ISRC Digital Update February 2014

August 1993 to August 2013 - ISRC 20 Year Anniversary!
* Printer-Friendly Digital Update Here *
If you have any resources that you would like to share with other teachers, parents, and professionals of Deaf and Hard of Hearing youth, please share them with us to be included in future issues.

Upcoming Events

~¡Clases Gratis de Lenguaje de Señas en Español!
Estas clases son para padres y adultos que quieren aprender el Lenguaje de Señas y hablan español
Todos los sabados de 1:00 a 3:00 pm
Del 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 de Marzo
Del 5 de Abril
3420 W. 63rd Street, Chicago, IL 60629 (Community Room)
Para reservar su espacio, o cualquier pregunta, favor de llamar a: Alicia Soto al 773.480.0592 o por correo electrónico a [email protected]
~Free Sign Language Classes in Spanish! These classes are for Spanish speaking parents (of deaf and hard of hearing children) who want to learn sign language Saturdays from 1:00 to 3:00 pm
March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 & April 5
3420 W. 63rd Street, Chicago, IL 60629 (Community Room)
To reserve your space, or if you have questions, please call: Alicia Soto at 773.480.0592 or e-mail [email protected]

~Guide by Your Side Conference Calls Statewide calls for families with children who have a hearing loss. Professionals are welcome to join the calls too!
February 24th at 8:30pm— The "My View on Services" evaluation tool was adapted by CHOICES for Parents to collect data, rather than base programmatic change solely on anecdotal feedback from parents. This evaluation tool will be shared including how it was adapted, distributed and the results implemented. If you fill out the survey in the month of February you will be entered into a drawing to receive a free gift card! Go to and click on the yellow brick (in Spanish after you change the web site to "Español").
March 24th at 8:30pmDo you qualify to attend Parent Institute? Find out about this exclusive FREE IL conference for families with children who have a hearing loss held during the summer 2014.
From your home, call toll free (888) 494-4032 enter guest code: 4231446909 This conference call is organized by the Illinois Hands & Voices, Guide By Your Side program. The toll- free line is graciously made available by the IL DSCC /EHDI program. For more information please call 866.655.4588, visit us on the web at or email [email protected]

~DHH Team Volleyball Practice & Games
Friday - February 21st, 2014 4:00pm – 6:00pm
Food to be served at 4:15
Sponsored by Lemont High School and South West Co-op
800 Porter Street Lemont, IL. 60439
Park Activity Vehicles in Side Lot on Julia Street. Enter through Field House Doors in the Back of the School. We ask that each team bring their own beverages and one item for dessert to share.
Come and Have FUN!!

The Current State of Early Intervention and Education of Children Who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing in Illinois March 14, 2014 at 1:30 pm Marcello's Father & Son Restaurant, 645 W. North Avenue, Chicago Sponsored by CHOICES for Parents and Hearing and Vision Early Intervention Outreach
This workshop will take place immediately prior to the EHDI Day award celebration.
Presenter: Todd Williams, Principal Consultant in the area of Deaf and Hard of Hearing for the Illinois State Board of Education.
Description: Mr. Williams, from the Illinois State Board of Education, will discuss the current state of early intervention and education of infants and toddlers with a hearing loss in Illinois. Mr. Williams will talk about how all professionals can work together for the benefit of the child, how professionals can include parents in the process, transitioning the infant from early intervention into the school setting, and the picture of ideal education for children with hearing loss.
Email Karen Aguilar to RSVP [email protected] No registration required . EI credit available

~Upcoming Dates from Illinois Hands & Voices:
Our annual Mom's Night Inn NORTH is February 8th in Lisle
Our annual Mom's Night Inn CENTRAL is March 1st and 2nd in Springfield
Mom’s Night Inn is an overnight retreat for moms or female caregivers who are raising children of ALL ages who are deaf or hard of hearing. It is an amazing way to meet and share experiences with other moms on their journey. Woven into these moments are the connections you make– the experience of sharing your personal journey with another mom and hearing about their journey.
This event includes: Dinner and breakfast, Keynote speaker, Massages and manicures, Crafts, Lots of sweet treats to eat, Panel discussion Sunday morning, Key note speaker, Downtime to bond with others
Register here:

~The 50th Annual Illinois Teachers of Hard of Hearing and Deaf Individuals Conference will be held on February 27th- March 1st, 2014, at the Hilton Springfield Hotel in Springfield, Illinois. This year's theme is "Celebrating 50 Years of Change and Progress."
Register here:

~Illinois Family Leaders Collaboration presents the 8th Annual Family Conference :
Resources & Inspiration for Adult Family Members And Caregivers of Children with Disabilities
Featuring Jennifer Rosinia What's With All This Sensory Stuff? Spalding Pastoral Center, Peoria IL Saturday, April 5, 2014

