Families' Role in Education
Parents and guardians of deaf and hard of hearing children know their child better than anybody else. They have the greatest investment in - and the greatest responsibility for - their child's success.
To be effective advocates for their children, parents and guardians need to do the following:
- Know your child's strengths and needs
- Learn as much as you can about your child's disability
- Learn about how children deaf and hard of hearing children are educated (placement options, support services and accommodations, etc.)
- If your child has disabilities other than deafness, learn about these disabilities and the corresponding educational supports
- Build a good relationship with your child's school
- Know your rights and responsibilities. Understand your role in the IEP development process and be an active member of the IEP team
Parents and guardians have the awesome responsibility of making many decisions about their deaf and hard of hearing children in areas that range from communication methods in the home to hearing technology decisions to school placements. Many organizations provide support for parents of deaf and hard of children and ways for parents to connect. We have identified some of these organizations and provided links to their Web sites, below.
The American Society for Deaf Children is a non-profit organization advocating for deaf children's rights and education.
American Society for Deaf Children
Hands and Voices aims to provide unbiased information about deaf and hard of hearing children. Their website provides articles on parent-professional collaborations and family perspectives on raising deaf and hard of hearing children.
Hands and Voices
Raising Deaf Kids is an organization that offers information about children with hearing loss.
Raising Deaf Kids
Deaflinx.com describes public laws that affect deaf education and outlines what parents need to know.
The Clerc Center outlines recommended practices that help families become more involved in their children's education.
"We are Equal Partners: Recommended Practices for Involving Families in Their Child's Educational Program." (PDF)
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