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the FORUM California Educators of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing

June 2009 Summer Newsletter

Special Interest Articles: 

2009 Conference Summary


Individual Highlights: Spotlight on Strategy


Legislative Update




President’s Message


Waves of Success – a real SUCCESS! The 2009 CAL-ED Conference, Waves of Success: Connecting, Collaborating and Celebrating ASL & English, is now a memory…and ahh- what a good one. Over 300 participants and exhibitors attended the conference. The conference began on Friday March 13th- but there was no bad luck anywhere! Todd Czubek opened the conference with a masterful and engaging keynote address that tied the WAVES theme into the “Winds of Change.” Entertainment on Friday night ASL ROCKS!- was provided by the students at Helix Charter High School and some of the kids enrolled in the CAL-ED Children’s Program. Afterward, MANY people walked over to Dave and Busters for the BIGGEST Deaf Professionals Night EVER! Wallto-wall ASL users!

Feeling refreshed and ready for a day of learning, Rachel Mayberry started Saturday with her keynote presentation “The Mystery of Reading Achievement Unraveled.” Countless workshops left many attendees in awe as they couldn't decide which workshop to attend. Scheduled Saturday morning, afternoon, AND Sunday morningconference participants had plenty to choose from. People enjoyed one and two hour presentations that varied from Autism and Deafness to ASL Video Translations to Leaders as Change Agents. Regardless of the workshop, ASL and English was a unifying theme. Continued on top of page 4

The Forum is BACK! The purpose of a newsletter is to provide specialized information for teachers of the deaf/hard of hearing, interpreters, administrators, and related service professionals working with deaf and hard of hearing students. The Forum will be published four times a year (March, June, September, December). Any one is welcome to contribute human interest or educationally related articles. Please send your submissions or ideas to the Forum Editor: Rachel Friedman Narr (

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Spotlight on Strategy By Erica Parker and Adam Stone, UCSD The availability and variety of ASL video stories is growing, but teachers of the deaf continue to struggle with the question of how and when to include video stories in a language arts curriculum. At our CAL-ED presentation last March, we discussed ways to teach reading comprehension strategies using ASL video stories. Reading comprehension strategies are meta-cognitive processes that skilled readers use automatically to gain comprehension and meaning from text: activating background knowledge, questioning, making inferences, visualizing, determining importance, and summarizing and synthesizing.

ASL video stories help students learn reading comprehension strategies….

We adapted strategy-building activities from “Strategies That Work” by Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis for ASL video stories that had English equivalencies. For example, we used the English text “The Magic Fish” by Freya Littledale and the ASL video “The Magic Goldfish” by Mindy Moore ( After we viewed the ASL story, we led three activities. The first was “Hot Seat” where selected volunteers “became” characters

from the story, and the audience could ask them different questions. The second was “Character Report Card” where participants could grade each character based on a list of qualities—for example, giving an A for loyalty but an F for cleverness. The last activity, “Name Sign,” let participants invent name signs for each character using the ASL Handshape Chart ( We discussed ways to include the English text—either as a readaloud prior to showing the video, or as a guided reading activity after viewing. For younger children, visual literacy may need to be developed first by viewing ASL literature (e.g. ASL poetry), and frontloading new sign vocabulary prior to showing video stories. The goal is that, by using ASL video stories to help students develop reading comprehension strategies, they can then apply these strategies to English text and gain comprehension and meaning from books. For more information, please contact: Erica ( Adam (

Spotlight on Strategy is a regular column for the Forum. If you’d like to contribute and have your strategy published in the Forum, please send your article to the Forum Editor: Rachel Friedman Narr ( for consideration. Articles should be 200-300 words.

Legislative Update by Nancy Grosz Sager Assembly Bill 2040 May Make Changes to California Exit Exam In September, 2008, Assembly Bill 2040 (Nunez) was signed by the Governor. This bill adds sections 60852.1 and 60852.2 to the California Education Code. It requires that the State Board of Education appoint members of a panel which will make recommendations regarding alternative means for eligible pupils with disabilities to demonstrate that they have achieved the same level of academic achievement in the content standards in EnglishLanguage Arts or mathematics, or both, required for passage of the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE). CAL-ED will be represented on the panel by Jane Newkirk.

