Title: 'Supporting Speech-to-Text Service Advocacy'
Track: 7 - Family Perspectives and Support
Keyword(s): supporting communication options and choices
Learning Objectives:
  1. Identify and promote knowledge and awareness of speech-to-text service options in the classroom
  2. Examine and describe features of successful deployment of speech-to-text services to support classroom learning and student achievement
  3. Discuss the role of parental advocacy to include speech-to-text services in the IEP and enhancing the advocacy skill level of parents.


The differences in technology and service delivery methods involved with providing effective communication access to the spoken word for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can be very overwhelming to parents. Advocating for services in IEP team meetings can be quite intimidating. The information presented in this poster session will equip parents to more effectively advocate for what will benefit their student. An overview of speech-to-text service options will be given with an emphasis on when and where each service can be most effectively deployed. Understanding cost will be addressed. The reality is that cost is a major part of any IEP discussion and cost varies widely from city to city and from state to state. There are some common factors that play a role in determining cost. Knowing where to find qualified service providers is an important part of advocacy. Information regarding service-provider certifications offered by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) and National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) and how to access providers through these organizations will be provided. Finally, information will be provided on what elements need to be in place to successfully advocate for inclusion of speech-to-text services in the IEP. Identifying the role and responsibility of the key players will take place. Parents play a key role in successful advocacy. Proper communication is essential for all parties involved.
Presentation: 1182ValerieStafford-Mallis.pdf

Handouts: Handout_1182ValerieStafford-Mallis.pdf
Valerie Stafford-Mallis - Primary Presenter
Alternative Communication Services
     Credentials: Masters in Business Administration
     Other Affiliations: Board of Trustees, Hearing Loss Association of America; Board of Trustees, Hearing Loss Association of America Sarasota Chapter; Outreach Committee Chair, Association of Late-Deafened Adults;2013 Advocate of the Year Communication Access, Inc.
      Valerie Stafford-Mallis is the Business Development Manager for Alternative Communication Services (ACS) LLC. Prior to joining ACS, she was Health Educator Consultant for the Florida Coordinating Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (FCCDHH). Her highly-acclaimed trainings advise and educate diverse public and private entities on methods that improve communication access for persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, late-deafened, and deaf-blind. Valerie is an oral, late-deafened adult who earned her MBA after losing most of her hearing. She would have benefitted from speech-to-text services had she known to request them. Valerie utilizes cochlear implants, CART, and assistive technology in her activities of daily living. As a person who lost her hearing over thirty-five years, Valerie knows first-hand the struggles faced by all persons with disabilities to achieve education, employment, independence and full-participation in public-life. She is a recognized hearing loss subject-matter expert.

Financial - Receives Salary for Employment from Alternative communication Services.  

Nonfinancial - Has a Personal relationship for Board membership.   Has a Personal relationship for Volunteer membership on advisory committee or review panels.