

FA M I LY STRONG To g e t h e r We S t a n d

June 27 - 29, 2014 The Learning Center for the Deaf Framingham, Massachusetts www.tlcdeaf.org/ASDC2014 #FamilyStrong2014

848 Central Street, Framingham, Massachusetts 01701 V: 508-879-5110 VP: 774-999-0941 www.tlcdeaf.org



Mark Your Calendar! 2014 ASDC Conference

Family Strong: Together We Stand

The Learning Center for the Deaf (TLC) is hosting the 2014 ASDC Annual Conference June 27-29, 2014 in Framingham, Mass. The conference theme, “Family Strong,” focuses on celebrating families and equipping them with the tools and resources needed to thrive. This theme seems especially fitting given the conference’s location outside Boston where, following the Boston Marathon bombings, the rally cry of “Boston Strong” became synonymous with the pride, determination, and unity needed not only to survive but also to thrive in the face of challenges. With preparations underway for the conference, the conference workshops and social events will showcase the diversity of ASDC families and the pride, determination, and unity they display individually and collectively. TLC President and Executive Director Judith Vreeland says, “Hosting the ASDC Annual Conference is an extension of The Learning Center for the Deaf’s mission and core values, especially our three Cs: Competence, Character and Community.” She continues, “Giving our families,

and the many other families who will attend the conference, an opportunity to foster partnerships with the broader deaf communit y, building their competence by providing training and resources, and celebrating the depth of character it takes for them to be ‘Family Strong’ aligns beautifully with our mission.” Founded in 1970 and headquartered on a 14-acre campus in Framingham, Mass., TLC is the largest provider of educational services for deaf and hard of hearing children and their families in New England. Chris Kaftan, secondary school principal at TLC and chair of the 2014 ASDC conference committee says, “We look forward to welcoming families to our campus and to historic New England and to showcasing all of the ways “Family Strong” applies to the families with deaf and hard of hearing children.” TLC serves children and families from 86 towns in Massachusetts and 14 other states. Over 200 deaf and hard of hearing children are enrolled in 39

its on-campus programs and an additional 200 public school students in mainstream classrooms throughout the state receive consultation and support services from TLC. In addition, TLC impacts over 1,200 children and adults through community programs including: a full-service outpatient audiology clinic; American Sign Language classes; and the Walden Wraparound Program, a communitybased program for families. TLC is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC); Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and


Programs for the Deaf (CEASD); and Council on Accreditation (COA). It is the only school in the country to be accredited by all three. For more information about the 2014 conference, visit www.tlcdeaf. org/ASDC2014 or track #FamilyStrong2014 on Facebook and Twitter.



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Public Laws on Special Education Adapted from www. deafeducation4parents.com (website is no longer active). PL 94-142, 1975 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): Public Law (PL) 94-142 states that every child is eligible to receive a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE). Part B of IDEA: For ages 3 to 22, PL 94-142 established the means for nondiscriminatory testing and an annual Individual Education Plan (IEP). The IEP must cover the student’s current progress, list educational objectives and a means for implementing and evaluating progress on these objectives. Part C of IDEA: For birth to age 3, the Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) is a family-centered, legal document. This is a plan for services that may be provided to children identified with special needs, including deaf and hard of hearing children. It focuses on what services a family needs for themselves and their deaf child. Services may include home visits, services from a home or center-based program, sign classes for parents and caregivers, services from a teacher of deaf students, Deaf mentors, American Sign Language (ASL) specialists, speech pathologists,

audiologists, psychologists, and other health professionals as needed. For children aged two and a half to three, the IFSP includes a transition plan. This plan is to examine preschool educational options for the child. IEP stands for the Individualized Education Program. Children from age 3 to 22 have an IEP written and reviewed annually. The IEP is a child- centered, legal document regarding the educational needs of the child. Services that may be considered for the child include: placement options and additional resource services (speech/language therapy, adaptive physical education, educational interpreters, and audiological services). Any person involved with providing services may be part of the IEP team; this includes parents. Every year, the IEP team meets and reviews the progress over the past year, sets new educational goals and discusses any other relevant issues related to the 43

child’s education. Every three years, there is a triennial review to evaluate the child’s progress and review placement options and qualification (whether the child still qualifies for or requires services) issues related to the program. Section 504 Plans: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, are civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination and ensure that children with disabilities have equal access to an education. A 504 plan spells out the accommodations and modifications a student needs to perform at the same level as their peers. The 504 Plan has fewer procedural safeguards than IDEA. More information can be found at The National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities website at www.nichcy.org. Frequently asked questions about Section 504 and the education of children with disabilities can be found at www2.ed.gov/about/ offices/list/ocr/504faq.html.

The Latest on School Accountability

A push among parents, educators, and professionals began in the mid1990s for schools to be accountable for student progress and success. In 2001, the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act replaced the Elementary and Secondary Act, Title 1. Under NCLB, states set their own learning standards and developed state tests to measure students’ progress. Because the NCLB’s outcomes were dismal, the federal government is now encouraging states to adopt the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) by issuing NCLB waivers and providing incentives for schools through Race to the Top grants. The CCSS provides national uniformity by 44

clarifying exactly what students are expected to learn. Student progress in mathematics and English language arts is assessed using uniform standardized testing. A CCSS goal is to prepare students for college and the workforce while promoting critical thinking skills. A CCSS section focuses on listening and speaking, which is concerning for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, are visual, and use sign language. It is equally concerning for students whose first language is not English. It is crucial for parents to stay informed on how CCSS can affect their children.


Understanding What the IFSP Is By Jodee Crace The Indiv i d u a l F a m i l y Service Plan (IFSP) is the first educational plan for the whole family. The IFSP is a legal document mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, (IDEA), Part C, which details how developmental outcomes will be achieved for a deaf or hard of hearing child aged 0 to 3. Such outcomes are highly geared towards language and communication as well as promoting social-emotional, physical, self-help, and cognitive development. This plan involves a team of players such as the family, community, and service providers. A multidisciplinary evaluation is done by trained early intervention providers, recognizing strengths and identifying needs. In addition, the parents’ concerns and desires are noted. Next, the parents and the service coordinator write the IFSP together, which primarily lists outcomes, service provision, and who oversees these outcomes. An example of a common IFSP outcome is: “The family will be aware of early education resources and services pertaining to raising a deaf or hard of hear-

ing infant and toddler.” This outcome is general and focuses on the family as the primary key players. The focus shifts away from the infant or young child as needing intervention. Instead, the whole family is in this together. Within each outcome, short-term goals are listed with strategies, such as “the child will learn and use X number of age-appropriate words.” A provider who is best suited to facilitatethe outcomes is then chosen by the family. The provider conducts ongoing assessments to ensure that the outcomes are progressing as expected. The ultimate goal is for the family to be empowered in acquiring educational tools naturally and quickly in their home environments. The family can seek community resources such as parent and Deaf mentors, Deaf role models, peer-topeer playtime, and early childhood programs that includes play-based and family-centered activities to promote language learning. For resources, consult with Part C providers, early hearing detection and interventin programs, and the state school for the deaf’s outreach program. 45