The panel will make recommendations regarding: • specific options for alternative assessments, submission of evidence, or other alternative means • scoring or other evaluation systems • processes to ensure that the form, content, and scoring of assessments are applied uniformly across the state • estimates of one-time or ongoing costs • whether testing options should be implemented on a statewide or regional basis, or both The panel will make its recommendations to the State Board of Education by November of 2010. The Board will determine if it is feasible to implement the recommendations.

Did you know? There were hearing people signing fluently, and deaf people interpreting for hearing speakers at this year’s conference! Some of you may have noticed there was no open caption during this year’s conference. While a few people did miss this service, there were several other creative communication exchanges going on during the conference. Each session in the pavilion had a “live feed” for close-ups of the signers. Also, did you know that Todd Czubek is hearing? He decided to sign for himself and being a CODA- it showed that ASL is his native language.

Did you know that during Rachel Mayberry’s keynote presentation, Franky Ramont- who was interpreting- is deaf? Franky is a Certified Deaf Interpreter in Texas. While Rachel was talking, a hearing interpreter in the audience “fed” the message to Franky, who interpreted the message and delivered it in ASL. This process was so seemless, many of us didn’t even know! To find out more about Certified Deaf Interpreters, go to for CDI requirement/criteria for taking the exams. Franky holds a Texas BEI certificate. For more information, see

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the FORUM Waves of Success (continued from page 1)

CAL-ED WAVES of Success ✹ Comment from participant:

“HANDS WAVING! I was thrilled with this year's theme, focusing on ASL-English bilingual education!”

Saturday’s luncheon by the firepits gave old friends and colleagues a chance to catch-up. Afterward, Carol Padden’s keynote presentation “The Naturalness of Sign Language” captured the curious. Saturday night there was a special Feature Presentation of the ASL Film “Legend of the Mountain Man”. In a change from past conferences, the Recognition and Awards Ceremony was held on Sunday morning. MOST conference goers woke up early and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast during the awards ceremony. Noted recipients included Mal Grossinger (CSDR) Administrator of the Year; Cheryl YoshitakeAdams (CSDF) Educator of the Year; Annette Miner (NIS) Educational Interpreter of the Year; Stephanie Johnson (Marlton School) Contributor of the Year;

Stephanie Ellis-Gonzales (CSDF) Parent of the Year; and Ellen Schneiderman (CSUN) Lifetime Achievement Award. CONGRATULATIONS to all of you!! The FAB 5 thank all of the wonderful conference participants and volunteers who helped make this conference one of the best ever. Have you filled out the Final Conference Evaluation Form yet?

Feedback from one participant: “The weekend was amazing. My kids keep talking about all the fun they had at the "hotel". The workshops, speakers, and connections are so invaluable. I have already been implementing new things in to our lives from what we learned.”

The Fab 5 Bobbie Allen, Tina Jo Breindel, Rachel Friedman Narr, Colleen L. Smith, Janice Smith-Warshaw

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the FORUM AEPBD and CAEBER Huh? More acronyms? AEPBD is ASL/English Bilingual Professional Development hosted by the Center for ASL/English Bilingual Education and Research (CAEBER) at Gallaudet. Three schools in California are participating: California School for the Deaf, Fremont; California School for the Deaf, Riverside; and Marlton School for the Deaf (LAUSD) Stephanie Johnson reports on Marlton: There have been 2 generations trained to be a part of ASL/English Bilingual Professional Development at Marlton School in Los Angeles,

California. In the Fall, we will start our 3rd generation. I have seen a positive change at Marlton School since starting the training. Students have been exposed to their primary language, ASL, and English as their second language. Rachel Knopf is eager to participate in AEBPD training at Gallaudet this summer. She is hearing and signs ASL fluently. Rachel will be a co-mentor with me in the fall with a new AEBPD group (third generation). Melissa Brown reports on CSD, Riverside. Teachers and administrators at the California (continued on page 6)

CAID News Remember if you are a member of CAL-ED you are also a member of CAID! To learn more about CAID, go to

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the FORUM AEPBD and CAEBER (con’t from top of page 5) School for the Deaf, Riverside will give up part of their summer to receive training as the sixth group of participants to be involved in ASL/English Bilingual Professional Development (AEBPD). The school has offered the training since 2002 and has had 35 teachers complete the training and more than 50 teachers and administrators involved in the weekly seminars.

CAEBER Vision Statement The Center for ASL/English Bilingual Education and Research (CAEBER) envisions high academic achievement for deaf and hard-of-hearing students by facilitating proficiency in both American Sign Language and English and providing professional development in ASL/English bilingual assessment, curriculum, instructional strategies, and the use of cuttingedge technology to facilitate the development of both languages academically. .”

