Bill of Rights for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children
Deaf children are born with the same ability to acquire language as any other children, and deserve the same chance to acquire language.
Deaf children have the right and the capacity to be educated, to graduate high school, to obtain further education, and to pursue a career.
To achieve this essential goal, all families of deaf children have the right to appropriate early intervention services as well as quality family educational services. These families have the right to accurate and comprehensive information, including access to state resources to help their deaf children reach their full potential.
Deaf children have the right to acquire both English and American Sign Language (a natural visual language). Deaf children can acquire both of these languages simultaneously, with the support of intervention services prior to entering school and reinforced within the school system.
Deaf children can fully access education and society. This means every deaf child must have full access to all information, specialized personnel, school programs, social activities, and extra-curricular activities. Communication skills and/or modes by themselves do not equate language proficiency.
Deaf children have the right to qualified professionals proficient in developing the child’s acquisition of language throughout the early intervention and school years. To ensure this right is fully protected, deaf children must be assessed on a regular basis by qualified language acquisition professionals.
Deaf children require settings that uitilize a critical mass of language peers to ensure age-appropriate development of learning, emotional and social skills.Deaf children require interaction with deaf adult role models to internalize their self worth and visualize their potential.
Deaf children have the right to succeed.
States with a Deaf Children’s Bill of Rights
If anyone is interested in bringing these beliefs and values to their state, please contact the National Association of the Deaf.