Is My Child Receiving a Free Appropriate Public Education? By Michael Dorfman Any school district that accepts federal funds for assistance in the education of children with disabilities must comply with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act’s (IDEA) mandates as a condition of receiving the funds. The goals of IDEA include “ensuring that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education” (FAPE) and “ensuring that the rights of children with disabilities and parents of such children are protected.” What is FAPE? IDEA defines FAPE as an educational instruction “specially designed . . . to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability,” coupled with any additional related services that are “required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from [that instruction],” pursuant to an IEP. The education must, among other things, be provided “under public supervision and direction,” “meet the standards of the state educational agency,” and “include an appropriate preschool, elementary school, or 46

secondary school education in the state involved.” The instruction must, in addition, be provided at no cost to parents. Aside from the above definition for FAPE from IDEA, Congress has not defined what constitutes an “appropriate” education more specifically despite having the repeated opportunity to do so. Is Your Child Receiving an FAPE? Is your child’s IEP designed to meet your child’s specific, unique needs, and identify services that will help him or her receive the greatest benefit? Is your child receiving all the related services he or she is entitled to and being educated in a manner in which he or she can learn, including adaptive technology? If the answer is no, your child is probably not receiving a FAPE under the law.


What Steps Can You Take? When a party objects to the adequacy of the education provided, the construction of the IEP, or some related matter, IDEA provides procedural recourse. It requires that the state provide an “opportunity for any party to present a complaint . . . with respect to any matter relating to the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of the child, or the provision of a free appropriate public education to such child.” 1. Present your complaint. By presenting a complaint a party is able to pursue a process of review that, as relevant, begins with a preliminary meeting “where the parents of the child discuss their complaint” and the local educational agency “is provided the opportunity to [reach a resolution].”

made [by the hearing officer] shall have the right to bring a civil action with respect to the complaint.” Payment for Private School and Attorney’s Fees IDEA provides for at least two means of cost recovery. First, in certain circumstances it allows a court or hearing officer to require a state agency “to reimburse the parents [of a child with a disability] for the cost of [privateschool] enrollment if the court or hearing officer finds that the agency had not made a free appropriate public education available to the child.” Second, it sets forth rules governing when and to what extent a court may award attorney’s fees. A caveat is that attorney’s fees can be awarded to a school district as well if a parent does not prevail.

2. Have an impartial due process hearing. If the agency “has not resolved the complaint to the satisfaction of the parents within 30 days,” the parents may request an “impartial due process hearing,” conducted either by the local educational agency or by the state educational agency, and where a hearing officer will resolve issues raised in the complaint.

Consult an Attorney Attorneys are well versed in the latest case law and interpretations of FAPE and IDEA in the federal courts. If you believe your child is not receiving FAPE and is entitled to more services or technological aids for example, an attorney can examine the facts and determine whether you have a strong case to make. The school districts always have a bevy of attorneys to assist with these issues and you should too.

3. File a suit in federal court. If the resolution proposed is not acceptable to a party, the party may file suit in federal court: “Any party aggrieved by the findings and decision

Excerpts printed with permission from the Friendship Circle blog: www. friendshipcircle.org/blog/2013/07/16/ free-appropriate-public-education-fapeis-my-child-receiving-one. 47

Dispelling the Myths and Celebrating the Strengths of Schools for the Deaf By Jane Mulholland, Washington School for the Deaf Superintendent Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf Parents’ dreams for their children are universal: attend a good school, get a great education, and grow up to be healthy, happy, productive adults. For most, the decision about the school their children will attend is an easy one: the vast majority of children attend the schools closest to their homes. For a child who is deaf, the decision is suddenly not so simple. It can even be downright overwhelming. Instead of one obvious choice, parents often have a continuum of options, including general or special education at the neighborhood school, a center-based site, or a state School for the Deaf, which typically has both day school and residential components. While each has advantages and disadvantages, this article explores the strengths of a School for the Deaf, and debunks some myths associated with this setting. Let’s start with some myths often used to steer parents away from Schools 48

for the Deaf, and examine them in light of current practices. Safety: Schools for the Deaf, particularly because of residential components, are held to a higher standard than local public schools because the students live and learn in a 24-hour environment. Students are under close supervision and often have much stricter rules than in other school settings. Safety training is a top priority. For example, all staff at the Washington School for the Deaf must participate in 16 hours of safety training annually, and new staff must complete 32 hours of safety training within their first three months. No such requirement exists for local school employees. Additionally, Schools for the Deaf typically have solid programs to train staff in child abuse and neglect and how to report it, with a focus on not only the physical but also the mental well-being of students. If you have any questions about the school—you will find that the school welcomes the opportunity to share its policies, procedures, and training information. Inferior Education: Students who receive early services and support and


then attend a School for the Deaf in preschool develop at the same pace as their hearing peers. Similarly, students who transfer to a School for the Deaf during their early elementary years achieve outcomes commensurate with hearing peers. Sadly, such schools are often a choice made quite late in a child’s educational life. The average age of children transferring from public school is 12–13. Many are significantly delayed in language and academics and spend the rest of their middle school and high school years struggling to make up this deficit. In spite of this, Schools for the Deaf often offer these late-arriving students an opportunity to develop functional academics, career and work training, and a positive self-identity. Using ASL Inhibits Speech and English Language Acquisition: Some parents and professionals believe learning ASL will interfere with or inhibit the child’s acquisition of spoken and written English. There has never been data supporting this, and Laura Ann Petitto’s 2009 research confirms this is not true. As most countries know, being bilingual or trilingual enhances a child’s cognitive development and is a strong contributor to success as a student and adult. Learning ASL as a first or second language stimulates the language pathways in the brain. There is no research or anecdotal evidence to indicate learning ASL has anything other than a positive effect on a child’s educational achievement, nor does it inhibit the acquisition of speech. It is ironic that “baby sign” is seen as a best practice for hearing children, but is not allowed for many deaf

children. Parents Will “Lose” Their Child: Some parents are afraid if their child goes to a School for the Deaf as a residential student, they will lose the child once the child discovers the Deaf community. Clearly, the enviroment at the school promotes a unique common experience, camaraderie, and friendship among students and staff; however, this only serves to strengthen family relationships where communication, love and engagement exist in the home. The expression, “blood is thicker than water,” is just as true with deaf children. Some of the characteristics of a highperforming School for the Deaf that make this a rich educational environment are: Highly-Qualified Staff: More than 90% of teachers at Schools for the Deaf have master’s degrees in deaf education as well as undergraduate degrees in content areas such as elementary education, science or math. The services staff is also fully prepared in their area of expertise (i.e., counseling, school psychology, audiology, speech language pathology) and is able to communicate directly with the students in ASL. Para49

