More About the Deaf Mentor Program (DMP)
DMP First Step
This program is the “first step” toward supporting parents in learning sign language through DMP. DMP First Step will match a Deaf Mentor with the family, via technology (Skype, FaceTime, Videophone, etc.). The family will be provided with 16 sessions of sign language instruction, through technology whenever possible, that utilizes the Bravo ASL! Curriculum (“The most comprehensive beginning ASL curriculum available. Bravo ASL! is the program of choice in nearly every state in the U.S. and is widely used in Canada for meeting second language requirements in high schools and colleges”). Members of the child's educational team (who choose to participate) will also be provided with 16 sessions of sign vocabulary instruction, via technology. Sessions will last for approximately 30-45 minutes for each family and/or educational team member receiving instruction.
In order to participate in this program, families and participating professionals need to have:
- Webcam or video capacity on your computer, iPhone, iPad, tablet, Kindle Fire
- High-speed internet connection
- Email and web access
- A willingness to install Skype or Google Hangouts (free video conferencing programs), or have a device that has FaceTime. In some cases, video equipment may be available for this program through our Tele-connect Loan Program. For more information, contact our Technology Services Coordinator
Families who do not have access to high-speed internet service will go straight into the 100-session DMP.
Families and Professionals who participate in DMP First Step will:
- Increase their knowledge of basic sign language vocabulary
- Increase their ability to use signs when communicating with the child
Deaf Mentor Program
Families that demonstrate benefit from DMP First Step and wish to continue improving their sign language ability will be provided with (up to) 100 sessions (approximately two years of weekly sessions) of Deaf Mentor Program (DMP) services. Services will focus on the development of ASL skills (rather than sign vocabulary) and visual communication strategies. These 1 – 1 1⁄2 hour visits will occur in the home setting.
For situations where the Mentor must travel a significant distance, technology will be incorporated every other week. When technology is incorporated, vocabulary and concepts will be introduced via technology during week I, and a follow up in-home visit (natural setting) for week II will be provided to reinforce what was taught and how to apply this knowledge with the child during the child’s daily routine. Sessions will continue via technology every other week in this way.
The Deaf Mentor will:
- Teach the family sign vocabulary and principles of American Sign Language
- Model interactions with the child using ASL and demonstrate communication techniques
- Share aspects of Deaf culture and information about events in the Deaf Community
Families who participate in the Deaf Mentor Program will:
- Increase the family's ability to successfully communicate with their deaf child through sign language
- Provide parents with opportunities to identify their child's subtle communication attempts and to evaluate their child's strengths in communicating
- Increase parents' appreciation for and understanding of American Sign Language (ASL), Deaf Culture, and the Deaf Community
- Support the child's development of language, communication, and self-identity through use of American Sign Language and the ability to interact with a Deaf adult role model