State Laws for Students Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing: What Do They Mean for Families?

By Boswell, Susan | Volta Voices, July/August 2013 | Go to article overview

State Laws for Students Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing: What Do They Mean for Families?


Boswell, Susan, Volta Voices


In recent years, states have steadily passed legislation designed to focus on the unique communication and educational needs of students who are deaf and hard of hearing. The ideas that form the cornerstone of these laws are now making their way to the federal level as part of a national public policy advocacy campaign as well as proposed federal legislation. Parents of children who are deaf and hard of hearing should be aware of these initiatives-and understand what they mean for students who are pursuing a listening and spoken language outcome.

Laws for Deaf Child 's Bill of Rights (DCBR) have been sweeping the nation and one may be in the works in your state. At least 14 states already passed a DCBR and several states-Florida, Massachusetts and Virginia-have had recent legislative activity, while other states have considered, but not passed, this legislation at some point in time.

The DCBR is a state law that is designed to foster recognition at the state level of the educational, communication and language needs that are unique to students who are deaf and hard of hearing as well as educational options for these students. These laws are intended to foster dialogue between parents and school districts-and ensure that this discussion occurs-during the process of developing an Individualized Education Program (1EP) or determining accommodations to support students with hearing loss in the classroom.

While DCBR laws may be wellintentioned in their focus on the needs of students who are deaf and hard of hearing, these laws frequently have language that focuses on access and rights to sign language which is not relevant to the majority of students who are deaf and hard of hearing in the public schools. National data show that 52% of students who are deaf and hard of hearing nationwide are educated in environments which focus on listening and spoken language (Gallaudet Research Institute, 2008)

Despite the changing demographics of the population of students who are deaf and hard of hearing, many state DCBR laws call for qualified and certified personnel who can communicate directly with children using their mode of communication. DCBR laws also support access to a sufficient number of same-language mode peers who are of the same age and ability level so that a "critical mass" of peers is available with whom children who are deaf and hard of hearing can communicate directly in the same language.

These state laws have been passed despite overarching federal legislation, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which provides access to a free and appropriate public education for all students with disabilities, including those who are deaf and hard of hearing, from birth to the postsecondary level. The language in some state laws runs counter to federal laws which have long promoted access for people with disabilities to the educational mainstream by providing specialized services, instruction and accommodations. Some DCBR laws, for example, suggest that the determination of the least restrictive environment for a child take int consideration the unique communication needs of children who are deaf and hard of hearing.

National Advocacy Efforts

Many of the ideas and principles in statewide DCBR laws are now included in a national public awareness and legislative campaign called "Child First," which was launched last fall by the Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf (CEASD). The campaign has similar objectives as DCBR laws- to address the language, communication and educational needs of children who are deaf and hard of hearing.

A focal point of the campaign is the proposed "Alice Cogswell Act of 2013," which is named after a student who led to the founding of one of the first schools for the deaf in the United States in the early 1800s. This stand-alone bill is intended to advance discussion among congressional representatives, disability organizations and other stakeholders prior to the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

State Laws for Students Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing: What Do They Mean for Families?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.