Title: 'How Deaf Mentors in New Mexico Support Hispanic/Latino/Native American Families'
Track: 4 - Early Intervention
Keyword(s): deaf mentor, diversity, multicultural
Learning Objectives:
  1. Participants will realize the impact of connecting Deaf adults to families with deaf children.
  2. Participants will learn strategies related to working with culturally and linguistically diverse families in a rural setting.
  3. Participants will have resources for implementing preferred practices within their Deaf Mentor Programs for working with linguistic diverse (namely Spanish-speaking) families.


In New Mexico, a little more than half of the approximately 270 families served each year are Spanish-speaking with about 40% of these families being monolingual Spanish speakers. We also serve families from 24 separate Indian tribes and nations. Naturally, the New Mexico School for the Deaf’s Deaf Mentor Program has worked hard to develop programming and find resources for working with these families. Strategies and resources include everything from matching families with Deaf Mentors who have similar cultural and linguistic backgrounds to providing materials in the families’ native language. This presentation will focus first on the importance of having Deaf adults as service providers to families with deaf children. Data shows a positive correlation between families who have Deaf mentor services and their ability to navigate early intervention issues such as: language acquisition, literacy, positive self-identity, and cognitive development. Rural families often are not given opportunities to meet adults who can empathize with their families, but in New Mexico, rural families are fortunate enough to develop personal insight and experience with Deaf adults. This presentation will then focus on the specific needs of Native American/Indian and Spanish-speaking families. Families themselves have worked with our program in providing guidance for appropriate supports and resources. With the number of Spanish-speaking families on the rise in the United States, there is a need for Early Interventionists in general to know what is available and how best to interface with families as their child grows. An emphasis will be on Deaf Mentor services to families. However, given that this presentation will be grounded in both research and practical application, the resources and strategies presented will be highly applicable to the broader early intervention field.
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
Stacy Abrams - POC,Primary Presenter,Co-Presenter,Author
New Mexico School for the Deaf
     Credentials: Master's Degree in Special Education/Disabilities and Risk Emphasis
      I grew up bilingual. I graduated from Gallaudet University.then I graduated with a Master's Degree from University of California at Santa Barbara. Currently I am PhD student. Former Teacher of the Deaf. Currently the Deaf Mentor Program Coordinator at New Mexico School for the Deaf. Also a proud Deaf mom of two bilingual Deaf children.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.
Joseph Lopez - Co-Presenter
     Credentials: DS II
      JoJo is a first year full time Deaf Mentor at NMSD. He serves the southwest part of New Mexico. He graduated from Gallaudet University. He started in New Mexico as a AmeriCorps team member for two years. The experience as a AC member helped prepared JoJo for his first year as a full time Deaf Mentor.

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Nonfinancial -