ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This report is a result of the enthusiasm, expertise, and dedication of the Task Force members who came together in the spirit of broadening their understanding of the experience of deaf and hard of hearing individuals as they embarked on the process that led to the recommendations put forth in this document. The work of the Task Force and the hope it encompasses for equity for deaf and hard of hearing students is a testament to the collaborative nature of New Mexicoâ€™s educational communities and concern for our children. The Task Force was first formed by a vision generated in 2003 by Dr. Ronald Stern, the New Mexico School for the Deaf Superintendent. This vision resulted in the first Task Report Toward Brighter Futures. The Task Force was regenerated in 2014 by members of our New Mexico Legislature who tasked the New Mexico School for the Deaf with gathering a stakeholder group to review progress and propose recommendations for next steps. Advocacy by the deaf and hard of hearing community, as well as federal and NM legislative action formed the foundation for the work of this Task Force. The Task Force was able to move forward on developing next step recommendations because of the insight provided by deaf and hard of hearing adults, students, and professionals, who shared the reality of their educational experiences, Mr. John Serrano and his mother, Nanette Serrano and our panel members, Mr. Nolan Riley, Mr. Paul Twitchell, and Ms. Corina Gutierrez. The perspective of deaf and hard of hearing individuals provided critical information that helped ensure that educational leaders came to the table with the appropriate resources to make decisions that will positively affect childrenâ€™s lives. We would like to thank the Task Force planning and writing team, Ms. Joanne Corwin, Dr. Rosemary Gallegos, Dr. Jennifer Herbold, Ms. Cindy Huff, Mr. Larry Siegel, and Dr. Ronald Stern for their diligence in implementing an efficient process that valued stakeholder time and input. We would also like to acknowledge NMSD staff for hosting the three meetings. The report would not have been possible without the willingness of individuals to participate in the three subcommittees, Early Intervention, Instruction, and Capacity. It was their task to summarize the input gathered during the Task Force meetings, gather additional information, and capture vital points for Task Force consideration. Also contributing to the Task Force process and this report were our advisors, Mr. Larry Siegel, Esquire, of the National Deaf Education Project and Dr. Richard Howell of UNM Center for Education Research and Policy. We are most grateful to readers of the report who provided final input, Maria Jaramillo (Central Region Educational Cooperative) and Donna Bush, (Las Cruces Public Schools). We also would like to thank Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Lynn Gallagher and Public Education Department Director of Federal Programs Denise Koscielniak for supporting DOH and PED participation on the Task Force.
New Mexico Task Force for Education for Deaf & Hard of Hearing Children & Youth