Clerc Center Webcasts

The Clerc Center presents an exciting lineup of free webcasts to address your professional development interests. Our webcasts are a convenient way to meet professional development requirements, as well as supply families with needed resources. Without incurring traveling expenses or workshop fees, individual educators, professionals, and parents can interact with professionals in the field of deaf education from the comfort and convenience of their own office, school location, or home computer. It's also possible for groups of colleagues, teachers, and/or families to view the webcasts from one central location.

All webcasts can be accessed with American Sign Language (ASL), spoken English, and captions. For information about upcoming webcasts contact: or subscribe to our e-newsletter News and Notables.

The following links are to archived webcasts from the Clerc Center.

An Interpreted Education: What You Need to Know 

In this webcast, Dr. Brenda Schick and Andrea Sonnier discuss the state of K-12 educational interpreting. Their free-ranging conversation covers a variety of topics relevant to interpreting such as the concept of an interpreted education, educational interpreters' IEP roles and responsibilities, legal/educational issues with interpreting, and current research in the field. This webcast is designed for K-12 educational interpreters, parents, IEP coordinators, educators, and resource coordinators for deaf and hard of hearing students.

Language Learning Through the Eye and Ear

This Clerc Center-produced webcast is designed to increase knowledge among early interventionists, this research-based webcast addresses how deaf and hard of hearing babies acquire language and why one should sign with babies as early as possible. Babies are busy learning language from birth, even though they may not be signing right away. From the moment they arrive, babies are seeking patterns in human language, whether signed or spoken. This webcast will give early interventionists a foundational knowledge to engage in dialogue with parents and professionals about the neurolinguistic benefits of early exposure to visual language for all babies.

Educational Planning for Students with Cochlear Implants

Geared towards professionals who work with students who use cochlear implants, this webcast discusses the knowledge and tools needed to meet the unique needs of those students. Dr. Susan Schatz and Dr. Mary Ann Kinsella-Meier, from the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center, focus on factors shown in the evidence as critical to the language, academic, and social-emotional development of students using cochlear implants. They also discuss considerations in educational planning for students in either general education settings or schools for the deaf. Accompanying this webcast is a comprehensive reference list that supports the information shared.

Dispelling Myths of Language Acquisition

This webcast with Roberta J. Cordano, president of Gallaudet University, and Dr. Ronald J. Stern, then-vice president of the Clerc Center, centers on myths surrounding early exposure to American Sign Language (ASL) and English. Based on a VL2 paper that called for the use of proven, peer-reviewed and published scientific research and data in guiding early intervention practices, President Cordano and Dr. Stern share their mutual passion on this topic and call for stakeholders to explore the importance of dramatically changing existing early language acquisition policies and practices in our country.

Maximizing Language Acquisition: ASL and Spoken English

This webcast provides an evidence-based rationale for supporting language acquisition in both American Sign Language (ASL) and spoken English for young children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Experienced professionals in deaf education discuss the important ingredients essential to learning language as well as common misconceptions that tend to drive language and communication practices. Designed for professionals involved in early intervention, this webcast highlights how evidence points to use of an ASL and spoken English bilingual approach (sometimes referred to as a bimodal bilingual approach) as beneficial for young children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Accompanying the webcast is a comprehensive reference list to support the information shared.

How Early Intervention Can Make a Difference: Research and Trends

Dr. Beth Benedict, professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Gallaudet University and coordinator of Gallaudet's Deaf and Hard of Hearing Infants, Toddlers, and Families: Collaboration and Leadership Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate Program, shares information about what research is telling us about the importance of early intervention, how the field is evolving, and what professionals in the field can do to make a difference.

More Than Meets the Eye: An Introduction to Autism Spectrum Disorders

Dr. Christen Szymanski, director of Research and Evaluation at the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center, and a recognized expert on deaf and hard and hearing children with autism, explains the early warning signs of autism that may be present in young children who are deaf or hard of hearing. She discusses how some of the current characteristics, warning signs, and tools for diagnosing autism may not apply to children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Sharing Power: Practical Strategies for Power Struggles with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

Robert Whitaker, a nationally certified school psychologist with more than 15 years of experience working with children who are deaf and hard of hearing in educational settings, provides practical solutions for managing power struggles.

Strategies to Prevent Visual Split-Attention with Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Dr. Susan M. Mather, professor in the Linguistics Department at Gallaudet University, discusses how to manage visual split-attention in the classroom. She discusses the impact of visual split-attention on cognitive overload and working memory, shifting attention between visual fields in the classroom, and strategies to reduce the effect of split-attention in various types of classroom situations.

What the Eyes Reveal About the Brain: Advances in Human Language Acquisition-Insights from Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2) and the Brain and Language Laboratory for Neuroimaging (BL2)

Dr. Laura-Ann Petitto, from Gallaudet University's Brain and Language Laboratory, shares breakthrough research related to the visual modality and what happens when, as she says, "the lion's share of knowledge comes from the eyes." She addresses the impact of that on brain structure and function, and findings on how this applies to early language acquisition.

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