Title: 'Supporting Parents: Education Advocacy'
Track: 7 - Family Perspectives and Support
Keyword(s): advocacy, support, education, parents, resources
Learning Objectives:
  1. Identify current relevant statistics and resources on the education of deaf and hard of hearing children
  2. Develop strategies on how to advocate for a deaf/hard of hearing child at an IFSP/IEP meeting


Parents often find themselves at IFSP or IEP meetings surrounded by professionals, teachers, and administrators and feel overwhelmed. This presentation provided by a lawyer with expertise in Deaf Education and experience in teaching will give the parents the ability to be more comfortable at the IFSP/IEP meetings. A brief overview of parents' rights under IDEA will be covered along with a walk-through of latest trends in statistics (for instance, 92% of deaf children are being mainstreamed). At the same time, recent research findings have found key factors of a deaf child's academic success require things that often are not found in mainstream settings. For example: critical mass, qualified interpreters, direct communication, and language access. Those findings will be discussed in the presentation along with how parents can bring this information to the IFSP/IEP meetings to support their child. The presentation will also include tips on how to work with schools as team players (in order to get a win/win solution for the child), along with sharing real stories about common challenges and ways to get around those. For example, many parents have shared that they have struggled to get the school placement that they feel is best for their child, or have been told their child will not use sign language or get an interpreter in school. To support parents, the presentation will also share national resources on education advocacy, including the National Association of the Deaf and its Education Advocacy program for parents. The key purpose of this presentation is not a comprehensive walk-through of the IDEA or IFSP/IEP process, but rather to give parents useful tools in the form of research and tips to advocate for their child at future meetings and other events.
Presentation: Tuesday_Clements_300_TawnyHolmes_1693.pdf

Handouts: Handout is not Available
CART: Topical Session 7- 1693.rtf
Tawny Holmes - Primary Presenter,Author,POC
National Association of the Deaf
     Credentials: M.A. in Family Centered Early Education, J.D. and Esq. J.D. Certification in Early Intervention Leadership
      Tawny Holmes is the Education Policy Counsel at the National Association of the Deaf. She graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law. In addition to her law degree, she has a Master of Arts in Family Centered Early Education. Ms. Holmes has worked three years teaching deaf and hard of hearing students. She is also a godmother of four deaf children.

Financial - Receives Salary for Employment,Teaching and speaking from Bingham McCutchen LLP.  

Nonfinancial -
Caroline Jackson - Co-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 -

Nonfinancial -