educators, nursing staff, and residential try schools that used to be the norm: supervisors as well as administrators more individual attention, a sense of are fluent in ASL and trained to work community and belonging, strong relawith deaf and hard of hearing students. tionships with adults, full opportunity Communication Accessibility: At for participation in all aspects of school most Schools for the Deaf, the goal is life. At Schools for the Deaf, the small for every employee to have knowledge class sizes and caring, deeply commitof ASL, with most staff being fluent. ted staff make it virtually impossible for This adds to the safety of the environ- a student to fall through the cracks. ment, and provides students with direct Continuity of Curriculum: Schools access to information and support. In for the Deaf usually have curriculum other words, this unrestricted access to staff whose role is to pursue best praclanguage and communication offers the tices in instruction, as well as ensure students the . . .this unrestricted access to the K-12 same access curriculum is to adults and language and communication aligned from peers as hear- offers the students the same one grade ing children level to the have every- access. . .as hearing children next and is day in their have everyday in their schools. in agreement schools, and with state encourages them to become culturally and federal standards. This is possible competent bilinguals. because all school programs are centralIntensive Services: Most Schools for ized with common expectations. Schools the Deaf have a critical mass of students for the Deaf often have additional staff and can offer a full range of services such resources to support instruction such as as classroom instruction from a teacher ASL, reading, math, science, social studof deaf students, direct communication ies and transition services. between students and teachers/related Peer Interactions: Research demonservices staff rather than relying on an strates peers have a significant influence interpreter, related services staff locat- on language acquisition. In a School for ed in the same building or on the same the Deaf, students communicate directly campus, highly-skilled cochlear implant with each other, engage in small or large and speech therapy support, nursing, group discussions, and fully participate and comprehensive residential servic- in collaborative learning activities. The es. This is often a challenge in local result is students acquire age approprischools, especially when there are only ate social and academic language skills. a few deaf/hard of hearing students in A Focus on Abilities Rather Than a district. Disabilities: Students at a School for Small School Advantages: We remem- the Deaf feel, and are, normal. Deaf ber the advantages of the small coun- and hard of hearing students want to 50


be like everyone else. They don’t want to stand out; they do want to participate in all school activities. At a School for the Deaf, they aren’t the only ones with interpreters, hearing aids or cochlear implants. Rather, they are just kids, focusing on school work, building relationships, playing sports, developing leadership skills, and getting the most out of their school experiences. Extracurricular Activities: Athletics, clubs, and social activities are what keep many students, hearing or deaf, in school. These opportunities help students develop their self-esteem, personal skills and interests, and instill a sense of belonging. A School for the Deaf is typically small enough that virtually every child is welcomed and valued on athletic teams, can be involved with student leadership, and can fully explore his or her interests. Deaf Role Models Motivate and Inspire Students: Deaf and hard of hearing students need to learn from and develop relationships with deaf adults. This affords students the opportunity to learn about themselves and their own potential. Deaf adults who have successfully navigated the educational pathways of their own life experiences are perfectly suited to guide, mentor and support students as they explore their interests and set their goals for the future. Schools for the Deaf have excellent deaf instructors, residential staff, related services staff, and employees in other departments throughout the campus who provide students with clear examples of what they are capable of, and help mentor students in achiev-

ing their dreams. Parent Support: Schools for the Deaf provide support in learning sign language, helping parents meet other parents of deaf children and successful deaf adults, and accessing information to better prepare parents in meeting their deaf children’s needs. Accurate Assessment and Capacity to Report on Student Outcomes: Schools for the Deaf have professionals trained in administering and interpreting assessments for deaf students. Staff with this unique training are rarely available at local public schools. Because Schools for the Deaf tend to be small, the staff is able to monitor student performance closely. Local public schools or districts typically do not have the capacity to collect this information; therefore, it is almost impossible to know how well deaf students are doing as a group. In the past 40 years, CEASD has seen the deaf education field change considerably through advancements in technology, instructional practices and educational outcomes, the advent of bilingual education, increased focus on student safety and social/emotional development along with many other innovations. CEASD believes that one thing remains constant: Schools for the Deaf can provide language-rich, high- quality educational and leadership opportunities where deaf and hard of hearing students and their families receive the services and support they like their hearing peers – are entitled to and so clearly deserve. CEASD’s website is at www.ceasd.org. 51

Teaching Your Child to Use Videophones Video relay services (VRS) empower deaf children to reach out to friends and family, helping avoid communication isolation. VRS can also provide security for children who are home alone or traveling away from home. But when should parents begin to expose their children to videophones (VPs) and VRS? Eugenia, an Alabama School for the Deaf teacher and a former VRS interpreter, says deaf children should be exposed to the videophone as babies. “Hearing children see parents using the telephone from infancy. By observing this modeling, they learn to use the telephone naturally. Deaf children should have the same environmental access. As a relay interpreter, it was not uncommon for me to see a mother hold her baby in front of the VP so Grandma or others could see and sign to the child. By doing this, the conversation grows naturally as the child ages.” Eugenia also stresses the importance of parent advocacy in providing VP/VRS access early in the child’s life not only at home, but also on mobile devices as well. VRS providers, such as Sorenson Communications, offer apps for mobile devices at no cost. Sorenson’s line of ntouch® products provide communication access anywhere there is an internet or wireless connection. 52

This access can increase a child’s safety and provides access to 911. “Hearing children learn about using 911 as soon as they enter school,” she says. “Deaf children need the same access to emergency services.” Chris, the father of three deaf children and one hearing child, says his children began using the VP when they were about six years old. Other parents allow their children to begin using the VP as early as three years of age. Chris’s first step was to teach his children how to answer the VP. He then taught them how to dial the VP. As a Sorenson Communications customer, he appreciated the Contacts List Sorenson offers, with icons next to each contact’s name. This format made it easy for his children to find the person they wanted to call. Once they could place calls, Chris implemented simple rules and


etiquette. For safety reasons, his children were not allowed to answer the VP unless they knew the caller, and the Call History List was regularly deleted. Chris also taught his children that calling repeatedly and calling and hanging up was not acceptable. Now that his two oldest children are eight and seven years old, he plans to teach them about 911. With every child’s development being different, there is no “perfect” age for a child to begin using the VP. Once parents feel their children are ready, it is important for the child to have communication access for social and safety uses. To learn more about VRS and products and features that make it easy for children to communicate, visit www.svrs.com/products.

ASDC Referral Hotline Are you a parent or professional with a question, comment or concern? ASDC has a referral hotline. Our trained staff is available to answer your questions. Just call (800) 942-2732 or (202) 644-9204 VP.


