Cultural & Medical Perspectives

How Early Intervention Can Make a Difference: Research and Trends

By ASL, Bilingual, Bilingual Education, Cultural & Medical Perspectives, Early ASL Acquisition, Early Intervention, Early Language Development, Information, Research No Comments

Can early intervention really make a difference? Join Dr. Beth Benedict for a webinar on what research is telling us about the importance of early intervention. She will share ways in which the field is evolving and explain what professionals in the field can do to make a difference in areas related to:

  • Visual language and learning
  • English language performance
  • Social-emotional, cognition, and communication development
  • Family involvement and deaf role models
  • Setting high expectations

About the Presenter:

Benedict is a professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Gallaudet University. She is also the coordinator of Gallaudet’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Infants, Toddlers, and Families: Collaboration and Leadership Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate Program. She has published numerous articles and is a widely sought-after lecturer on diverse topics, including early intervention, early language acquisition, and family involvement.

Benedict is currently the chair of the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing and a representative on the Council on Education of the Deaf. She is currently serving as president of the American Society for Deaf Children, the oldest organization of, by, and for parents of deaf and hard of hearing children ( In 2010, she received the prestigious Antonia Brancia Maxon Award for EHDI Excellence at the Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Conference in Chicago, along with numerous awards. Benedict holds a doctorate in education from Gallaudet, a master’s degree in educational counseling from New York University, and a bachelor’s degree from Gallaudet in psychology. She is also the proud mother of two deaf daughters.

Visit Gallaudet University’s Website

Giving your deaf or hard of hearing child a first language gives them foundation to learn a second language

By ASL, Cultural & Medical Perspectives, Early ASL Acquisition, Early Intervention, Early Language Development, Information No Comments

The most important part of raising a Deaf kiddo is teaching him how to advocate for himself. We found a new way for our little man to do that.
This year has been a challenge for Calvin & we finally discovered that he struggles the most at recess, and he has an interpreter, but we are not sure how involved they are.
1- We live in a VERY hearing centered world. So much around us is completely driven by sound. Calvin must learn how to function as a Deaf person inside a world that is not made for him, and often not interested in being fair to him.
2- I will not always be there to interpret or run interference for him. As much as I want him to stay little forever, he has other plans.
So, I thought about how I need to teach him to be resilient and advocate for himself. I also realized we need to be building other skills as well, like his reading and writing. I will NEVER force Calvin to learn to speak. Or lip read. I don’t judge those who ask this of their kids, but it is not for him. I will expect him to read and write well, and solve problems, and communicate with everyone.
Then, I was at the grocery store the other day. The little notebook made me stop dead in my tracks. I’ve seen other Deaf adults carry one. When I saw it though, I thought, “recess.” I snatched it up, and when I got home I talked to Calvin about making sure an interpreter can help, but if she/ he can’t, it’s ok to write a note to ask your friend something.
Today when I picked him up, the little notes I read just made me grin. The sloppy handwriting. The bad spelling. The sweet responses from friends.
Then as we were leaving, the school secretary got to ask him about the snow in Idaho, and he got to tell her about losing a tooth.
As I pulled out of the school parking lot, he tried to get my attention and then passed me this note.

Lexi Hill’s Message to hearing Parents with Deaf Children

By ASL, Cultural & Medical Perspectives, Identity, Information No Comments

Born deaf, REL senior Lexi Hill is ranked 7th in her class & will attend Gallaudet Univ, where she received the highest scholarship available & will play basketball! She has an encouraging message for both parents & students. Read her story: #JKR #successfulstudentoutcomes