February 26-28, 2017 • Atlanta, GA


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Cheri Dowling

Cheri Dowling, parent of a son who is deaf, is a leader who has helped to ensure that families of children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing have access to support and resources, and exemplifies leadership within the EHDI system. She is a tireless advocate and leader in her community and the state of Maryland. Within the Maryland Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) system, Cheri has developed and led the Parent Connections program, a parent-to- parent mentoring program for parents of young D/HH children. Her leadership has developed parent mentoring resources that are diverse, welcoming to all, and accessible in multiple languages to meet community needs from the Eastern Shore to the city of Baltimore. The positive attitude that she brings to her work is palpable, and visible in all the work that she does. Cheri has served on the Maryland EHDI Advisory Council and her input and leadership are exemplary, ensuring that the vital role of parents is recognized, respected, and supported. As the present Chair of our state advisory council, and a practitioner in Maryland, I frequently hear from parents how Cheri has helped them to access knowledge, resources, or to make systems within the state work for families. Without a doubt, her commitment, work, and talents have improved the systems she works with and any task she is presented with, she creates improvement for the D/HH children and families in Maryland.

In addition to her successful family support program, Cheri contributes her leadership to advocacy efforts at the state and national level, providing testimony, visiting with legislators, and communicating her advocacy experiences to empower other families to influence change. She leads the Maryland State Family Support and Resource Center, serving all parents of D/HH children, and at a national level, serves the American Society for Deaf Children.

Cheri Dowling has taken her leadership roles and made the state of Maryland's EHDI program more parent-friendly, and for that I am pleased to nominate her for the EHDI Family Leadership Award. Working with Cheri Dowling has been a privilege and the Maryland EHDI Advisory Council is grateful for her leadership and all that she has done to make the EHDI system work better for families.