Title: 'Encouraging Early Literacy Through Reading to Children with Hearing Loss'
Track: 3 - Language Acquisition and Development
Keyword(s): Language Development Literacy Reading Early
Learning Objectives:
  1. Attendees will learn how to read to children with a hearing loss regardless of type of hearing loss and amplification.
  2. Attendees will learn about how and why the READ Program was created and its successes, such as the benefits of reading to children with a hearing loss.
  3. Attendees will learn how to create a program like the READ Program when they return to their home states.


Presenters will explain the successful READ Program, including how and why it was created, to encourage early literacy for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. The importance of reading to children with a hearing loss will be stressed to ensure age appropriate language development. The READ Program has distributed over 20,000 books to children who are deaf or hard of hearing throughout Illinois. We go into schools, read to the children (in voice and sign) and provide information in English and Spanish to their parents on proper ways to do the same. A sample story will be read during the presentation where attendees will learn how to read a story and teach the important concept of matching the written word with the picture and sign/spoken word. Tips will be shared with attendees on how to replicate the program upon returning to their home states.
Presentation: Tuesday_Beckham_345_KarenAguilar_1559.pdf

Handouts: Handout is not Available
CART: Topical Session 8- 1559.docx
Karen Aguilar - Primary Presenter
Chicago Hearing Society
     Credentials: M.J.
      Ms. Aguilar is the Director of the Chicago Hearing Society, a division of Anixter Center, that provides social services and advocacy, youth programing and mentoring, a hearing health clinic and interpreter referral service throughout Illinois. CHS houses the CHOICES for Parents Coalition and Guide By Your Side program in Illinois. Ms. Aguilar's past work includes creating a center based early intervention program for families and providing developmental therapy, service coordination and family support. Ms. Aguilar has a Masters of Jurisprudence in Health Law from Loyola University Chicago School of Law and has trained the legal community on the rights of persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, and educated the Deaf Community about their rights under state and federal laws. Ms. Aguilar has been signing since childhood and is a nationally-certified state-licensed sign language interpreter.

Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.
Sheri Cook - Co-Presenter
Gallaudet University Regional Center
     Credentials: Master's Degree in Applied Linguistics
      Sheri Cook is the Director of the Gallaudet University Regional Center (GURC) and is a faculty member at John A. Logan College. Ms. Cook has a Bachelor’s Degree in Deaf Education from Northern Illinois University and a Master’s Degree in Applied Linguistics from Southern Illinois University. Through her work with GURC, Ms. Cook serves 13 Midwestern states providing a regional connection to Gallaudet University, its educational programs and its community.

Financial -

Nonfinancial -