New Directions in Deaf Education
SEEKING SUBMISSIONSfor the 2024 Issue of Odyssey
THEME: Language-Rich Environments in Deaf Education
The next issue of Odyssey will focus on deaf and hard of hearing students’ access to language-rich environments, which serve as the “least restrictive environments” that provide the most access to language and communication. This access, in turn, impacts academic and social-emotional development.
Defining a language-rich environment should be at the heart of educational planning. Planning and decisions about placement should take into consideration each child’s unique language, learning, and communication needs, along with what will encourage the child to not just meet expectations but also to thrive. Research findings emphasize that all children should have abundant and interactive access to thousands of words or signs every day, not just in the classroom but also during playtime and extracurriculars, at home, and in the community. What may be a language-rich environment for one student is not necessarily the same as for another student. Considerations for deaf and hard of hearing, deafblind, and deafdisabled students may also include exceptional learning capabilities and other factors, such as the student’s preferred language or use of assistive technology.
Please share with us how families and educators are ensuring their deaf or hard of hearing children or students can participate fully in their environments, including with their families and peers
- How can educational teams, including parents or caregivers, ensure the deaf or hard of hearing student’s academic environment is inclusive, providing an abundance of accessible and interactive language? What bilingual approaches or support services foster this inclusion?
- What strategies are being used to promote social-emotional learning? Are there a number of age-appropriate and level-appropriate peers who share the child’s language and communication preferences? Does the child participate in extracurricular experiences?
- What supports are being used in the home? How do parents and caregivers promote language-rich interactions? Are stories signed or read aloud? Is the child included in conversation during mealtimes? How can extended family and friends become a part of the child’s language-rich environment? Are Deaf Mentors or role models available to work with the child and the family?
- Which assistive tools and technologies are being used to support language use? How do educational teams determine which supports to include when developing Individualized Education Programs and 504 plans? Are the child’s perspectives and preferences included?
The Clerc Center is particularly interested in articles focused on serving students who are deaf or hard of hearing from traditionally underserved groups, including those students who are lower achieving academically, who come from families that speak a language other than English in the home, who are members of diverse racial or cultural groups, who are from rural areas, and/or who are deafdisabled.
Please e-mail your ideas to us. We will begin accepting submissions on July 3, 2023, and continue until December 4, 2023, or until the magazine reaches capacity. Contact us at any time with questions or to discuss your ideas.