Title: 'Implementing an Effective Bilingual Bimodal Early Childhood Program'
Track: 4 - Early Intervention
Keyword(s): Bilingual Bimodal, ASL, Spoken Language, Language Development, Choice
Learning Objectives:
  1. Identify critical areas of need in developing an effective bilingual bimodal early childhood program.
  2. will be able to explain the benefits of child choice in an effective bilingual bimodal early childhood program.
  3. will be able to explain the benefits of bilingual bimodal programming for children who are deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing


The Maine Educational Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing's Early Childhood team has created a unique Bilingual Bimodal inclusive early childhood program for children who are deaf, hard of hearing and hearing. Implementing evidenced based practices in early childhood education, the development of ASL and Spoken Language, and family centered programming, this program supports children in the exploration of communication opportunities while honoring family and child choice. The program offers two classrooms for one group of learners. The classroom is arranged by having two classrooms side by side, joined by a door. Each classroom offers instruction and interaction in either ASL or Spoken Language. With parent and teacher guidance, the children are supported in one or both environments. For an extended period of each child's day the child chooses which room they will spend their time in, and in essence, making choices of how they will communicate. Data is collected on the child's choices and shared with families. The Deaf /Hearing team of specialists form a interdisciplinary collaborative team focused on offering an educational program that is rich in language experiences and the social emotional growth of each child. The presenters will share how the team of diverse professionals worked together to create this program and utilize: -Deaf /Hearing Teams -Specialists in ASL and Spoken Language Development - Language Planning -Differentiated Learning -Family Centered Principles -Early Learning Standards -Classroom Environment and the space of two classrooms (for purity and separation of languages) -Family and Child Choice -Data collection The presenters will share how effective communication in teams, collaborative planning and family centered practices can promote strength in early childhood deaf education.
Presentation: 1357KarenHopkins.pdf

Handouts: Handout is not Available
Karen Hopkins - Primary Presenter
The Maine Educational Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
     Credentials: M.Ed.CAGS
      Karen Hopkins is the Director of Early Childhood Education and Family Services at The Maine Educational Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Karen coordinates early intervention services for children birth through age five throughoutt the state of Maine, which includes The Parent Infant Toddler Program, and the Bilingual Bimodal Preschool Program at MECDHH. She serves on the Maine Hands & Voices Board, the Maine Newborn Hearing Screening Advisory Board and Maine's Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children, and has served on the National EHDI meeting planning committe and the National Deaf Mentor Program Committee with NCHAM.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.
Corri Saunders - Co-Presenter
     Credentials: M.Ed, M.E.D.
      Corri Saunders is a Auditory Oral Teacher of the Deaf currently working in an outreach position for the Maine Educational Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Corri works as an Early Childhood (Birth – 5) Consultant to families throughout Maine as well as to the bilingual/bimodal preschool on Mackworth Island. After earning her M.E.D. from Smith College, Corri worked for two years at the Moog Center for Deaf Education before pursuing her M.Ed. in Special Education with a specialization in early intervention from the University of Maine.

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Catherine Lushman - Co-Presenter
     Credentials: MA
      Catherine J. Lushman received her Master’s degree in Deaf Education from Western Maryland College. She started her career as a drama teacher working at the Texas School for the Deaf, in Austin, Texas. She has taught preschool through third grade at the Maine Educational Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing since 1996. She currently resides in Maine with her husband Rob, and their daughter Norah Jane. She can be contacted at catherine.lushman@mecdhh.org.

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