Act Now to Protect Schools for the Deaf
Greetings. Schools for the deaf across the nation are facing a severe crisis and we need you to act now. Some are under threat of closure, some face drastic budget cuts that would underfund the school, and others face challenges to promoting an environment where education and interaction is provided visually, in American Sign Language.
State governments are increasingly looking at sending deaf children to mainstream schools as ways to “cut costs”. This decision will have the opposite effect, increasing costs, and have damaging consequences for deaf and hard of hearing children.
NAD Action Alert: Preserve State Schools for the Deaf
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is alarmed by a growing trend among some state governments seeking to cut costs by underfunding or closing state schools for the deaf across the country. These proposals by state government officials and legislators are often based on the following factors:
1. drastically underestimating the financial costs of sending students to mainstream schools;
2. lack of understanding of deaf and hard of hearing students’ needs;
3. lack of understanding about required support services and resources for deaf and hard of hearing students such as teachers for the deaf and qualified interpreters;
4. lack of understanding of the availability of such resources and support services for deaf and hard of hearing students at their local school district.
Awareness of ASL Grows at 2011 EHDI Conference
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) participated in the 10th annual Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Conference, February 20-22, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. NAD representatives had productive conversations with various stakeholders of early intervention programs from all over the country, including local and federal EHDI professionals, educators, advocates, audiologists and parents about the benefits of American Sign Language (ASL). Debra Patkin, staff attorney at the NAD, and Roberta Mather Brown, volunteer advocate and parent of deaf children, took part in workshops and provided their insights to attendees on behalf of the NAD.
Howard Rosenblum, the next NAD Chief Executive Officer starting on April 1, 2011, was the conference’s second plenary speaker. His presentation, “It’s All About Expectations!”, shared success stories of deaf and hard of hearing individuals and the formula behind their achievements. “We need to raise expectations, and instill expectations in deaf and hard of hearing children to dream of becoming of something,” said Rosenblum. His remarks garnered countless chuckles and rounds of applause from the audience.
NAD Praises California Dept. of Ed Video on ASL
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) salutes the video Through Your Child’s Eyes: American Sign Language which presents a comprehensive portrayal of the needs of deaf and hard of hearing children and the value of American Sign Language (ASL). The video, posted earlier this month, reflects the organizational vision for the future as outlined in NAD Vision 2020 Strategic Plan:
“We believe it is the right of every deaf and hard of hearing person to acquire and express themselves in American Sign Language and English.”
The video stresses the benefits of teaching deaf and hard of hearing babies and children ASL while showing positive support and perspectives from both deaf and hearing parents.
NAD Commends CBS for CSI Episode: “The Two Mrs. Grissoms”
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) commends the broadcaster CBS and the television series Crime Scene Investigation: CSI and for featuring deaf and hard of hearing community members as empowered human beings and portraying our language, American Sign Language (ASL), in a positive light. The episode, "The Two Mrs. Grissoms," which aired on February 3, 2011 featured Marlee Matlin, Phyllis Frelich, Anthony Natale, Ty Giordano and a number of deaf and hard of hearing extras.
NAD Brings Back The eNews!