Title: 'Best of Both Worlds: Maximizing Through Partnerships'
Track: 1-EHDI Program Enhancement
Keyword(s): parents, community, programs enhancement
Learning Objectives: - appreciate importance of creating and maintaining relationships with deaf adults - foster relationships with deaf adults, and between deaf adults and parents - create more holistic EHDI programs -


Parents often rely heavily on EHDI professionals for information on everything related to their child’s deafness. While parents do need to understand their children’s hearing level, it is equally important that parents learn as much as possible about how and what their children will experience and perceive the world. Every deaf child is different in terms of hearing levels, communication styles, personalities, and abilities, and deaf adults are just as diverse. EHDI professionals have a responsibility to deaf children and their parents to ensure that they have everything they need to make well-informed decisions. By having a relationship with the deaf adults, EHDI professionals can provide full and comprehensive services to parents. However, statistics currently show a very low percentage of deaf adults are involved in the EHDI program and services. As a result, parents lose the rich benefits of interaction with a deaf adult to complement the medical and educational knowledge provided by EHDI professionals. There are currently challenges to ensuring that this lack of involvement is changed for the better but this presentation will provide tools and resources to ensure a win-win situation for everyone.
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Debra Patkin - National Association of the Deaf
     Credentials: NAD Staff Attorney
      Debra Patkin is a staff attorney with the NAD. Her job duties include litigating civil-rights cases, handling consumer inquiries regarding legal issues, and outreach/education. Prior to joining the NAD, she worked as a litigation attorney at the Disability Rights Legal Center in Los Angeles, California. Debra received her J.D. from the UCLA School of Law. She also has a M.A. in Linguistics from Gallaudet University and a B.S. in Psychology from R.I.T.
Howard Rosenblum - National Association for the Deaf
     Credentials: special education attorney and CEO of the National Association for the Deaf
      Howard A. Rosenblum started as the Chief Executive Officer of the NAD in April 2011 and also serves as an ex officio member of the NAD Board of Directors. He comes to the NAD after 19 years as a lawyer, focusing his practice on disability rights and special education law. For the past nine years, he was a Senior Attorney at Equip for Equality, and previously worked ten years as an associate at a private law firm. In 2010, President Barack Obama appointed Mr. Rosenblum to serve on the United States Access Board. Mr. Rosenblum has a bachelor of science degree in computer engineering from the University of Arizona and a juris doctor degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Tawny Holmes - National Association of the Deaf
     Credentials: M.A. in Family Centered Early Education, J.D. and Esq. J.D. Certification in Early Intervention Leadership
      Tawny Holmes is the Education Policy Counsel at the National Association of the Deaf. She graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law. In addition to her law degree, she has a Master of Arts in Family Centered Early Education. Ms. Holmes has worked three years teaching deaf and hard of hearing students. She is also a godmother of four deaf children.