Key words: Deaf Education Information, organizations
My name is Laura Kearsey and I live in Tucson, Arizona. I am currently enrolled in the University of Arizona's Masters program for Hard-of-hearing/Deaf Education. I am also working for the Flowing Wells School District as their 3/5 Teacher of the Hearing Impaired. My fiance is Deaf and we will soon be training our puppy through Handi-dogs, Inc. to become certified as a hearing dog (I'm really excited about this).
Since I work with mainstreamed students I am very interested in support groups for hearing impaired mainstreamed students. If anyone has heard of this, has any information on such a topic, knows of any articles, or knows of any established support groups, please reply.
Laura Kearsey posted a question about support groups for mainstreamed children with hearing impairments.
Here in my area there are local support groups which I believe are part of a national support group. Our local support groups all go by the name of Parents of Mainstreamed Hearing Impaired Children of <local name or school district area>. For example, there's the Parents of Mainstreamed Hearing Impaired Children in Rockland County and the same group in Westchester County. I'll see if I can locate a national address for you, but someone on EduDeaf may already know of the national organization.
Dr. J! @ St. John's
In reply to Dr. J's response, regarding my request for information on support groups for mainstreamed students, I am very interested in the information on the national support group for parents. But, I am really interested in support groups for the STUDENTS who are mainstreamed. My students are scattered all over the school district and are at some schools the only hearing impaired student at their school. Many of these students have low self-esteem and feel that they don't fit in with the other students. I know that there aren't any support groups for mainstreamed hearing impaired students here in Arizona, and I would like to start one for my students, as well as for other students in other school districts. I feel that possibly interacting with other hearing impaired mainstreamed students and sharing their experiences and challenges, that such interaction will improve their self esteem, as well as build friendships. Has anyone heard of such a group? I haven't been able to find any research on the topic.
Any ideas would be appreciated, as well as the phone number for the national support group for parents of mainstreamed students.
I am working with a wide range of HI students in the Marana public school system. All but one are fully included into regular ed classrooms. I've notice the same thing in the classroom. They tend to be "quiet" and "shy" not fully involved with their peers. They tend to have more contact with their teacher/aide than their peers. But once on the playground or cafeteria or non-academic setting they are more social with their peers.
I think a support group is a good idea, but why limit the participants to HI students. Why not include their peers from the classroom. Have it be a sharing experience for both the HI student and hearing student. I am interested in hearing what others think and info you gather.
Dear Laura and EduDeaf'ers:
It is interesting that you ask whether there are support groups for children with hearing losses who are mainstreamed in schools. I can only share the following.
When I first began working mainstreaming children who are deaf and HoH in a public school district in my area (back in the early 1970's), I asked the same question, and the answer I found at that time is the same answer I am giving you today. *There are no formally developed national support groups for children who are hearing impaired in the mainstream.* Yet, as you have stated and I found back then - 25 years ago, the need is *great* for such support groups.
What needs to be done is for you to contact the powers that be in your area and form your own support group. I can share from true experience that support groups for mainstreamed kids who are hearing impaired is a tremendous benefit for these kids. My wife, who is a counselor of children and adolescents who are deaf and HoH, worked last year and developed a support group for mainstreamed hearing impaired kids in our area through a cooperative educational service we have called BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Services). She set up and ran support groups for middle school and high school aged mainstreamed children who are hearing impaired. The payoff socially, emotionally, and adjustment-wise was tremendous.
Then, as is typical, budget cuts.
Well, I wish you luck in forming such support groups. If you need any help or ideas, feel free to private email me or contact me through this list, and my wife and I will be happy to share her experiences (and mine) with you.
Dr.J! @ St. John's
Uploaded by: Melissa Close/Kent State University/ Deaf Education Major