Inauguration 2016 – It All Starts in Infancy – Deaf Children Can’t Wait

Led by Dr. Ronald Stern, vice president of the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center, and Gallaudet Provost Dr. Carol Erting, this session brings together educators, parents, researchers, policy makers, doctors, and deaf community members to share perspectives on why deaf infants can’t wait beyond infancy to acquire a natural signed language. Recent scientific discoveries provide strong support for the argument that a dramatic change is needed in policy and practice as the evidence from neuroscience reinforces what generations of deaf people have known: that the brain does not discriminate against language or modality and it does, indeed, all start in infancy. Join this discussion; explore ideas on how to shift conversations and directions for the benefit of deaf babies and children; be part of the change.

Panelists include: Beth Benedict, Ph.D., family involvement, newborn screening, early childhood education and partnerships advocate; Tyrone Jackson, hearing parent of a deaf child; Norma Moran, deaf parent of a deaf child; Barbara Raimondo, Esq., professional advocate and government relations liaison; Matthew Stewart MD, Ph.D., cochlear implant surgeon, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine; and Debra Trapani, early childhood and elementary education professional and administrator.

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