Deaf Mentor Program
DEAF MENTOR PROGRAM (DMP) OPTIONS
MORE ABOUT DEAF MENTORS, DEAF COMMUNITY AND AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE
COLLABORATION WITH DMP
MAKE A REFERRAL – FORMS AND INSTRUCTIONS
The Deaf Mentor Program is designed to . . .
Provide families with opportunities to learn sign vocabulary and sign language, via an adult Deaf Mentor/role model, in order to support their child’s communication and language development.
The Deaf Mentor First Step Program will provide a Deaf Mentor to any family with an infant or child who is deaf or hard of hearing between birth and six years of age. Deaf Mentors will establish regular weekly visits with the family. These visits will occur via technology, in the family's home and/or community.
Who is eligible for DMP First Step and the Deaf Mentor Program?
Families are eligible for this unique program if . . .
- Their child is deaf, or hard of hearing or deaf-blind, ages birth up to six years of age;
- Their child uses or will be using sign language as a way to communicate.
DEAF MENTOR PROGRAM (DMP) OPTIONS - NEW!
DMP First Step - New
This program is the “first step” toward supporting parents in learning sign language. DMP First Step will match a Deaf Mentor with the family, via technology (Skype, Face Time, Videophone, etc.). The family will be provided with a 16-week sign language course, 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” For more information, go to: ). For families with children between the ages of three to six years, members of the educational team (who choose to participate) will also be provided with 16 sessions of sign vocabulary instruction, via technology. Sessions will last for 1⁄2 hour for each family and/or educational team member receiving instruction.
In order to participate in this program, families and participating professionals need to have:
- Computer with webcam or video capacity on your compute, iphone, or ipad. High-speed internet connection;
- Email and web access;
- A willingness to install Skype or Google+ (free video conferencing programs). In some cases, video equipment may be available for this program through our special loaner program. For more information, contact our Technology Services Coordinator.
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) two years 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 parent's 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.
WHO ARE THE DEAF MENTORS?
Deaf Mentors are specially trained Deaf adults who are fluent in American Sign Language and participate in Deaf Community events. Deaf Mentors have been selected for their ability to work with families of young deaf children and for their flexibility in understanding the variety of educational and communication options available to deaf children.
WHAT IS AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE?
American Sign Language (ASL) is a visual-gestural language that is recognized as a true and complete language. The development of ASL can support the development of English skills for deaf children by providing them with a strong foundation in language and frequent and early opportunities for rich and in-depth communication.
WHAT IS DEAF CULTURE AND THE DEAF COMMUNITY?
Deaf Culture includes the language (ASL), values, behaviors and traditions of people who are deaf. This group of people is referred to as the “Deaf Community.” Deaf community members look at deafness as a cultural difference, rather than a disability.
IT TAKES A VILLAGE...COLLABORATION IS THE KEY!
The Deaf Mentor is one member of a team of professionals serving families. The Deaf mentor works with families and their child's educational team (Birth to 3 Program or school district). This team may include the child's teachers, therapists, and/or other professionals. The perspectives and information shared by the Deaf Mentor, along with the rest of the team, can assist the family in making educated decisions and set goals regarding the communication and educational needs of their child. The Deaf mentor can provide a written report regarding the child’s sign language development for the IFSP or IEP meeting and can coordinate their mentoring with the activities of other professionals working with the child (including the support of ongoing school curriculum).
Deaf Mentor services are most effective when Birth to 3 program staff / school district educational staff and the Deaf Mentor work together, providing information and expertise to one another regarding the needs and development of the child and his / her family.
IS THERE A COST FOR THE DEAF MENTOR PROGRAM?
Birth to 3 Programs are responsible for a $20 co-pay for Deaf Mentor Program and DMP First Step services. Visits generally occur once weekly.
School Districts - A co-pay is not required for school districts. Early Childhood staff may also participate in the DMP First Steps Program.
MAKE A REFERRAL
In order to process the referral, please submit the following information contained in the referral packet:
Referrals will not be processed until all paperwork is submitted. It is beneficial to the process to send all of the required information together upon initiating the referral.
Referral and Family Information forms can be faxed to: Marcy Dicker at 262-787-9505
Or mailed to:
N25 W23131 Paul Road, Suite 100
Pewaukee, WI 53072
Click here to download the Deaf Mentor Program brochure.
For more information, contact Bonnie Eldred, Program Coordinator.