Deaf Education: A New Philosophy Research at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) is shifting the way deaf students are being educated. Recent research suggests that even with qualified interpreters in the mainstreamed classroom, educators need to understand deaf children learn differently, are more visual, and often process information differently than their hearing peers. Research Findings at NTID A popular assumption in education for many years was that deaf students are the same as hearing students except that they simply don’t hear. But research at NTID is contradicting that belief, and consequently altering the way deaf students are being taught. “We’re changing the face of deaf education around the world,” says Dr. Marc Marschark, professor and director of NTID’s Center for Education Research Partnerships (CERP). “You can’t teach deaf kids as though they are hearing kids who can’t hear. It’s not about ears and it’s not about speech versus sign language. It’s about finding their strengths and needs. The historical approach to deaf education simply doesn’t work well enough to get deaf students where they need to be.” 54

Myers Creative Imaging

By Greg Livadas RIT University News

Through the center’s research, thousands of deaf and hard of hearing students – from children as young as five to college students – have been tested in Australia, the Netherlands, England, Scotland, and on the RIT campus in Rochester, N.Y., to determine how they acquire new knowledge and how that knowledge is organized, understood, and communicated to others. Studies involve everything from tracking eye movements and performing memory tasks to attending experimental “classes” taught by deaf and hearing teachers. For hearing children, a flood of information arrives constantly from background noises, ambient conversations, even words heard on the television. Deaf children may not have the same opportunities to learn through hearing, but they have different opportunities, Marschark points out. But does it matter whether the child has deaf or hearing parents? Whether the child uses sign language or his or her voice? Whether the child uses a cochlear implant?


Recent research findings show: The deaf students who perform best academically usually are the ones whose parents have effectively communicated with them from an early age. • Early language skills, both American Sign Language and spoken language, correlate with reading ability, with no evidence that one is necessarily better than the other. • Most deaf students’ difficulties in reading are mirrored by difficulties in understanding sign language. • Deaf and hard of hearing children entering school often are lagging behind hearing children in their knowledge of the world, number concepts, and problem-solving skills, not just in language. • Deaf students do not always learn, think, or know in the same ways as hearing children. •

of Health, and contracts or gifts from foundations, U.S. organizations, and foreign governments. CERP has roots as early as 2002, when it was awarded its first NSF grant to study factors thought to influence deaf students’ learning through sign language and barriers that hinder classroom learning. The following year, a second NSF grant was awarded for research to study communication and technological barriers to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education for deaf and hard of hearing students. “One thing we found in our early studies is that despite what some people claim, deaf students’ difficulties in mainstreamed classrooms could not be blamed on interpreters,” says Marschark. “We started realizing some differences between deaf and hearing students: how their memory works, the organization of their knowledge, and their learning strategies are simply different. So for mainstream teachers, you can’t assume the deaf students coming into your class know the same things or learn the same way as your hearing students. For example, deaf people’s visual-spatial memories are better than hearing people’s. But sequential memory isn’t as good.”

CERP’s Origins CERP occupies much of the north wing of the first floor of the Mark Ellingson Residence Hall and has a laboratory and office area in Peterson Hall. Five of the 10 staff members are graduates of NTID’s master of science program in secondary education; five are nationally certified sign language interpret- The deaf students who perform ers. All of its funding best academically usually are – more than $6 million so far – is from grants the ones whose parents have from the National effectively communicated with Science Foundation, them from an early age. the National Institutes


For decades, expectations of education for deaf students have been lower than for their hearing peers. Fifty percent of deaf and hard of hearing students graduating high school in the U.S. read at or below fourth-grade levels. But research by Marschark and others shows that how much hearing one has doesn’t predict how much they’ll learn, either as children or adults. “Whether you use a hearing aid or a cochlear implant or are a native signer who uses ASL, they each have advantages,” he says. “But by the time they’re in college, all of that is washed out. Their experience has leveled it out.” History of Deaf Education Deaf children for centuries have not been educated as well as their hearing peers. Still today, there are no schools or provisions for teaching deaf children in many countries. Prior to the advent of television and wireless pagers, deaf people in the U.S. used to gather at clubs or on street corners to share the latest news in sign language. Then a movement grew to educate deaf children orally and encouraged (or forced) them to use their voices. In 1960, linguist William C. Stokoe recognized ASL as a bona fide language, complete with its own syntax and linguistic features. More schools started to utilize American Sign Language 56

as the language of instruction. The Americans with Disabilities Act, signed into law in 1990, also marked a change in education for deaf and hard of hearing children. More parents of deaf children were sending them to mainstreamed schools, which are required to provide necessary accommodations to ensure their education. That could include interpreters in the classroom, but qualified interpreters weren’t always found, especially in rural areas. Today, Marschark says 86 percent of deaf students in the U.S. are in mainstreamed programs all or part of the day. In many cases, they are the only deaf or hard of hearing student in their school. “Mainstreamed teachers think that if they remove the communication barriers they can teach their deaf kids as though they are hearing kids. Now that we’ve discovered some of the differences in how deaf and hard of hearing students learn, we want to know how to turn that knowledge into more effective teaching strategies. We’re in a


position to educate parents and mainstream teachers about how these kids are different. Using the memory example, given their difficulties of retaining sequences, if you arrange material visually and spatially, deaf kids would do better.” Marschark is taking his research out of the laboratory and into classrooms and lecture halls around the world. He gives invited presentations more than 20 times a year and has written several books on the subject. In the summer of 2013, Marschark gave nine presentations describing various aspects of their findings on a lecture tour in Australia, presenting to parents, teachers, researchers, interpreters and other professionals involved in deaf education. He also described CERP research findings in meetings with Australian government agencies and a variety of professional groups. In 2009, CERP launched a website intended as a clearinghouse for objective answers to questions about raising and educating a deaf child. To date,

dozens of questions have been asked and answered on the site, which has had more than 80,000 visitors from around the world. Many of his findings today about deaf students’ learning would not have been politically correct to utter just a few years ago, he says. “Five years ago we thought the same thing, but we didn’t have the evidence. Now we know it’s true,” he says. “In the past, saying things like this upset people. But the climate has changed. People are accepting that differences don’t mean deficiencies. Now people better accept their strengths and weaknesses.” Today, fewer schools specializing in education for deaf students exist. And several have been eyed for closure in the near future due, in large part, to dwindling enrollments. “Rather than closing them, we need more programs that understand how to educate deaf kids,” Marschark says. “The mainstream as it exists now is not necessarily the best place for many deaf students. Sure, a kid doing OK in the mainstream will stay there. But he could be a star in another setting. The status quo is not good enough.” Changing Attitudes A lot of parents think that if their deaf child learns sign language, it will interfere with learning to speak. “Not true,” says Marschark. “Early sign language actually can support later spoken language for children with or without cochlear implants.” 57

And his research shows that if a deaf child knows English as well as sign language, he or she tends to do better academically, socially, and with language development. “Literacy is a big challenge,” Marschark says. “For 100 years, we’ve made very little progress at improving deaf kids’ reading. Current research suggests that we’ve been looking in the wrong place. The reading problem is not about reading. It’s about comprehension. They learn just as much from what they read as what is signed or spoken. It’s counterintuitive for many people, I know, but the evidence is very clear.” Just as there were varying opinions on whether deaf students should sign or speak, more recent controversy existed with the improvement of technological advances and cochlear implants (CI). More than 275 students at RIT/NTID currently have CIs, which enable them to hear some sounds. For years, implants were controversial in the Deaf (the uppercase D denotes those who see themselves as part of a linguistic-cultural minority) community, especially for young children with hearing parents. Many were afraid those children would never be exposed to sign language or their rich cultural history. “We’re not interested in the political or the philosophical. We’re sensitive to those issues, but we’re trying to figure out how we can best support learning in the classroom for students of all ages,” Marschark says. 58

