Title: 'Working with the Deaf Community: What Does That Entitle? '
Track: 1 - EHDI Program Enhancement
Keyword(s): family support, deaf community, services
Learning Objectives:
  1. Identify strategies in building a collaborative relationship with the deaf community
  2. Develop ways to incorporate deaf and hard of hearing adults in your state's programs


There is extensive research on how contact with the deaf community helps families take a step towards understanding their deaf child as a person. (Hintermair, 2006). Deaf and hard of hearing adults provide both expanded resources and support due to having experienced being in the child’s shoes. Just as each child is diverse in their hearing abilities, communication styles, personalities, and skills, so are the members of the deaf community. Not only that, but it is often a profound experience when a deaf or hard of hearing child meets a deaf or hard of hearing adult, because that provides a proof of survival, namely, he or she now knows the evidence of successful adulthood. (Meadow-Orlans, Mertens, & Sass-Lehrer, 2003). However, the majority of EHDI Professionals are hearing and often do not have ready access or connection to the deaf community. This presentation will discuss specific strategies and ideas on how to develop a meaningful connection with and/or a program incorporating deaf and hard of hearing adults, including working with state associations, deaf parents, and schools for the deaf for the purposes of positive collaboration and service enhancement, such as establishing a deaf mentor program.
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Mary Ann Richmond - Co-Presenter,Author
Maryland Assn. of the Deaf
     Credentials: M.A. -Family Centered Early Education, 19 years as a Family Educator
     Other Affiliations: MD UNHS Prgm Advisory Council member
      Mary Ann Richmond works as a Family Education and Early Childhood teacher. She serves on the Maryland UNHS advisory council representing the Maryland Association of the Deaf. She is a proud mother of a deaf daughter who is currently attending RIT.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.
Tawny Holmes - POC,Co-Presenter,Author
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.

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Nonfinancial -