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RAdvocacy and the New Vocabulary of Power ~ Leeanne Seaver, Board Member H&V

Whether you’re more comfortable bringing cookies to the IEP meeting, or bringing six law texts and an expert witness, it’s important to remember that all effective advocacy strategies require competency in the four R’s.

No, we don’t mean three R’s, (reading, writing & arithmetic), we mean the four R’s of advocacy:

  • Reason
  • Rationale
  • Resolution
  • Remedy

When you’re thorough and effective at the four R’s, at Hands & Voices we say you’re a “radical advocate” (or “RAdvocate”)-in a very positive sense. We developed this new twist on an old term to avoid the instant assumptions and misconceptions some people have about advocacy and advocates.

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Questions You May Want to Ask YourChild’s Early Intervention Team


Names of Early Interventionists: ___________________________________________________

Phone/Contact Information: ______________________________________________________

Appointment Date: _____________________________________________________________

Next Appointment Date: _________________________________________________________

Early intervention is a program for children from birth to 3 years of age who have a developmental delay. Some states also provide services for children who are “at risk” for developmental delay. Children with hearing loss typically need early intervention services. An early interventionist, a specialist who works with infants and toddlers, will help identify your child’s needs and create an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). This plan will be used to provide your child with the services he or she needs.

Early intervention services support families to help their children reach their full potential.

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Wright’s Law Game Plan: Smart IEP’s ~ Pete Wright and Pam Wright

Diane writes: “Help! I need good IEP goals and objectives!”

I know my son’s IEP is inadequate. The school’s IEP goal for him is “Commitment to academic success.” If “Commitment to academic success” is not an appropriate goal, what should I propose in its place? 

I need to find good IEPs to help me construct a model. How are measurable goals defined? Can you give me an example of a well-written IEP?

Mary writes: “Help! I need good IEP goals and objectives!”

I am a first year special education teacher. I need to see some good IEP goals. I haven’t had enough experience with this and need to feel more secure in this area.

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How to Prevent and Stop Cyber-Bullying by Irene van der Zande, Kidpower

Bullying is bullying, whether in cyberspace or in person. The following eight steps are described in Kidpower’s bullying solutions book,  Bullying – What Adults Need to Know and Do to Keep Kids Safe.

1) Discuss what cyberbullying is and the harm it does with older children and teens

Ask kids who are actively using technology for communication what they already know about cyber-bullying. They usually have a lot of information and strong ideas.  Ask if this has ever happened to them or anyone they know. Make sure that the young people in your life know that:

  • Cyber-bullying means using computers, cell phones, and other technology to hurt, scare, or embarrass other people.
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CART Case Supports Students

A recent court case provided a victory for students who are deaf and hard of hearing to gain access to Computer-Assisted Realtime Transcription (CART) as an accommodation in mainstream K-12 classrooms. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the plaintiff in K.M. v. Tustin Unified School District  (No. 11-56259) that school districts must consider student’s request for CART. AG Bell filed an amicus brief in the case in support of K.M., a high school student who is deaf and uses cochlear implants and speechreading to communicate.
In the case, the Court of Appeals reversed summary judgment against K.M.

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Personal Saftey for Middle School Years – Ages11-14 ~ reprinted from Deafed.net




As young people enter adolescence, our job as parents, teachers, and other caring adults is to help them to support their increasing independence while protecting their safety. Our leadership is still essential in ensuring that young people are protected from harm through our guidance and intervention when needed — and empowered by having opportunities to learn, practice, and use personal safety skills.

Even with a strong foundation in childhood, experiences in the pre-teen and teen years can have a profound impact on a young person’s trust that she or he has the right to be and feel safe.

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The Complexity of Ordering a Sandwich ~ Paul Jacobs, PhD

Whether deaf or hearing, successful people prepare, plan and persist to realize their goals. Goal Orientation can be short term or long term. Short-term Goal Orientation occurs within minutes, hours or days; long-term over weeks, months or years.

Goal Orientation can be Short or Long Term

Ordering food at Subway exemplifies short-term Goal Orientation. Whether deaf or hearing, the novice can be overwhelmed. Acoustics are terrible. Ordering off the menu is different than elsewhere. A queue of other customers may pressure you from behind. Embarrassment can trigger panic.

Everything is left to chance when you are without a plan, relying only on visual cues and not-so-perfect hearing.

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Preferential Seating: What Does it Mean? ~ Jeannene Evanstad

I remember walking into my son Brian’s second grade  class five years ago to observe group writing. The kids all sat on the floor  and the teacher wrote on an easel using the students input. Brian was in the  front row because that’s where the Deaf/hh students sat.  I observed him trying to watch three things  at once – the teacher, the board she was writing on, and the interpreter when  he missed what the teacher or another student said.  His head was in constant motion moving back  and forth. It took me no more than a minute to realize that sitting in the  front row was not preferential seating in this circumstance.

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Open for Business: The ADA and Hearing Loss ~ Maggie Sims

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), public accommodations must provide effective means of communications for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing to ensure an equal opportunity to enjoy the goods and services offered.

What is a place of public accommodation?

Places of public accommodation consist of over five million private establishments. These include restaurants, hotels, theaters, convention centers, retail stores, shopping centers, dry cleaners, laundromats, pharmacies, doctors’ offices, hospitals, museums, libraries, parks, zoos, amusement parks, private schools, day care centers, health spas, and bowling alleys. Entities controlled by religious organizations, including places of worship, are not covered.

A public accommodation must provide “auxiliary aids and services” that are necessary to ensure equal access to the goods and services that it offers, unless an undue burden or a fundamental alteration would result.

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IEP MEETING PLANNER ~ What do Before, During and After your child’s IEP/IFSP


  1. Review your child’s records
  • Compile and review the following:

ü  Your child’s current IEP

ü  Progress reports toward annual goals in the IEP

ü  Related services and accommodations on your child’s current IEP

ü  Report cards

ü  Recent work samples

ü  Performance on district/state assessments

ü  Results of most recent evaluations

ü  Communication with teacher/school

ü  Communication or recommendations from professionals outside of school

ü  (i.e. Audiologist, ENT, private therapist)

ü  If your child is working, letters or reviews from their supervisor

  • Organize this information in a 3 ring binder and plan to take it with you to the IEP meeting.
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