Dr. Louis Abbate, president emeritus of the Willie Ross School for the Deaf in Longmeadow, Mass., Marc Marschark, Ph.D. said CERP’s research was looked at when the school rewrote its mission five years ago. The school, founded in 1967, used to stress only oral communication for its students. Now, with an integrated campus, they need the flexibility to teach students orally or in sign language or both. “We needed the flexibility to respond to the needs of each student,” Abbate said. “Marc was the first person we went to when we wanted to look at our communication model.” Abbate has often referred parents to CERP’s website: “The answers are very balanced and very reasonable. We use that all the time. So many parents are faced with either/or decisions early on, and they usually get pushed in one direction. Marc’s work is balanced. It talks about the value of different approaches and how they can be integrated with one another.” Dr. James DeCaro, professor and dean emeritus of NTID, says CERP’s work is an asset to the field of education of the deaf and to RIT/NTID. “Marc continues to build the preeminent research center in our field addressing these important teaching and learning issues,” DeCaro said. “We are lucky to have him here at RIT.”


A Parent’s Perspective on Mainstreaming By Karen Horvath Peering at my premature daughter through the NICU incubator, I realized when the arm access doors shut with a loud click that she would not pass her hearing screening. I smiled and immediately thought, “I have hearing loss, I have a bachelor’s degree in ASL/ English interpreting, I’m an dually-certified interpreter through the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, I teach infant sign classes, I am trained to work in early intervention with families of children with hearing loss, my other children have been signing since birth…we got this! Thank you, God! You have most certainly put this child in the right family!” My beautiful, tiny Karrington (Kara) was born with a cleft lip and a cleft palate. After several newborn hearing screening attempts and the nurse calmly reassuring me that, “Sometimes this machine just acts up for no reason” we finally got the referral for possible hearing loss. As if the two hearing aids in my own ears were not a glaring clue that perhaps, this really was an accurate assessment. After almost a year, we finally got a confirmed diagnosis. Kara has bilateral, fluctuating hearing loss. In layman’s terms, both ears have some degree of hearing loss. Some days she seems completely deaf, some days she seems hearing, most days are somewhere in between.

Choosing to work with her strength, knowing that her eyes are always 100 percent and her ears are never going to be, she was exposed to ASL from day one as her primary language. She was purposefully thrust into the Deaf community as often as possible to expose her to fluent signers. At her first Deaf event, she was passed around the group, because I explained that she needed them and I’d take her back when it was time to leave. She was their baby, too. She needed them, I needed them, the whole family needed them. We still do and always will. I still remember the tears in one lady’s eyes as she signed, “I wish my mom had done the same!” That sentiment was echoed throughout the crowd. I knew immediately that we were on the right track. From the time Miss Kara was 18 months old to 3 years, we traveled the three and half hours each way to our deaf school. To me, any exposure was 59

better than none. We were not there regularly or as often as I wanted to be, but we were there when we could until she was ready to move out of First Steps and into the mainstream environment. Although we loved the deaf school, we didn’t want to board our daughter and have strangers raise her. We wanted to be foundational, participatory members in our daughter’s life experience. So we had to come up with something that would work until she was old enough to decide to go or until we could afford to sell our house and move. It was simply a matter of distance and who was going to raise my daughter. We chose to jump in full force and give her the best Deaf experience we could in the best way we could. Our mainstreaming experience hasn’t always been roses and sunshine. We ended up filing for non-compliance and dealing with fighting for every tiny bit of support she needed. We fought over whether the interpreter should follow her around and correct her speech. Yes, they actually wanted that to be in the IEP. My husband asked how many hearing students had a person following them around to correct their speech. Their answer proved our point. We fought over getting a personalized FM system for a three-year old. We 60

fought over getting a Deaf mentor. We fought over how many interpreters would be on the team (I wanted more than one for a variation of language models), we fought so much that our IEP conferences averaged about four hours and ended with an eruption of ADA quotes and me challenging them to explain why many of their deaf and hard of hearing students got such bad grades and fail so often. I was fully prepared to beg every person and organization I knew to come hold a rally on our school’s steps for Kara’s right to a bilingual educational experience. Through parent web groups like Listen-Up, I was mentored with love by others who had been down our path, and spent countless unpaid hours answering my questions and reading over my emails. We were not doing business as usual; we were doing it my way because the school’s way obviously wasn’t working! I earned the title “Momma Bear” and wore that with pride. After the battles were over and we’d won a minimal victory, I’d cry in the car and then go home to punch the pillows on my bed, thinking, “Why is it SOOOO difficult to do it right?” I now know why so many parents give up. It is not an excuse, but the neverending battle for every little inch is


completely exhausting. As a former “professional only,” I apologize now for all of the negative thoughts I’ve had of parents over the years. I may not agree with dropping the fight, but I really do understand now why it was dropped. I encourage you to jump back on that ship. Your child is worth it! Looking back at our first IEP meeting, I have to smile. We had more advocates involved than the school personnel in attendance. I also had several “experts” on stand-by for a text message from me to clarify things. They had to bring in more chairs and we had the deaf school on speaker phone with its team. We were up for a horribly rocky first few years in which we would make changes until we found out what worked for her. We’ve changed classroom teachers, interpreter set up, itinerant teachers, special education liaisons, speechlanguage pathologists and even the principal since that first meeting and I’m thrilled to share that our team finally works! What did I want that was so revolutionary? We didn’t want the standard paraprofessional with SEE2 signing skills focused on speech. We wanted an education! We wanted a full language experience. We wanted Kara to be Kara and not have to compromise on what worked for her simply because of ignorance or stubbornness on the

school’s end. I even sent a copy of Rachel Coleman’s (of Signing Time fame) blog post, I’m Sorry Your Child is Stupid, to each IEP team member before one of our conferences. I remember reading it with tears streaming down my face. Finally, something that fully embraced and explained my outrage at the school for doing what has always been done. This is what we did: • Speech work only during speech time (Gasp!). Kara was at school to learn school related subjects, not to learn how to talk and listen. If her peers were focusing on math and reading, she would too. She would not be exhausting herself by trying to figure out what they were even saying. • ASL, ASL, ASL (period!): ASL is a language. Kara needs to be fluent in a language so there is no other approach. Her ears are always less than 100% effective and her eyes are always completely accessible. • Conceptually Accurate Signed English: This was acceptable



