Harold A. Johnson

Professor of Deaf Education Teacher Preparation
Michigan State University

Harold Johnson received his B.S. degree in Deaf Education from the University of Tennessee in 1971, a M. Ed. in Emotional Disturbance and Vocational Rehabilitation from the University of Memphis in 1974, and an Ed. D. from the University of Cincinnati, with an emphasis in linguistics and research methodology in 1980. He started his career as a teacher of students who were deaf/hard of hearing (d/hh), then served as a public school administrator for programs serving students who were d/hh. In 1980 he accepted a faculty position at Kent State University where he served as the Director of the Deaf Education Teacher Preparation Program. In 2006 he accepted a Deaf Education position at Michigan State University. His scholarly activities have focused upon the use of web-based technologies and resources to enhance teacher preparation, reduce isolation, facilitate collaboration, recognize excellence within deaf education. The “Deaf Education Web Site” (www.deafed.net) and the “Journal of Deaf Studies & Deaf Education Author’s Corner Wiki Site” (jdsde-author-corner.wiki.educ.msu.edu) are two products of this work. During the course of the last three years his scholarly activities have focused upon the design and implementation of an online, nation wide collaborative effort to understand, document, and address the incidence and impact of child abuse and neglect as experienced by children who are deaf/hard of hearing. In addition, in collaboration with Dr. Kathleen Huebner/Salus University, he was recently awarded a five year, $5,000,000 O.S.E.P. cooperative agreement to design and implement a consortium of universities as they prepare 25 doctoral students to assume leadership positions in the education of students who are d/hh, visually impaired, or deaf/blind. He will be serving as the “Director of Research” for this collaborative effort.

'Child Abuse & Neglect: Three Questions, One Answer'

Child abuse and neglect (CA/N) of children who are deaf/hard of hearing (d/hh) is an ugly, complex, and controversial reality that has been essentially ignored by the field of the deaf education. This lack of attention can be attributed to an inadequate understanding of the role of professionals as “mandatory reporters,” the incidence and impact of CA/N, the perception that there are more important issues that must first be addressed, and the expectation that someone else is dealing with this problem. In reality, children with disabilities are three times more likely to experience CA/N than their nondisabled peers. In reality, the educational, legal, and child protective service systems are not prepared to effectively observe, understand, and respond to possible incidences of CA/N as experienced by children with disabilities. In reality, CA/N is the most common cause of death in infants and frequently results in severe health, behavioral and cognitive problems of preschool and school age children. This presentation will identify why EHDI professionals must be prepared to observe, understand, and respond to possible incidences of CA/N, the barriers they encounter, and the impact of inaction. In addition to providing CA/N related information and resources, the presentation will identify how the prevention of CA/N also serves to enhance parenting skills and improve children’s learning and language performance. The presentation will conclude with an invitation to join a nation wide, online community of learners that is working to understand, prevent, and when necessary, respond to possible incidences of CA/N as experienced by children who are d/hh and their families. This invitation is based on the position that the incidence and impact of CA/N can be significantly reduced by Observing, Understanding, and Responding to “O.U.R.” children.

Closing Plenary: "Child Abuse & Neglect: Three Questions, One Answer"
Tuesday March 2, 2010
3:55 PM - 4:45 PM