From the President's Pen...
This year's conference was an outstanding success. Approximately 150 members participated in 30 sessions involving 82 individual presentations.
I am still feeling the "glow" of our 1997 conference in Santa Fe, where it was warm both inside and outside the Inn at Loretto, and where so many friends and colleagues shared the results of their work. On behalf of all the members who attended our 23rd annual conference, I wish to thank the program committee and especially thank Ruth Fletcher, Vice President and Local Arrangements Chair, for the excellent work she and her students did in managing our registration process and the local arrangements. Our meetings seem to get better each year, and the total relevance of focusing on the new CEC/CED standards will provide a basis for many years of future program planning. I hope you will plan to attend next tear's meeting in Kentucky where we will be hosted by Eastern Kentucky University. Karen Dilka and her colleagues have already started preparations which they believe will top Santa Fe. Look for more details and call for proposals coming in our September issue of the ACE-DHH newsletter.
Our standing committees have met and the chairs will join for our next Executive Board meeting in Hartford in conjunction with CAID. If you will be in Hartford on Saturday, June 28, 9 a.m.-12 noon, you are welcome to sit in on our open Board meeting. If you will be there and will need an interpreter, please let me know by June 1, 1997. Our agenda will be published in the May issue of the newsletter for your review.
The 1997 conference was historic in several ways: highest number attending, including many uncounted interlopers who never registered but who contributed greatly to our discussions and then left early Sunday morning; first-ever conference combined with CED; greatest yield to our treasury; first program to feature business meetings supported by Power Point technology; and first necrology service for a dear, departed former president (Sr. Mary Delaney). Efforts to involve more discussants in the program resulted in the highly rated strategy of small groups meeting over coffee after the keynote address. The two plenary sessions were used to pit the power of the past (Madan Vasishta's historical perspective on our field) against the point of light for our future planning (Kathee Christensen's focus on the new standards and where we must go from here).
We are an organization of practitioners: teacher educators in the field of educating students who are Deaf and hard of hearing. But we continue to need to be informed by research, both from a regular education and special education teacher-preparation perspective. We have highly successful system of peer review administered by the Council on Education of the Deaf (I'm proud to have been CED Board President when ACE-DHH was granted member status as a constituent organization) and, as well, the federal grant peer review process under the Training Personnel program at the Office Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS).
In order to be on the cutting edge, our primary professional development needs should be met at our annual conference. We need to know what is "hot" in the grant funding area and the latest research results which might be applicable to our work in preparing teachers of students who are Deaf and hard of hearing. I'd like to nudge our membership to pick up on our recent convention theme and re-visit the new CED standards. Kathee Christensen's keynote address is an excellent place to begin as a bridge from our 1997 conference presentations which described, sometimes eloquently, how well we are doing currently, and bridging to our new expectations for change to raise the standard for future teachers and their Deaf and hard-of-hearing students.
---- Judy Egleston-Dodd