Optimizing Outcomes for Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: Educational Service Guidelines

THE NEW GUIDELINES

Optimizing Outcomes for Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: Educational Service Guidelines, 3rd edition is the recently updated set of guidelines available from the National Association of State Directors of Special Education.

A team of experts from a broad range of backgrounds and communication approaches worked together to share important considerations for the educational needs of deaf and hard of hearing students, the steps schools and programs need to take in order to serve them well, and available resources to support those efforts.

This comprehensive set of guidelines, inclusive of many useful tools and resources, can be utilized by stakeholders, deaf education administrators, educational professionals, and special education administrators involved in the education of students who are deaf or hard of hearing.


The 12-minute video, developed at the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center, provides an engaging and accessible way for deaf education administrators, educational professionals, and special education administrators to understand key concepts in the new edition of the guidelines. Presenters and project writing team members Cheryl Johnson, Barbara Raimondo, and Tawny Holmes Hlibok provide a closer look at the new guidelines, explaining in greater detail what the guidelines recommend. By watching this video, stakeholders who are responsible for the education of deaf and hard of hearing students will gain the following benefits:

  • Increased knowledge on the part of educators and parents regarding how they can contribute to improving outcomes for deaf and hard of hearing students
  • A clearer understanding of key principles in deaf education, such as early language acquisition, access to peer support and qualified personnel, and high expectations-principles that have been identified as breaking down barriers to better outcomes for deaf and hard of hearing students
  • An opportunity for state and local special education directors to implement policies and procedures designed to help ensure successful outcomes for deaf and hard of hearing children and youth

Presenter bios

Taiyabah (Tai) Naeem, MS

Taiyabah (Tai) Naeem, MS

Taiyabah is a project manager at the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center on the campus of Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. She was involved in the planning of the 2019 Education and Advocacy Summit: Deaf Education, and she took on a pivotal role in the development of the preview film for the National Association of State Directors of Special Education. Naeem grew up in Toronto, Canada, and attended mainstreamed schools. She earned her bachelor's degree in biology and chemistry from Gallaudet University and her master's degree in deaf education from McDaniel College. In the past, Naeem has taught both high school chemistry and medical terminology courses at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf. She enjoys being a mother to her 3-year-old son.

Joseph Santini, EdS

Joseph Santini, EdS

Joseph is currently director of instruction at the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center on the campus of Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. He has been a writer and activist in the field of deaf education for the past 10 years. He formerly taught high school at “47,” The American Sign Language and English School in New York. He also taught and directed Camp Invention ASL in Washington, D.C. Additionally, Santini was program director for the Learns division of the Communication Service for the Deaf, which provides online learning resources to schools serving deaf and hard of hearing youth. He has an MSc in deaf studies from the University of Bristol, in the United Kingdom, and received his EdS from Gallaudet University. Santini is currently writing his doctoral dissertation on teacher training for bilingual education.

Barbara Raimondo, Esq

Barbara Raimondo, Esq

Barbara is a longtime advocate for the rights of deaf and hard of hearing children and their families. She currently serves as the executive director of the Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf (CEASD). She was associated with the American Society for Deaf Children for 12 years, first as a board member and later as a staff member. She has also worked as a staff attorney at the National Association of the Deaf. She has been a board member and board president at the Maryland School for the Deaf. Raimondo received her law degree from George Mason University. She and her husband are the parents of two deaf adults.

Cheryl DeConde Johnson, EdD

Cheryl DeConde Johnson, EdD

Cheryl has worked in multiple levels of deaf education throughout her career, including as an educational audiologist, a teacher of the deaf, an early intervention provider, and a program director for a large center-based preschool-high school deaf and hard of hearing program in Greeley, Colo. She is also a former consultant with the Colorado Department of Education, responsible for deaf education, educational interpreting, and audiology services statewide from 1998-2006. She is active as a consultant through her practice, the ADEvantage, and is a co-founder of Hands & Voices and continues to serve on its board. DeConde Johnson has a grown daughter who is deaf/hard of hearing.

Tawny Holmes Hlibok, Esq

Tawny Holmes Hlibok, Esq

Tawny is the Education Policy Counsel at NAD and provides policy consultation on a local, state, national, and global level. She is one of the rare (if not the only) deaf attorneys with a master’s degree in deaf education and experience in teaching deaf students of all ages. Holmes also teaches at Gallaudet University, focusing on sign language rights and advocacy.

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