Title: 'Family Connections Through Shared Reading'
Track: 3 - Language Acquisition and Development
Keyword(s): Early Literacy Development, Family Education,
Learning Objectives:
  1. Identify various videoconferencing opportunities for early literacy exposure with deaf and hard of hearing children and their families.
  2. Explain the benefits that families can receive by using "shared reading" strategies. regardless of the communication mode(s0 used by the family and child.


The Texas Educational Resource Center on Deafness (ERCOD) is piloting a web-based version of Gallaudet University's Shared Reading Project (SRP). The Texas pilot program offers free literacy classes to families with deaf or hard of hearing children statewide (birth to age 12 with a special focus on 0-3). Families receive services once a week-using Internet based videoconferencing programs such as Videophone, Skype, Face Time and Google+ hangouts. The goal of this presentation is to provide a brief explanation of SRP, discuss strategies for reading to children using the 15 Principles, share a taped demonstration of sessions with signing and non-signing families and discuss the benefits that families receive through the program. The TX pilot program has been such a success that new tutors have recently been hired to meet the increasing demand from families. This program does not require families to be fluent in sign language but rather focuses on sharing reading strategies, regardless of what communication mode(s) the family uses. The session will explain how the SRP tutor personalizes services and reading strategies, based on the specific goals of the family; in order best fit the families' individual needs. Come and learn how you can duplicate this program in your state to meet the needs of your families! Excerpts from some parents whose children do not use sign language as communication mode: 'I stopped focusing on teaching him to read the words and focused on the language', ... 'it really teaches you to teach your child the story in an enjoyable way', ...'I realized I did not need to be an expert signer to share books with my child', ...'once we started using the techniques the tutor showed us my three year old daughter immediately became more engaged in the reading process'.
Presentation: Tuesday_Beckham_415_AvonneBrooker-Rutowski_1682.pdf


Handouts: Handout_1682AvonneBrooker-Rutowski.pdf
CART: Topical Session 8- 1682.docx
Avonne Brooker-Rutowski - Primary Presenter,POC
Educational Resource Center on Deafnesss
     Credentials: Masters in Deaf Education; Degree of Education Specialist in Change Leadership in Education
     Other Affiliations: Educational Resource Center on Deafness at Texas School for the Deaf
      Born deaf to deaf parents, Avonne was mainstreamed in a public school without a certified interpreter for five years and she can relate well to students who are mainstreamed. Avonne attended Gallaudet University and graduated with BA in Psychology, followed with her Masters degree in Deaf Education at McDaniel College. She concluded her work at Gallaudet Leadership Institute with an Education Specialist degree. Avonne has 20+ years experience in Deaf Education as a classroom teacher and an administrator, she begins her fifth year as a statewide Outreach Program Specialist with Educational Resource Center on Deafness. Her current focus of work is to develop online resources for literacy and providing literacy support through Shared Reading to the families. Avonne is on the American Society of Deaf Children board as its President Elect. Avonne is also a proud mother of two beautiful children residing in Austin, Texas with her husband.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.
Lisa Crawford - Co-Presenter
Texas School for the Deaf
     Credentials: M.B.A., B.S.
      Lisa Crawford is the Statewide Parent Liaison in the outreach department of the Texas School for the Deaf. She has been providing resources, information and programs designed for families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing for over 8 years. She is also the administrator of the Texas Guide By Your Side program and a founding board member of Texas Hands & Voices. She and her husband Steve have two daughters, one who is hearing and one who is Deaf.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.