We need your support! NAD Education Policy Specialist, Sarah, explains the goals of the Cogswell Macy Act (CMA) and ways you can support deaf, hard of hearing, and DeafBlind students in the U.S.
[TRANSCRIPT & DESC: Sarah stands in the middle of the screen.
SARAH: Hi! I’m Sarah, the Education Policy Specialist at the National Association for the Deaf (NAD). I’m thrilled to chat with you today about an important opportunity for you to support deaf, hard of hearing, and DeafBlind students in the U.S. You may have already seen information about the Cogswell Macy Act (CMA), a bill which the deaf, DeafBlind, and blind communities are trying to pass to become law. Maybe you’re curious for more information, or want to know how to get involved — this video is for you! The NAD has since supported the Cogswell Macy Act since 2012. The goal behind the CMA is to improve services and education opportunities for students who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, and DeafBlind. I’ll share some important things that this bill includes:
- Increase training for teachers and other special education professionals so they are qualified to work with deaf, hard of hearing, and DeafBlind students.
- Require more appropriate and specific data tracking through appropriate evaluations and assessments, which will give us better data and information to best support our deaf, hard of hearing, and DeafBlind students.
- Encourage states to develop quality improvement services, such as requiring language goals to include measured progress in acquiring American Sign Language (ASL) as well as English, which leads to national expectations for quality services for deaf, hard of hearing, and DeafBlind students.
- Protection for special education placements for DHH and DB students, including deaf schools and deaf programs for DHH students.
- Require interpreter training programs to prepare students for the educational interpreting field and move them towards educational interpreting licensure.
Change outdated terminology in current educational law from “hearing impaired” to “deaf, hard of hearing, and DeafBlind.”
I shared a few important things that will positively impact the future of deaf, hard of hearing, and DeafBlind students, we need your help to make these proposed changes a reality! There are several ways you can help!
1. Contact your legislators — your senators and representatives, both. Don’t know who your legislators are, or you’re not sure what to say? Visit CogswellMacyAct.org for guidelines and different examples of what to say.
2. Share information about the Cogswell Macy Act with your friends, family, and colleagues and share information on social media.
3. If you’re involved at a school or an organization, ask them to provide a letter of support and share with your legislators!
Remember, your stories matter and can contribute to a better future for deaf, hard of hearing, and DeafBlind children! Thank you!]