Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children: Resources for Families

The diagnosis of severe hearing loss or deafness presents parents with many choices. Complicating the choices are the controversies in the fields of education, medicine, and philosophy of deafness. Parents are faced with understanding all the educational, medical, and philosophical issues and seeking the best options for their child.

Where can you get guidance and information? The best sources are the professionals in education and medicine. The following websites are also good resources for parents, especially when you follow the many links contained within them. Besides these websites, find additional resources by talking to the professionals in your child’s life.

National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
One of the Institutes of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the NIDCD conducts biomedical and behavioral research and research training in hearing, balance, smell, taste, voice, speech, and language. It also provides an information clearinghouse staffed by information specialists in deafness and other communication disorders.

Early Hearing Detection & Intervention (EHDI) Program
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention EHDI program collaborates with federal, national, and state agencies and organizations in assisting states and territories to develop and implement EHDI programs. These programs help identify infants with hearing loss so they can be enrolled in early intervention programs. The CDC EHDI website also maintains an information clearinghouse.

Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center, Gallaudet University
This center provides information, training, and technical assistance for parents and professionals to meet the needs of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. It also maintains two demonstration schools.

Oral Deaf Education
This website provides information for parents, educators, audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and other healthcare professionals on oral deaf education. This is a collaborative, family-centered educational approach for developing a child’s speech and listening abilities.

Deaf Education: A Parents’ Guide
Developed by Terry Orsi, a teacher of the deaf, this website provides information to parents and others about issues related to deafness, the education of the deaf, and Deaf culture.

Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
This association provides a range of programs, resources, and advocacy for the deaf and hard of hearing.

Convention of American Instructors for the Deaf
With a 160-year history, this organization of teachers and other education-related personnel promotes student learning and development of the deaf by bringing together, local, state, regional, and national interest organizations.

National Association of the Deaf (NAD)
Established in 1880, NAD is the nation’s premier civil rights organization of, by, and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals.

Deaf Culture Online
Developed to promote awareness of Deaf culture, this website provides parent resources and a wide range of perspectives on deaf and hard of hearing experiences, such as current trends, communication preferences, and American Sign Language.