NAD to Advocate for ASL at 2011 EHDI Conference

The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) will be represented at the 10th annual Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Conference which takes place February 20-22, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. This conference presents an extraordinary opportunity for the NAD to have productive conversation with various stakeholders of early invention programs from all over the country, including local and federal EHDI professionals, deaf educators, advocates, audiologists and parents about the benefits of American Sign Language (ASL).

Debby Patkin, a staff attorney at the NAD, will provide two presentations and lead one panel. The first presentation will outline the importance of deaf mentor programs to introduce parents to the deaf experience and to cultivate the bond between parents and their deaf children so necessary for successful language acquisition. The second presentation will demonstrate how American Sign Language (ASL) enhances the acquisition of English by exploring emotional, cognitive and social development studies. The third panel will involve parents and an EHDI professional who will discuss the importance of having parents being involved with early invention programs by discussing their stories and experiences.

These presentations also reflect the commitment of the NAD to ensure that parents of newly identified deaf and hard of hearing infants receive accurate information about the benefits of acquiring and developing proficiency in both ASL and English.  Click here to view “EHDI Programs and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community: Working Together” which includes descriptions of each initiative listed above. Early language advocates are encouraged to share this document with EHDI professionals in their states.