~The Institute for Parents of Preschool Children Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
is being held at the Illinois School for the Deaf in Jacksonville, Illinois, June 8-13, 2014.
The Institute brings together families from all over the State with the purpose of teaching them about hearing and deafness. Some of the topics discussed by experts in the field of deafness include helping children learn speech and language, cochlear implants and hearing aids and discipline of a young child who is deaf and many other topics.
Children attending the Institute are seen by a vision specialist, speech-language pathologist, psychologist, teacher of the deaf, audiologist and other specialists. One of the best outcomes of the Institute is that families meet other families of young children with hearing loss and find they are not alone.
Brochures may be downloaded from the Division of Specialized Care for Children website by clicking on “Browse Resources > Brochures and Pamphlets”
or by clicking on the direct link for the brochure in English or Español

~ Signing Social on the LAST TUESDAY of EVERY month from 6:00p-8:00p. Hosted in room 202 at Community Christian Church 1635 Emerson Lane, Naperville, IL. Everyone, all ages are welcome! Snack and kids games/crafts provided. Come practice the signs you know or come to learn some! Any questions? [email protected]

~ The Deaf Youth Center opened last year at their new home, the Yellowbox - Community Christian Church 1635 Emerson Lane, Naperville, IL - and has brought in enthusiastic Youth and Parents to the program. They will be kicking off a new season on September 19th from 5:30-8:00 p.m. They have a great staff and volunteers who are eager to work with the mission of the Deaf Youth Center. The program is centered around American Sign Language yet they also provide voice interpretation for both students and parents involved. The Deaf Youth Center meets each month on the third Thursday and the program is free. The program is open to youth, their siblings, parents, and friends (upon registering for DYC). Programming usually begins with social time followed by groups of sections including theatre, social skills, peer interaction, expressive learning, and sports/games/exercises. They also offer sign classes for parents along with social time. This too is free. For more information and to register, please contact Crystal Kelley Schwartz at [email protected]

~ Goodman Theater offers signed performances. Upcoming Performances: Get exclusive access to special reserved seating and a discount on tickets to signed performances. (To access special reserved seating-and to save $10 off full price tickets-enter the promo code SIGN for the specified tickets when purchasing online or mention the offer by calling the box office at TTY/TDD 312.443.3829.) Goodman Theatre 312.553.7172 | 170 N. Dearborn | Chicago, IL 60601
Venus In Fur - March 19, 2014 @ 7:30pm
The White Snake - May 14, 2014 @ 7:30pm
Brigadoon - July 9, 2014 @ 7:30pm
Visit for more info.

~ DePaul University: Merle Reskin Theater
Box Office TTY: 773.325.7975
Voice: 312.922.1999
Theater Address
60 E. Balbo Drive , Chicago, IL 60605

Upcoming Interpreted Shows:
Chicago Playworks for Families and Young Audiences
Number the Stars (Kid's Show)
Fri, 2/14/14 10:00 AM Interpreted performance
Sun, 2/16/14 2:00 PM Interpreted performance/Ice Cream Social
Jackie and Me (Kid's Show)
Fri, 5/2/14 10:00 AM Interpreted performance
Sun, 5/4/14 10:00 AM Interpreted performance/Ice Cream Social

2013-2014 Interpreted performances on the Fullerton Stage, in The Theatre School’s new facility
2350 N. Racine Avenue, Chicago:
The Theatre School Showcase
A Free Man of Color
Sun, 2/9/14 2:00 PM Interpreted performance
The Last Days of Judas Iscariot
Sun, 4/27/14 2:00 PM Interpreted performance
Sun, 5/25/13 2:00 PM Interpreted performance

~ C-I Connect!! Cochlear Impact Weekend - Save the Date!
When: April 11-13, 2014
Where: Illinois School for the Deaf, Jacksonville
Who: 5th-8th grade students with CIs and their parents/guardians
Cost: Free! (Families will stay in the dorms)
Events: Education sessions for families, Networking, Fun!!
For more information: Contact Tina Childress, [email protected]
217-278-3550 (V)
217-383-0095 (VP)

~ DATES for IL Free Conferences for Parents of Children with Hearing Loss
North of Eighty in Rockford March 15, 2014
South of Seventy in Mt. Vernon April 26, 2014
Register here:

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  1. Upcoming Events
  2. Suggested by People You Know!
  3. Free Income Tax Assistance
  4. "Trust the power within"
  5. TRIBES at the Steppenwolf Theatre
  6. Revised autism screening tool offers more precise assessment
  7. New Mood Chart from Chart Jungle
  8. ITHI 2014 Parent Track
  9. Buddy bench at Roundtown Elementary to help foster friendships
  10. Emailable Tips for Teachers
  11. ASL University
  12. ISRC Annual Report for 2013
  13. In Our Library: Children’s Books in Sign Language


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Suggested by People You Know!