Levels 1 and 2 focus on theories of bilingual instruction and are taught at CSDR during the summer. Training participants met daily for 12 days to discuss reading assignments and written reflections with the group. Participants are teachers from various departments on campus. They continue with their training throughout the school year as levels 3 and 4 focus primarily on application within their classrooms. The program is a great opportunity for teachers to share ideas, learn from each other and discuss challenging topics in a safe environment.

This unique training is done in conjunction with CAEBER. Founded in 1997 and housed on the campus of Gallaudet University, CAEBER receives grant money to help schools for the deaf establish in-services focusing on knowledge and skills in ASL/English bilingual teaching theories and practice. Four levels are involved in this training.

To find out more about CAEBER, go to

Mini Grant and Workshop Grants by Grace Allan, Grants Chair At the June 2009 Board meeting at CSDF the status of Mini & Workshop Grants was discussed. The recent decline in grants applications necessitated a change in procedure in order to allow and encourage ongoing projects. In the past, the deadline for either grant has been October, December and March of any given year. Grants posted by one of these deadlines are reviewed and considered by a committee and a recommendation is made. The board after discussion voted to open up the

grants to continuous applications. This means that there will be no deadlines! Grants applications will be reviewed and considered upon reciept of application. Review and notification procedures will remain the same. It is hoped that members will be encouraged to apply for grants that will enhance quality. The application will be on CAL-ED website shortly. In the meantime, if you’d like an application, email me at

President’s Message by I would like to extend my gratitude to FAB Five Co-chairs for the Waves of Success: Bobbie Allen, Tina Jo Breindel, Rachel Friedman Narr, Colleen L. Smith, and Janice Smith Warshaw for their outstanding job with 49th annual CAL-ED conference in San Diego. The waves of success are still in motion with the discussions and reflections about the workshops, SIG, and entertainment. The current waves of success brings the community together for our Deaf children and CAL –ED; you the members are going to be able to continue to ride the waves from the fabulous and educational workshops so all of you could reach out as far as to North, West, East, and South for the abundant resources, information about Deaf schools.

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the FORUM Alan Davary

educators of Deaf children- that we have our hearts in the right place for Deaf children. We are here to advocate for Deaf children’s language rights and human rights so they can communicate effectively and efficiently in ASL. Waves of success will reach out to remote areas where Deaf children and educators of the Deaf are in dire need of our support. We encourage people to keep an open mind on how ASL can and should ultimately facilitate a child’s language and communication needs.

On behalf of the CAL-ED Board we would like to invite each of you to come to our next conference to learn more about language development, resources used for deaf children, communication and language needs. At the I am proud to say that we have two conference, you will meet and exchange information, and share co-chairs who show interest in th your knowledge with other taking up the historic 50 conference. The name of co-chairs educators, administrators and parents. We also invite parents of and the place will be announced Deaf children to come to the soon so please keep March 2010 conference to share the issues you open. might have and we will support My vision is also shared with you you all the way. as members and as the public

2009-2010 CAL-ED President Alan Davary

“Waves of success will reach out to remote areas where Deaf children and educators of the Deaf are in dire need of our support.”

California Educators of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing

Area 1- Talia Chapman- Martin

YOUR BOARD President: Alan Davary President Elect: Past President: Dave Smith Secretary: Vanessa Light Treasurer: Andy Anderson Membership: Richard Bernard Web Administrator: Rene Visco Forum Editor: Rachel Friedman Narr CDE Liaison/Legislation: Nancy Grosz Sager AREA REPRESENTATIVES Area 1 – Talia ChapmanMartin Area 2 – Len Gonzales Area 3 - Catherine Davary Area 4 - Grace Allan Area 5- Stephanie Johnson Area 6 - Wendy Wiewel Area 7 - Carol Bella-Adams Area 57- top secret

For more information about what’s going on in your area, please check out the new CAL-ED Website. If there is information you’d like to see posted on the website, please let us know!

We’re on the Web! See us at:

Contacting your area rep has never been easier….just log on to the New CAL-ED website!!

The FORUM is a joint effort of the CAL-ED Board. If you are interested in writing for the FORUM, please contact us at

CAL-ED Forum Summer 2009  
CAL-ED Forum Summer 2009  

Provide specialized information for teachers of the deaf/hard of hearing, interpreters, administrators, and related service professionals wo...