Language Deprivation is a serious crisis

Research shows 70% of Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, and Hard of Hearing children don’t have access to language. And it’s actually worse for BIPOC deaf children. Language deprivation is a devastating reality for many deaf children, and the NAD strongly believes this is a serious and urgent health crisis. To address this, the NAD has developed several documents – we developed two open letters: one for families and for professionals who work with Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, and Hard of Hearing children. We also developed a position statement that makes policy recommendations to end language deprivation. These three documents are based on a thoroughly researched paper with different research and studies related to language deprivation; the technical paper outlines which systematic policy can be improved so all Deaf, DeafBlind, DeafDisabled, andHard of Hearing children have access to language, from birth to adulthood. To access a language from birth means every deaf child is able to meet expected language milestones, receive language and communication support, and interact with the world without barriers. These factors lead to successful language acquisition for most deaf children. Every child has the right to access a full language from birth.