Title: 'It's a Learning Curve: Parents as Adult Learners'
Track: 7 - Family Perspectives and Support
Keyword(s): Parents, Adult Learning, Lifelong learning, Parent engagement, Transformational
Learning Objectives:
  1. Attendees will understand Formal, Non-Formal and Informal learning and some basics about learning theories that influence our learning in adulthood.
  2. Participants will have an understanding of a Lifelong Learning Map to redefine how adult learning occurs.
  3. Participants will walk through a transformational learning experience. Having a better understanding of the integral components of transformational learning and how this uniquely impacts parents of deaf or hard of hearing children.


In her keynote address at the 2014 Hands & Voices Leadership Conference, Tina Childress an educational audiologist shared that only 2% of professionals refer parents to Parent Support programs. Meanwhile, National Early Childhood Intervention Council (NECIC) president Datuk Dr. Amar Singh offers his opinion in an article, Parents Must Speak Up, Say Early Childhood Intervention Advocates by The Star Online reporter Tan Yi Liang. He offers, 'They [parents] are a force we have not adequately invested in, especially parents of children with disabilities. They have been viewed as aid recipients. But they are not recipients, they are partners and advocates - and they are a loud voice that can inspire other parents'. A parent is the fulcrum behind every successful child. Yet, learning their child is deaf or hard of hearing comes with a host of steep learning curves. How then do parents learn the necessary elements to become strong advocates for their child? What are the essential components required for parent engagement to take place? Why is it vital for parents to connect with one another for support? In this presentation adult-learning theories and assumptions will be defined. Participants will actively become aware of how their own lifelong learning has influenced their successes or created barriers. Lastly, participants will together travel through a transformative learning activity that will demonstrate how unique we all are during challenging situations. This information will be helpful to family members validating their experiences as an essential ingredient to becoming an informed and engaged parent. It will also provide context for professionals identifying parent-to-parent support as a vital component to parent engagement.
Presentation: Tuesday_Breathitt_1130_ChristineGriffin_1594.pdf

Handouts: Handout is not Available
CART: Topical Session 5- 1594.RTF
Christine Griffin - Primary Presenter,POC
WA State Hands & Voices Guide By Your Side Program
     Credentials: Program Coordinator, Graduate Student in Adult and Higher Education
      Christine is the mother of two hard of hearing teens. She's worked supporting parents for 9 years. First, as coordinator of her local Parent to Parent program, and 4 years later adding the role of coordinator for the Guide By Your Side program in Washington State. Her philosophy working with parents is to provide support that is relevant to a family’s needs guiding them to become involved advocates for their children. Most recently, Christine entered Western Washington University's Adult and Higher Education graduate program with the desire of continued work with parents and caregivers emphasizing parent engagement and involvement. “Connecting one to one, I enjoy offering support and guidance to other parents as they move through diagnosis to acceptance and empowerment. It is a moving and individual journey that not only shapes their child’s future but that of Washington State—and our nation— as well.”(Standing Up for our children, Odyssey Magazine, 2013)

Financial - Receives Salary for Employment,Management position,Teaching and speaking from Washington Hands & Voices.  

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.