National Association of the Deaf

NAD Education Update: January 2013



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[VIDEO] Watch NAD Board Appointed Member Tawny Holmes talk about the January 2013 Education Update! Ms. Holmes outlines strategies that the NAD Education Committee, Education Strategy Team and Education Advocates are exploring, and tells you about the NAD's top education priorities and motions.

NAD Board Education Update

By Tawny Holmes, Appointed Board Member Focusing on Education

Education is an issue that the community has been more interested and involved with the past few years. This parallels with what the NAD has been focusing on during the past two conferences in 2010 and 2012. Out of the various priorities and motions that are made and voted upon by members and delegates, an outstanding number was about education, 16 total. The priorities and motions focus on different areas such as language deprivation, system changes, concerns about schools for the deaf, ensuring parents have access to ASL instruction, and bilingualism.  Here is the list of priorities / motions and committee assignments:

2012 Mandate:

Informed Decision-making and Language Deprivation (EST* sub-committee)

2012 Priorities:

Legislative Training (Legislative Training specialist and Educational Advocates)

2012 Motions for Ongoing Work:

  1. Informed Decision-making and Language Deprivation (EST* sub-committee)
  2. Legislative Training (Legislative Training specialist and Educational Advocates)
  3. Education/EHDI (supporting Child First campaign goals) (EST and Headquarters)
  4. National ASL Content Standards (EST)
  5. Parental Sign Language Instruction Programs (EST)
  6. NAD Partnering with CAID/State Deaf Associations to Save Deaf Schools (EST and EA*)
  7. Promotion of ASL Standardization and Usage in Pre-K to 12 Educational Programs (EST and Education Policy Committee)
  8.  Freedom of Information on CI (Education Policy Committee and HQ)
  9. D/HH Mainstreaming School Programs (Education Policy Committee and EST)

*EST means the Education Strategy Team and EA refers to Educational Advocates- see below for more explanation.

 

2010 Priorities:

  1. Protect Schools for the Deaf (EST)
  2. ASL-English Bilingualism (Parents receive information e.g. Parents Section on NAD website) (EST)
  3. Human Rights (promoting passage of CRPD) (HQ and Education Policy Committee)
  4. Early Intervention (involvement and training) (Educational Advocates)
  5. National Data Resource Center (Headquarters)- will share resources with HQ
  6. Federal EHDI Oversight (Headquarters)
  7. Parental Sign Language Strategies (EST)

Now the question is how the NAD Board can most effectively achieve these 16 priorities and motions? The answer: the community must be involved.  How?  There are three groups.

The first one is the Education Policy Committee which is under the Public Policy committee umbrella (see http://www.nad.org/blogs/admin/nad-needs-your-help-call-volunteers). This committee will be composed of researchers and policy experts to discuss and to make sure all valuable data and information are collected and ready to be used for future debates. This committee is in the process of being finalized.

The second is the newly established Education Strategy Team which NAD President Chris Wagner has mentioned in his last two vlogs. This team will draw together 10 to 12 individuals with various roles from across the nation to discuss and prepare a 5 to 10 year plan to make sure every deaf and hard of hearing child has access to quality education and language access because without both, the deaf and hard of hearing child will struggle. That’s the main focus of the EST. The roles are:

  • Parent(s)
  • Teachers (from both the Mainstream setting and the School for the Deaf setting)
  • Social worker
  • Superintendent
  • University representatives with expertise in education/early intervention
  • Principal
  • Early Intervention specialist
  • Legislative policy specialist
  • Educational interpreter  (new)

The concept of EST is to unite experts and knowledgeable people from various fields to match up with the 16 priorities.

There will also be three sub-committees under the Education Strategy Team: Early Intervention Focus, Language Deprivation and one focusing on ASL/English Bilingual Schools. 

If you feel you or someone you know would be a good candidate, please email nad.info@nad.org before February 8th and include an explanation of why that individual would be a good fit for the Education Strategy Team. From there, the Education Strategy Team will be developed and ready to serve the next two years.

We also have a third group which is important as well, because it depends on a local grassroots movement. That is the Education Advocates group. Every state association or affiliate of the NAD selects one or two individuals to focus on education issues through discussion or information gathering on what is happening in “my state” so to share information with other advocates. This will result in an invaluable information exchange and network through which we can support each other. The NAD will also provide ongoing training opportunities to this group, which has already started last summer at the 2012 NAD conference, with a total of 28 state representatives and 3 national organization representatives. The training went very well and we hope to see this number increase so that we can identify and develop educational advocates in every state. We are thrilled to have recently partnered with the American Society for Deaf Children (ASDC) (www.deafchildren.org). They will work with us to identify parents who can become advocates and parent representatives for their states, so we can build connections between parents and the deaf community in each state.

In addition, the NAD is partnering with the Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf (CEASD) to promote the Child First Campaign, which is a national effort to ensure that federal law appropriately addresses the language, communication, and educational needs of deaf and hard of hearing children. In addition, the NAD and CEASD will work together to promote the ideals of a fully accessible quality education for every deaf and hard of hearing child.

If you are interested in becoming an advocate for your state association, email nad.info@nad.org and make sure you contact your state association or organization first. Alternately, if you want to become a parent advocate, email Cheri Dowling, ASDC Director at ASDC@deafchildren.org. We, the NAD Board, are ready to welcome your involvement in this important effort, and ready to ensure every deaf child has full access to quality education and language development.

VIDEO DESCRIPTION:

The NAD logo appears on a royal blue background, with the words "National Association of the Deaf" and "www.nad.org" on-screen, then fades away.

Tawny Holmes, Appointed Member, appears in the official NAD "Nothing About Us, Without Us!" navy blue T-shirt, available at the recent NAD conference in Louisville, Kentucky. She is reading a book. She then puts down the book, and begins signing.

TAWNY HOLMES, APPOINTED MEMBER: Hello everyone, reading is one great way to teach myself. Are you interested in discussing educational issues? I am, too. My name is Tawny Holmes and I am a NAD board member appointed to focus on education. Education is an issue that the community has been more interested and involved with the past few years. That parallels with what the NAD has been focusing on during the past two conferences in 2010 and 2012. Out of the various priorities and motions that are made and voted upon by members and delegates, an outstanding number was about education, 16 total. The priorities focus on different areas such as language deprivation, system changes, deaf school concerns, ensuring parents have access to ASL instruction, and bilingualism. Now the question is how can the NAD Board most effectively achieve these 16 priorities and motions? The answer: the community must be involved. How? We have three groups and the first one is the Education Policy Committee under Public Policy with researchers and policy experts to discuss and to make sure all valuable data and information are collected and ready to be used for future use. The second is the newly established Education Strategy Team NAD President Chris Wagner has mentioned in his last two vlogs. This team will have 10 to 12 people from all over the nation collectively develop a 5 to 10 year action plan to discuss what the community can do to make sure every deaf child has access to quality education and language access because without both, the deaf child will struggle. I don't want to see that, and I know you don't, either. That's what the EST will focus on. There will be 10-12 roles including parents, teachers (both mainstream and deaf school), a principal, superintendent, social worker, ASL specialist, legislative policy expert, and other roles- you will see a list. If you feel you or someone you know would be a good candidate, please email nad.info@nad.org before February 8th to let me know and include why you feel that person would be a good fit for the Education Strategy Team. From there, I will start the process of getting the team together and read