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Deaf Child’s Bill of Rights

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On January 24, 2012 Governor Malloy greeted the parents, deaf leaders and supporters of deaf and hard of hearing children at his mansion.  This function, “Deaf Child Bill of Rights Initiative in Connecticut” proposed by the CT Coalition for the Education of Deaf/Hard of Hearing Children was sponsored by HEAR Here Hartford Chapter, HLAA, American School for the Deaf and CREC Soundbridge and JIm & Terry Bedard.  This social affair is supported by AG Bell Ct Chapter, CREC Soundbridge, CT Association of the Deaf, CCOSD, Hands & Voices, CT Chapter, HEAR and ASD.

 Attorney Terry Bedar, parent of deaf son and Dr. Harvey Corson, retired Executive Director of American School for the Deaf  provided the presentation asking for help in pushing the Deaf Child’s Bill of Rights at Connecticut Legislature this year.  Please read Ms. Bedard’s email message mentioned at the below with four following different attachments: DCBR Deaf_Child_Bill_of_Rights_summary 2012 &  DCBR Instructions_for_Deaf_Child_Bill_of_Rights 2012 & DCBR Language_and_Communication_Plan[1] 2012 and DCBR_letter_to_legislators 2012                                                                                                 Hello fellow advocates!       We are off to a great start in our advocacy efforts to get a Deaf Child Bill of Rights (DCBR) passed here in Connecticut! This DCBR would require a Language & Communication Plan to be attached to every deaf/hard of hearing child’s IEP so that the IEP is: (1) language & communication driven; (2) focused on unique language & communication needs, (3) effective by developing an action plan to meet these needs with the goal to close the unacceptable wide achievement gap for deaf/hard of hearing children.  

I am pleading with you right now — please, please take five minutes out of your day and join in this important educational initiative by contacting your legislators.  Attached is everything you need to do this …. a letter you can use to email your legislators and attach the DCBR summary and Language & Communication Plan.  Also attached are “Instructions” which gives you a link to find your legislators.  Simply click on the link and then follow the instructions to contact your legislators (representative and senator).  I’ve provided a letter for you to use, but if you can add your own personal story, that would be much more compelling.  We all have a story to tell.

Please forward this email with the attachments to your network of contacts who would support this DCBR.  If you have an office, school, organization or other means to reach a large group of potential supporters, please provide the attached information to these contacts as well. The more emails, letters, notes, and phone calls legislators receive, the higher the priority will be for this initiative.  We have a short window this legislative session which starts on February 8th and ends on May 9th.  Governor Malloy has recently announced that closing the achievement gap for children in Connecticut is the top priority for this legislative session.  The time to act is right now! 
Always remember what Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that can.”

Let’s go change the world so our children and the next generation of children will have a better education leading to many more opportunities in life.  Please act now.
Terry Bedard