CAPACITY GOAL TWO: Qualified Educators
Goal Statement Deaf and hard of hearing children and youth, in all locations of New Mexico, will receive educational services from educational professionals who have ongoing access to deaf education learning communities and are specifically trained and specifically licensed or certified to work with students who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Background The NM Deaf Education 2014 Task Force agrees that deaf and hard of hearing students have a right to qualified educators with specialized training including language and communication proficiency. Their finding is validated by many reports and guidance at the state and national level including the New Mexico Deaf Education Bill of Rights, New Mexico Deaf Education Task Force, National Agenda, National Association of State Directors of Special Education, and Child First Campaign. Specifically, the state of New Mexico addressed this standard through passage of the Deaf Education Bill of Rights (NMSA 28-11C-3) in 2004, which charges New Mexicans to work toward ensuring that:
â€Śdeaf and hard-of-hearing children be given an education in which teachers, related service providers and assessors understand the unique nature of deafness, are specifically trained to work with hard-of-hearing and deaf pupils and can communicate spontaneously and fluidly with these children.
The National Association of Directors of NADSDE (2006) Meeting the Needs of Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing specifically calls for an assurance by educational entities that personnel have appropriate certification, knowledge, and language proficiency to work with deaf and hard of hearing students. Despite the local and national mandate for qualified educators, New Mexico still does not have standards for educators entrusted with the education of deaf and hard of hearing students. In New Mexico, an educator or administrator responsible for deaf or hard of hearing students is not required to have specialized training or knowledge or credentials to verify their capacity to educate deaf or hard of hearing children or evaluate the quality or efficacy of a program.
Rationale As a result of the recommendations of the 2003 Task Force, the state of New Mexico has invested resources into supporting educators in understanding the unique learning characteristics of students who are deaf or hard of hearing through a consultation and resource model of the Outreach Department of the New Mexico School for the Deaf. 25
New Mexico Task Force for Education for Deaf & Hard of Hearing Children & Youth