during reading times. A Deaf mentor (nonnegotiable): If we were going to place her in a mainstream setting, she needed fluent language models and positive self-esteem. She has a collegeeducated, funny, articulate, beautiful, Deaf adult to look up to and talk about what it is like to have hearing loss in a hearing world. Interpreter rotating schedule versus individual interpreter: We tried both and we are still working it out) The bottom line is consistency, quality, and exposure to more than one fluent signing adult. Hearing children have a multitude of English models, so my child would have a multitude of signing models, too. Teacher of the Deaf (TOD): We wanted a TOD who actually had ASL proficiency and could directly interact with my daughter. Our first TOD only used SEE2 and wasn’t allowed to interact with Kara without the interpreter. After two years, we have a TOD who knows ASL and Deaf culture. (PAH!) A detailed notebook of language monitoring that is shared between home and the school weekly. This is to make sure that Kara is on target with language. In the summer, we attend every Deaf event we

can find, including a week-long overnight summer camp. Kara is now in the first grade, and we can see the fruits of all that labor. Kara has been class president for the month! She is reading at a second-grade level and doing above grade level on everything she does. Her entire classroom is learning ASL. She is confident, sweet, and has integrity that makes this Momma Bear proud. It wasn’t easy! It happened through blood, sweat, and tears, and a few Momma Bear emails to the Indiana Dept. of Education and the school board. There may have even have been an “off the record” chat or two with local TV stations/newspaper reporters. There may even have been a chat with a legislator or two about the situation of DHH children in public schools. Basically, if you were willing to listen, I was going to tell you exactly what I thought about Deaf education in Indiana! Again, it was never easy, but it was worth every single second. I recently had the privilege of observing her classroom. Every child is signing! Kara has a leadership role in teach-


ing some signs for what they are learning as they learn it. There are times that if the student wants to “talk” they can, if it is with their hands! Kara has recently been asking about her heritage as a Deaf child (she self-identifies as Deaf, but is audiologically hard of hearing) and she is saddened by what she has learned about the history of her people. She signs when she wants to or when she isn’t understood (her speech is still not clear) and she talks when she wants; she has no animosity towards English or speech. Her friends talk/sign and know how to work with the interpreter. She can’t believe that people like her were once physically hurt when they signed. She is completely comfortable

in a room of hearing people and a room of Deaf people. She loves music, especially seeing her interpreter sign it. She loves watching Deaf Professional Arts Network videos; she was even in one of the videos as the little one running down the end of the hall and climbing up the rope swing in the gym. She is a bilingual success in a mainstream environment. She is proof that it can work! Karen is a Hard of Hearing mom of three amazing children who have varying degrees of hearing loss. Currently, she is an educational interpreter mentor for the state of Indiana, a private practice interpreter, and a workshop presenter focusing on common-sense practices to build literacy in educational interpreting.

I Deafinitely Can! The Endeavor features 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, email the editor at asdctami@aol.com. Deadline: January 15, 2014 63

Parents Are Educational Team Members and Advocates By Mich Bignell, B.S., NIC As parents, we are the experts on our children. We know them better than anyone else, and we know what they like/dislike, how they learn, and what they need. And, unfortunately, our kids enter some school settings that are, putting it politely, not deaf-friendly. Whether it is just an uninformed teacher or a hostile administrator, there are times when we will need to stand up for what our children need in order to succeed in school. That means we have to wear yet another “hat” – the hat of special education advocate. But where do we start? The most important detail to remember is that you really are the expert when it comes to your child. Sure, the school staff may hold degrees in various disciplines and they may be experts in those areas, but only you know your child. Some of these staff have never even met your child, so they really need your


input and expertise to develop appropriate plans. Do not be intimidated by the “experts” because you are an equal member of the educational team with equal expertise to share. Keeping all that in mind, there are other practical ways in which to be the educational advocate your child needs. Be prepared for the Individualized Education Program (IEP)/case conference meetings. • Be organized. Put together a binder that you take and use at all meetings. Include current medical tests, audiograms, IEPs, educational testing, and copies of relevant communications with the school. • Know your rights and your child’s rights. Every year schools are required to give parents a copy of their parental rights. Read this and know what it means. If you don’t understand it, ask for clarification until you do. • Know what the laws pertaining to education say. It is important to know what rights these laws give our kids. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004) and your state’s version of its special education law are the two most important to learn about. • Know your state’s interpreter standards and laws. Require that all interpreters, including substitutes,


meet or exceed these standards. Ask to see credentials. If an interpreter does not have credentials, they are not professionally recognized and should not work with your child. Make sure that interpreters who work with your child are attending the meeting as participants, not as working interpreters. Be sure that there is a different interpreter scheduled to interpret the meeting. You will want to request this in writing prior to the meeting so that the school has time to make arrangements. Know what services are available in your area and on the Internet. Most state agencies have a deaf services center that has this information or can help you find it. These agencies are often under the Health and Human Services Department or the Family and Social Services Department. Know what you want for your child. Make a list of your child’s strengths and weaknesses to use in developing a plan that best meets these needs.

• Take an advocate with you. Sometimes an objective view is invaluable and it is your right to bring an advocate with you. Attend the case conference. • Be aware that if parents fail to show up for case conference meetings, school staff can develop an IEP without them. • Have your child attend every case conference (regardless of age). This meeting is about them and their needs, having them there reminds the educational team of that fact. • Develop appropriate goals for your child to meet their needs, not the needs of the school, staff, or program. • Become part of the solution. School budgets are very tight and many administrators will try to cut corners wherever they can so be sure that your child’s right to equal education and equal communication are not among the cuts. If schools say they cannot do something or cannot find the appropriately credentialed staff, ask for proof of whom they have contacted and offer suggestions of others to contact. The best way to head off potential problems is to be proactive in preventing them from happening in the first place. Some ways to proactively address these issues so that they do not become problems are: Develop a communication plan. • Address how your child will communicate not just in class, but also during convocations/school65

wide meetings, field trips, cafeteria/ recess times, bus transportation and extracurricular activities. Make sure the school insists that outside groups bringing in presentations have captioned media. • Be sure to include social communication. • Make sure that your child has ASL linguistic models other than the interpreter. • Include a “plan B contingency”— Accessibility is not an afterthought. Be sure there are specific plans for covering substitute interpreters, CART (if school servers go down), dead hearing aid or cochlear implant batteries, and noncaptioned/inaccessible media. Incorporate assistive technology (AT) and other accessibility features. • Insist on meaningful training including troubleshooting for all pertinent staff. • Be clear that captioned media is non-negotiable. This is how your child will access audio portions on video material and it helps improve literacy. YouTube and websites (including school websites) are notorious for being non-captioned. 66

