March 13-15, 2016 • San Diego, CA


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Literacy Starts in Infancy: Strategies to Support Families to Develop Early Literacy

If you are born today, you only have 2,000 days until you start Kindergarten. In this short time, children need many natural and uncompromised opportunities to learn and be ready for Kindergarten. Hearing children from rich language environments will have heard 45,000,000 words by their third birthday, while children from welfare families will have heard 32,000,000 fewer (Hart & Risley, 1995). Proponents of the emergent literacy perspectives posit that language and literacy skills develop simultaneously, and that the needed attributes for literacy start in infancy. (Teale & Sulzby 1989; Sulzby and Teale 1991). We cannot afford to restrict the uncompromised visual language of ASL to a deaf/ hard of hearing infant, toddler or young child during this emergent literacy period or we are at risk of creating an intractable gap which will affect all future language and literacy learning. Research will be shared on the progress of deaf children with early exposure to visual language and their comparable developmental stages in a visual modality showing how the brain does not discriminate language acquisition between the hands and the tongue. Poster will also illustrate the emergent literacy program initiative being done through community language-literacy events for families with deaf/ hard of hearing infants, toddlers and young children ages birth to seven years utilizing Little Books adapted for use with a bilingual English/ASL approach to support families in fostering development of emergent literacy in deaf/ hard of hearing children. Contact Information: Marie.guard@gallaudet.edu

  • Participants will learn strategies to support families in facilitating literacy development at home.

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Marie Guard (Primary Presenter), Gallaudet University, marie.guard@gallaudet.edu;
I I became profoundly deaf from meningitis at the age of 13. Graduated with my BS in Deaf Education from the University of Tulsa in 1982 Taught Deaf Education in Fort Smith, AR 1 year. Taught Special Education at the Little Light House in Tulsa for 2 years. I worked with Ski-Hi Project ECCO from 1984-2013. Taught at Tulsa Community College in the late 80's (Deaf Culture and Sign Language) First Program Director of Happy Hands Educ. Center in Tulsa, OK 1994. Taught Elementary Educ. for Broken Arrow Public Schools from 1998-2009. Taught Preschool/Kindergarten for Tulsa Public Schools from 2009-2015. I am presently pursuing my MA with Gallaudet University Full time. Loving life and looking forward to doing more. Involved in my community Language-Literacy Events and I help with as many projects as I can. My passion is language, literacy parent education. Lots to do!


Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.