The Ascent Program provides connections for families raising children birth to three who are deaf/hard of hearing or deafblind to Deaf/hard of hearing or deafblind adults.
Contact Kathy Sevier at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for a contact. Also, we often host Ascent Program adults at our family events. Ask your Parent Guide for more information.
This grant-funded program, the Partner Project, which provided adult “Partners” to families with deaf/hh kids birth to age 21 ended on March 31, 2020. Thank you to all of our past Partners for connecting with families, professionals, and especially the kids who are deaf and hard of hearing since 2014!
We worked with some amazing adults who shared generously from their own lived experience to:
- Give proactive and positive support to families and kids who are Deaf/hard of hearing one-on-one, and at our events, panels and workshops like Moms’ Nite Inn or high school transition conferences
- Shared their insights into the experience of being deaf or hard of hearing for school and community programs, and occasionally joined an IEP or 504 team discussion to highlight access and the Deaf Child’s Bill of Rights-related needs
- Answered questions as wide-ranging as “how do you know when your baby is crying?” to “have you ever faced discrimination?”
- Gave parents and kids a “glimpse into the future” for themselves: different professional roles, choices about equipment and sign language, recreational pursuits, and a vision far beyond the limits of the educational/medical arenas of deafness.
- Discussed their own changing approach to communication, language, and identity, and how they choose to advocate for themselves in relationships, work, and the community
Our Partner Project offered an orientation to new Partners-in-training where they learned more about today’s parent journey, giving and getting feedback on how to share their own story, and learning how to support our motto “What works for your child is what makes the choice right” when interacting with families.
Thank you to Carmela Roybal, Partner Project Coordinator, for her many years of service in this part-time position. While we can count the number of families impacted, it is much harder to quantify the sense of hope and joy we saw in parents. We are always looking for funding to help create connections with Deaf/hh adults, including a hoped-for Deaf/HH Guide Program in the future.