• Make sure your child is being taught how to use and manage FM systems, hearing aids and cochlear implants independently. • Address how student produced projects and school-produced materials need to be accessibleThis teaches all students how to implement universal design features in their work and respect for each other. Insist on sensitivity and awareness. • Make sure the school holds Deaf Awareness celebrations and highlights deaf and hard of hearing role models. • Hold the school accountable for modeling appropriate communication with deaf and hard of hearing people (students, parents, and community members). • Ensure that auditory-based projects have an equal visual component that is available to all students, not only the deaf or hard of hearing student. • Be sure library materials include deaf-friendly and ASL resources. Communicate with staff. • Write an introductory letter or make a PowerPoint presentation about your child and their needs. • Call a meeting at the beginning of each school year, at the new semester, when there are new teachers or student-teachers, or when needed. Be sure that coaches and club sponsors, staff from the cafeteria, library, nurse’s office, main office, and security office, attend as well so that they can


ask questions about how best to communicate with your child and plans can be made. • Keep in contact with teachers on a regular basis. Let them know about problems right away. Be sure to let staff know when they are doing things right, too. For example, send them an email telling them how much you appreciate them and their efforts on behalf of your child. • Be sure you offer your help to school staff when you can. Develop self-advocacy goals. • Focus on accessibility. For example, the proper way to handle noncaptioned media, interpreters that do not show up or are not an appropriate language match. • Be sure your child knows how to request interpreters and other services available in your area. • Make sure goals are culturally appropriate for both the hearing and the Deaf communities. Advocacy and skills checklists are available from Clark and Scheele (2005) and Gallaudet University (see www.deafchildren.org). There will be situations where even our best efforts at advocacy can fall short. We need to know what to do next in order to ensure that our kids receive the services they need at school. Hold the school accountable. • Know the proper chain of command and use it. • Call new case conference meetings, if needed. • Do not be afraid to file a complaint with the state Dept. of Education.

• Do not be afraid to file for a due process hearing. In this situation, the partnership between parents and schools has likely broken down and has become more adversarial. Schools depend on the idea that parents will not file for such hearings because they are timeconsuming and costly. Parents should find an advocate or attorney to help with this legal process. Lastly, I encourage you to take your advocacy to the next level. Here are a few other ways to promote awareness and advocacy in your community. • Enroll in advocacy trainings and workshops. • Become active in the parentteacher organization for the school. • Attend school board meetings. • Attend law/policy promulgation hearings. • Become involved in the state chapters of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD) and the Registry for Interpreters for the Deaf (RID). • Contact the local media. • Find other parents who are having the same issues. Working together can prove systemic problems exist and need to be dealt with. It is harder for schools to ignore a whole group of parent-advocates. • Become an advocate and use your expertise to help other families. The motivation for our advocacy is our children and ensuring that they get what they need to have language-rich environments and the opportunity to thrive. 67

ASDC’s Renewing Educational and Organizational Members Alabama Institute f/t Deaf and Blind 205 East South St. Talladega, AL 35160 256-761-3215 www.aidb.org American School f/t Deaf 139 North Main St. West Hartford, CT 06107 860-570-2300 www.asd-1817.org Arizona School f/t Deaf and the Blind PO Box 88510 Tucson, AZ 85754 520-770-3468 www.asdb.az.us Arkansas School f/t Deaf 2400 W. Markham St. Little Rock, AR 72205 501-324-9543 www.arschoolforthedeaf. org Beverly School f/t Deaf 6 Echo Avenue Beverly, MA 01915 978-927-7070 www.beverlyschoolforthedeaf.org California School f/t Deaf 39350 Gallaudet Drive Fremont, CA 94538 510-794-3685 www.csdeagles.com 68

Cleary School f/t Deaf 301 Smithtown Blvd Nesconset, NY 11767 531-588-0530 www.clearyschool.org

Indiana School f/t Deaf 1200 East 42nd St. Indianapolis, IN 46205 317-550-4800 www.deafhoosiers.org

Colorado School f/t Deaf and Blind 33 N. Institute St. Colorado Springs, CO 80903 719-578-2100 www.csdb.org

Iowa School f/t Deaf 3501 Harry Langdon Blvd. Council Bluffs, IA 51503 712-366-0571 www.iowaschoolforthedeaf. org

Delaware School f/t Deaf 620 E. Chestnut Hill Rd. Newark, DE 19713 302-545-2301 www.christina.k12.de.us Educational Service Unit #9 1117 S. East St. Hastings, NE 68901 402-463-5611 www.esu9.org Florida School f/t Deaf and Blind 207 N. San Marco Avenue St. Augustine, FL 32084 800-344-3732 www.fsdb.k12.fl.us Gallaudet University 800 Florida Avenue NE Washington, DC 20002 202-651-5000 www.gallaudet.edu

Kansas School f/t Deaf 450 E. Park St. Olathe, KS 66061 913-791-0573 www.ksdeaf.org Kendall Demonstration Elementary School 800 Florida Avenue NE Washington, DC 20002 202-651-5206 www.gallaudet.edu/clerc_ center Lamar University PO Box 10076 Beaumont, TX 77710 409-880-7011 www.lamar.edu Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center 800 Florida Avenue NE Washington, DC 20002 202-541-5855 www.gallaudet.edu/clerccenter


Maryland School f/t Deaf PO Box 250 Frederick, MD 21705 301-360-2000 www.msd.edu Michigan School f/t Deaf 1667 Miller Rd. Flint, MI 48503 810-257-1400 www.deaftartars.com Mill Neck Manor School f/t Deaf PO Box 12 Mill Neck, NY 11765 800-264-0662 www.millneck.org Minnesota State Academy f/t Deaf 615 Olof Hanson Drive Faribault, MN 55021-5330 800-657-3996

www.msad.state.mn.us Missouri School f/t Deaf 505 East 5th St. Fulton, MO 65251 573-592-4000 www.msd.k12.mo.us Model Secondary School f/t Deaf 800 Florida Avenue NE Washington, DC 20002 202-651-5031 www.gallaudet.edu/clerc_ center Montana School f/t Deaf and Blind 3911 Central Avenue Great Falls, MT 59405 406-771-6000 www.msdb.mt.gov National Center on Deafness

CSUN 18111 Nordhoff St. Northridge, CA 91330 818-677-2145 www.csun.edu/ncod/ National Technical Institute f/t Deaf 52 Lomb Memorial Drive Rochester, NY 14623 585-475-6426 www.ntid.rit.edu New Jersey School f/t Deaf Box 535 Trenton, NJ 08625 609-530-3100 www.mksd.org New Mexico School f/t Deaf 1060 Cerrillos Rd. Santa Fe, NM 87505 505-827-6700 www.nmsd.k12.nm.us

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 email 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 organization’s website • A post of your contact information on ASDC’s Educational/Organizational Membership webpage Membership is only $250. If you would like more information, email asdc@deafchildren.org or call (800) 942-2732. 69

New York School f/t Deaf 555 Knollwood Rd. White Plains, NY 10603 914-949-7310 www.nysd.net Ohio School f/t Deaf 500 Morse Rd. Columbus, OH 43214 614-728-1422 www.ohioschoolforthedeaf. org Oklahoma School f/t Deaf 1100 East Oklahoma Avenue Sulphur, OK 73086 580-622-8812 www.osd.k12.ok.us Pennsylvania School f/t Deaf 100 W School House Ln. Philadelphia, PA 19144 215-951-4700 www.psd.org Phoenix Day School f/t Deaf 7654 N 19th Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85021 602-771-5300 www.asdb.az.gov Pressley Ridge School f/t Deaf 8236 Ohio River Blvd Pittsburgh, PA 15202 412-761-1929 www.pressleyridge.com Rhode Island School f/t Deaf One Corliss Park Providence, RI 02908 70

