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Greetings from the 2016-2017 CAL-ED President to you!

2016 CAL-ED Conference:

The recent Conference theme was “Using Visual Language to Close the Gaps”. We celebrated a fun-filled weekend packed with tremendous educational and networking opportunities.  We came together in the spirit of harmony, understanding and improving the quality of ASL-English Education.  By being here, you took a stand for all Deaf and Hard of Hearing children.  Thank you!

Continued good news keeps flooding in regarding the recent conference.  Thanks to the CAL-ED Website and Facebook this news can be shared by many! So many people reported that they had a great time and learned a lot.  Well done, Nicki Ferry, our 2016 CAL-ED Conference Chair and her committee chairs, committee members and volunteers!  Thanks also for collaborating with parents of Deaf and hard of hearing children.  A lot of parents of Deaf and hard of hearing children came to the conference, especially to the Silent Garden Lecture series. The event was a big success!  We do look forward to collaborating with you all again soon. 

The Silent Garden Lecture for Latino Families was led by an amazing keynote speaker, Irma Sanchez. She is a Latino mother of three awesome, young Deaf men. This presentation was a big success and Irma ended up giving another presentation on the next day with another mother of a deaf son, Cynthia Lemus.  The Silent Garden Lecture series also included a very special donation opportunity. Silent Garden: Raising Your Deaf Child- Paul Ogden & !Dígaloen señas! - Lucas Soto were kind enough to donate their books to every individual who registered for the CAL-ED conference.  Thank you Paul and Lucas and thank you to the kind donors who covered the costs of the donation. Very much appreciated!

A BIG THANKS to all teachers, teacher aides, trainers, professors, educational interpreters,  speech clinicians,  psychologists,  audiologists,  social workers, counselors, and family members  (& anyone else who was involved) for being a part of the 2016 conference.  We really appreciate your support by attending the Fresno State, CAL-ED conference and making it a huge success!


We have exciting news to share with you that we have our new CAL-ED conference chair for 2017.  His name is Nick Zerlentes and his assistant is Darren Hause who is also our CAL-ED Area 5 Representative. The conference will be held at the Westin Hotel in Pasadena on first weekend of March 3, 4 and 5.  How exciting! 

Highlights to share:

There are many highlights in Deaf Education and the Deaf community, lately. Highlights such as…

*Nyle DeMarco won Best Top Model hosted by Tara Banks and is currently involved in Dancing with the Stars. He has been such a winner on that show recently. Win or lose, he represents the Deaf community and as a Deaf role model he has been involved with LEAD-K, Language Equality & Acquisition for Deaf Kids.  As an honorary spokesman for Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf Kids (LEAD-­K), Nyle is passionate about literacy, anti bullying campaigns and advocacy within the Deaf Community.  Go Nyle, go!

*State Bill 210 has been passed and LEAD-K has been working hard to make it happen that from birth to 5 years old Deaf and hard of hearing children shall be “ready” (age appropriate language acquisition) before they enroll in Kindergarten. So their language from L1 to L2 should thrive.  This state bill will hopefully encourage Deaf and Hearing worlds to collaborate more and understand each other better than ever!!!

*Gallaudet University’s new president, Roberta "Bobbi" Cordano, who is the 11th president of Gallaudet University and is the first Deaf woman to hold this position. She made the perfect comment recently about Deaf education and language acquisition. She mentioned…. “We are at a new juncture in history, in which the critical mass of scientific discoveries allows us to state conclusively that there is no need to choose between languages… it is better to choose both languages.  We now know that the need for ASL has not decreased, ……. offering a deaf child both ASL and English, spoken and written, is the greatest gift anyone can give to that child, to the child’s family, and to our world.”

*Why Do I Sign? Stacy Abrams, a mentor for families of Deaf babies and children in Arizona, started a phenomenal campaign by encouraging families with Deaf children to share their stories about why they chose to use American Sign Language (ASL). Those stories are hashtagged #whyIsign. Many viewers have been moved by families’ stories shared straight from their hearts. Even individuals such as friends, classmates, and doctors have chimed in with their own stories.  How exciting. This sharing sure brings both Deaf and Hearing Worlds together and educates everyone that Deaf people can do anything, but hear. 

*The Deaf Grassroots Movement is an organization that fights for Deaf rights, such as an end to discrimination in jobs and education and to provide equal access for all!  One of the biggest issues that the activists were fighting for was access to education in American Sign Language for deaf children.  Across the country 50 states held their own DGM rallies recently.  It’s important today, that we come here and spread the word and teach everybody that we have to improve language acquisition for Deaf, hard of hearing and deaf-blind children.  We should support Deaf Grassroots in our own states and learn about some of the issues they are fighting for.

We came together recently at the CALED 2016 conference in the spirit of harmony,  and understanding and improving the quality of ASL-English Education.  By being there, you took a stand for all Deaf and Hard of Hearing children and showed great support for their futures. Let’s continue to be involved in nurturing Deaf Education and further developing Deaf Education and the Deaf Community. 100% of your support for our Deaf and Hard of Hearing Kids is and always will be VERY MUCH APPRECIATED.

See CAL-ED.org for updates.  CAL-ED is also EVERYWHERE! Follow on Facebook, IG and Twitter @caledorg.