Title: 'Knowledge Is Power: Parents’ Legal Rights Outside the Classroom'
Track: 9-Policy, Advocacy, and Legislative Issues
Keyword(s): advocacy, EHDI, legal rights, communication access
Learning Objectives: - understand their rights as parents under federal law in seeking access for their children - understand their deaf children's rights under ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act - Use their new found knowledge to advocate for their children to get access outside the classroom


Parents of a deaf child are often surrounded by a multiple of professionals, from EHDI professionals to audiologists to social workers, each armed with their own share of information. However, the best advocates for their children are the parents themselves. To ensure that their children receive the education best suited for them, parents need to understand all the legal information related to their children and their education. For example, parents need to be aware of their rights with respect to requesting support services from schools at IFSP/IEP meetings. Additionally, they need to be able to understand how to advocate for their child through the legislation process. It is crucial for parents to understand the rights of their deaf and hard of hearing children under federal disability rights laws. For instance, this presentation will explain what the Americans with Disabilities Act says about a private venue providing interpreters for a family-oriented event/workshop and how the ADA requires hospitals to provide communication access to deaf children and their family members. EHDI professionals are also encouraged to attend this workshop so they can add to their repertoire of legal information to provide to parents in their respective states.
Presentation: This presentation has not yet been uploaded or the speaker has opted not to make the presentation available online.
Handouts: Handout is not Available
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.