401-222-3525 www.rideaf.net Rochester School f/t Deaf 1545 St. Paul St. Rochester, NY 14621 585-544-1240 www.rsdeaf.org Scranton School for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children 537 Venard Rd. Clarks Summit, PA 18411 866-400-9080 www.thescrantonschool. org St. Joseph’s School f/t Deaf 1000 Hutchinson River Pkwy. Bronx, NY 14065 718-828-9000 www.sjsdny.org St. Rita’s School f/t Deaf 1720 Glendale Mildord Rd. Cincinnati, OH 45215 513-771-7600 www.srsdeaf.org Texas School f/t Deaf 1102 S Congress Avenue Austin, TX 78704 512-462-5353 www.tsd.state.tx.us The Learning Center f/t Deaf 848 Central St. Framingham, MA 01701 508-879-5110 www.tlcdeaf.org

Utah School f/t Deaf and the Blind 742 Harrison Blvd Ogden, UT 84404 801-431-5100 www.usdb.org Vermont Center f/t Deaf and Hard of Hearing 209 Austine Drive Brattleboro, VT 0301 802-258-9500 www.vcdhh.org Washington School f/t Deaf 611 Grand Blvd Vancouver, WA 98661 360-696-6525 www.wsd.wa.gov West Virginia Schools f/t Deaf and the Blind 301 East Main St. Romney, WV 26757 304-822-4800 wvsdb2.state.k12.wv.us Western Pennsylvania School f/t Deaf 300 East Swissvale Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15218 800-624-3323 www.wpsd.org Willie Ross School f/t Deaf 32 Norway St. Longmeadow, MA 01106 413-567-0374 www.willierossschool.org Wisconsin School f/t Deaf 309 W Walworth Avenue Delavan, WI 53115


262-740-2066 www.dpi.wi.gov/wsd ORGANIZATIONS ASL Rose PO Box 614 Frederick, MD 21705 866-680-6398 www.aslrose.com CEASD PO Box 1778 St. Augustine, FL 32085 904-810-5200 www.ceasd.org Communication Services f/t Deaf 102 N Krohn Place Sioux Falls, SD 57103 605-367-5760 www.c-s-d.org DawnSignPress 6130 Nancy Ridge Drive San Diego, CA 92121 858-625-0600 www.dawnsign.com

Deaf Cultural Center Foundation 455 East Park St. Okathe, KS 66061 913-782-5808 www.deafculturalcenter.org Described and Captioned Media Program 1447 E Main St. Spartanburg, SC 29307 800-327-6213 www.dcmp.org Gallaudet University Alumni Association Peikoff Alumni House 800 Florida Avenue NE Washington, DC 20002 202-651-5060 Alumni.relations@gallaudet.edu “Hear With Your Eyes” Therapy Alison Freeman, Ph.D. 424 12th St. Santa Monica, CA 90402 310-712-1200 www.dralisonfreeman.net

Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing 632 Versailles Rd. Frankfort, KY 40601 502-573-2604 www.kcdhh.ky.gov Missouri Commission f/t Deaf & Hard of Hearing 1500 Southridge Drive Jefferson City, MO 65109 www.mcdhh.mo.gov New York Foundling Deaf Services Program 590 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10011 212-727-6848 www.nyfoundling.org Rhode Island Commission f/t Deaf and Hard of Hearing One Capitol Hill Ground Level Providence, RI 02908 401-256-5511 www.cdhh.ri.gov

How to Donate to ASDC Make a tax-deductible charitable contribution to ASDC and invest 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.deafchildren.org; click on Donate. 71

asdc@deafchildren.org Parent Information and Referral Line: (800) 942-ASDC (2732)

MEMBERSHIP FORM Name:__________________________

Email: ___________________________

Address: __________________________________________________________ City: ___________________________



Phone: Voice/TTY/Videophone Membership Type Individual memberships _______$40 per year: Individual/Family Membership _______$100 per year: Three-year Individual/Family Membership _______$5,000 one-time fee: Lifetime Membership _______First-Year Free Membership (Families with deaf or hard of hearing children are eligible for a FREE one-year membership. Just fill out this form and mail, email or fax it back to us.) Deaf or Hard of Hearing Child’s Name: ___________________________________ Date of Birth: ___________________________________ Group memberships _______$250 per year: Parent Affiliate Group ( ____ Number of Parent Members) _______$125 per year: Library Membership _______$250 per year: Educational Membership _______$250 per year: Organizational Membership I would like to send more than my membership dues. Enclosed is a tax-deductible donation:

$10 $25 $50 $100 _______Other

Total Enclosed: $__________ Make checks payable to American Society for Deaf Children. Please charge my Visa or MasterCard: Card Number:__________________________ Expiration Date:______________ Please return to: American Society for Deaf Children #2047 800 Florida Ave. NE, Washington, D.C. 20002-3695 Fax: (410) 795-0965 • Phone: (800) 942-2732 • Email: asdc@deafchildren.org


Take Your Career to the Next Level Gallaudet University’s Graduate School draws on Gallaudet’s rich heritage, and bilingual learning environment to prepare future scholars, leaders and practitioners to excel in their professions and disciplines. Immerse yourself in Gallaudet’s unique community or take advantage of the university’s online, hybrid, and distance education programs. Open to deaf, hard of hearing and hearing students, Gallaudet offers more than 25 post-graduate degrees and certificate programs, including:

Au.D., Audiology M.A., Deaf Studies M.A., Education M.A., Interpretation M.S.W., Social Work

M.A., Sign Language Education M.S., Speech Language Pathology Ph.D., Clinical Psychology Ph.D., Educational Neuroscience …and many more.

For more information or to register, visit www.gallaudet.edu/gradadmissions.xml.

Open House

October 18, 2013 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

800 Florida Avenue, NE


Washington, DC 20002

ASDC #2047 800 Florida Ave., NE Washington, D.C. 20002

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Pittsburgh, PA Permit No. 993

With ASL and English, your child CAN... LEARN! THRIVE! SUCCEED! Mission Statement ASDC is committed to diverse families with children and youth who are deaf or hard of hearing by embracing full access to language-rich environments through mentoring, advocacy, resources, and collaborative networks. Consider joining ASDC today, and receive The Endeavor three times a year, discount admission to the ASDC biennial conference, access to invaluable resources from the ASDC media library, and access to speakers for your parent support group or event. You will also join forces with thousands of other families across the country, and support an organization that advocates for crucial national legislation and services for deaf and hard of hearing children. American Society for Deaf Children #2047 800 Florida Ave. NE • Washington, D.C. 20002-3695 (800) 942-2732 • asdc@deafchildren.org • www.deafchildren.org