Title: 'Ensuring Language Support in your Child's IFSP and IEP'
Track: 7 - Family Perspectives and Support
Keyword(s): IFSP, IEP, language acquisition, communication support
Learning Objectives:
  1. Identify key participants in an IFSP and IEP meeting.
  2. Capitalize on procedural mechanisms to protect and preserve their children’s educational and linguistic rights.
  3. Leverage the IFSP and IEP process to ensure adequate language and communication support for their deaf or hard of hearing child.


Early access to language and productive communication carries profound implications for children’s later success. Federal law ensures that services be made available to promote age-appropriate language and communication develop in deaf and hard of hearing children through an Individual Family Serve Plan (IFSP), for children ages 0-3, and an Individualized Education Program (IEP), for students ages 3-21. Given the low-incidence nature of this disability, however, most IFSP and IEP providers do not have sufficient expertise in working with deaf and hard of hearing children to design a program that ensures appropriate language support. Through this presentation, parents will learn how to navigate the IFSP and IEP processes to ensure adequate language and communication support for their deaf or hard of hearing child. First, they will learn how to identify key players to bring to the table to make sure that the team is making an informed decision. Second, they will learn about the various procedural rights under the IDEA and how to leverage theses rights to best ensure a favorable outcome. Finally, parents will learn about various resources available to improve the services that their child receives in school by increasing their own knowledge base of what is possible for their child to achieve. Although this presentation is targeted to parents, it will also be beneficial for services providers, medical professionals, and any others who may wish to advocate for the language and communication rights of a deaf or hard of hearing child.
Presentation: 1278CarolineJackson.pdf

Handouts: Handout is not Available
Caroline Jackson - Primary Presenter
National Association of the Deaf
     Credentials: JD, MA, NIC
     Other Affiliations: Adjunct Professor, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law
      Caroline Jackson is a staff attorney at the National Association of the Deaf. She began at NAD in 2012 as a Skadden Fellow, focusing on litigation and policy regarding special education services for deaf and hard of hearing students. In addition to this work, Caroline litigates to enforce the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act on behalf of deaf and hard of hearing children and adults. She is also a co-instructor of the Civil Rights of Persons with Disabilities Clinic at the University of Maryland School of Law. Prior to becoming an attorney, Caroline worked as a sign language interpreter in New York City where she also taught reading and writing in the Program for Deaf Adults at LaGuardia Community College.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.