Dr. Patricia Scherer, President of the International Center On Deafness and the Arts (ICODA), suggests the following videos about Justin Osmond, a member of the world famous Osmond clan.

In the first video Justin talks about his hearing disability with a teen reporter from the Boys & Girls Clubs during the Starkey Hearing Foundation donation at the 2008 MLB All-Star game festivities in July, 2008.

In the second video Justin plays a violin duet with an 8 year old boy who, like Justin, is also profoundly deaf.

Karla Giese, Director of Deaf Services at Alexander Graham Bell Montessori School/AEHI , suggests the following resources collected on the Supporting Success for Children with Hearing Loss website:
Demonstrations: Simulated Listening with Hearing Loss & Devices

  • Listening with Hearing Loss
  • Listening with FM Systems
  • Listening with Cochlear Implants
  • Listening with Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder

From Maria Hernandez of the SAPPD Program:
For the past 20 years the Substance Abuse Prevention Program for the Deaf (SAPPD) has provided a unique prevention program that addresses the specific needs of youth and adults who are deaf or hard of hearing. SAPPD utilizes a substance abuse prevention curriculum which is designed and adapted to meet the communication needs of this population within schools and various city and suburban agencies and organizations serving youth and adults who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Happily, The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) has received a second-year grant and we are eagerly looking forward to expanding the SAPPD program for the population we serve. We plan to continue to provide this outstanding program to your students more comprehensive presentation of the material in a major session covering two or three classroom periods. The goal will be to present educational and informative content on the topic as well as including visual displays.

Using the “Too Good For Drugs” curriculum: The goal of “Too Good For Drugs” is to reduce risk and to build protective factors related to drug use in order to promote healthy lifestyle and to prevent alcohol, tobacco and other drug use (ATOD). The program is designed to provide students with the skills, knowledge and attitude that they need for positive development, and to keep them from initiating drug use and to keep the school community drug free.

You may contact us to schedule your presentation at one of the numbers below.

Maria Hernandez
SAPPD Program, Public Relation Rep. 1
121 N. La Salle St, Room 104
Chicago, IL 60602
[email protected]
312-957-4850 VP & Voice User
312-744-4780 TTY
312-744-3314 Fax

Sue Walter, Statewide Transition Consultant at ISTAC, suggests the following Tip Sheets for Transitioning Youth
The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability (NCWD) for Youth recently published a series of six tip sheets that provide youth with action steps for dealing with various life transitions and challenges. Each tip sheet begins with a series of questions geared toward helping youth determine the degree to which each topic is relevant to their lives. The tip sheets then provide background information on the subject matter, including definitions of key terms and reasons that the youth should consider making progress within that domain. Specific action steps are provided, and the tip sheets conclude with helpful supplementary information, such as additional resources. Visit the NCWD for Youth website for more youth development-focused publications! The tip sheets cover the following topics:

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Free Income Tax Assistance

Chicago Hearing Society offers FREE tax preparation assistance annually to deaf and hard of hearing individuals through its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

2014 Tax Assistance Dates are March 9, March 16 and March 23

Free Tax Help Certified volunteers work with individuals to prepare and file taxes electronically through e-file. Volunteer interpreters work with tax preparers if they are not fluent in American Sign Language. Our volunteer tax preparers have taken and passed a course required by the IRS. Chicago Hearing Society has both basic and intermediate certified level volunteers. If your tax paperwork is beyond our certification level, you will be referred to another tax site for assistance in completing your taxes. Chicago Hearing Society DOES NOT take a portion of your refund.

For more details see the Income Tax Preparation Assistance page.

Appointments are required. To schedule a 30-minute appointment, please call, email or stop by to see
Kim Eischen
Chicago Hearing Society
2001 N. Clybourn Ave., 2nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 904-0143 VP
email: [email protected]

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"Trust the power within."

"Trust the power within." Derrick Coleman, fullback for the Seattle, who happens to the be the first legally deaf player to be part of an NFL offense, speaks to his experiences in an ad for Duracell. Watch here. Closed Captioning Available by clicking (CC) on the navigation bar.

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TRIBES at the Steppenwolf Theatre

Synopsis: Billy's intellectual and proudly eccentric English family is its own tiny empire: private languages, in-jokes and fiery arguments. Billy, deaf since birth, is the only one who truly listens. When he meets his girlfriend Sylvia, he is introduced to a larger Deaf community, which sparks a struggle for self-identity and rebellion against his family. Tribes is sharp, witty story about finding the place where you can be heard and a family that feels like home.
Watch the video for more information.
Share the word, the run of TRIBES has been extended through February 15, 2014. Perfect for group outings, too.
Tickets are ONLY $20 if you go to one of the access dates for either open captioning or ASL interpretation, listed on the website at
Enjoy the video and thanks for your help in spreading the word!

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Revised autism screening tool offers more precise assessment

Testing during routine checkups indicates earlier diagnosis possible
An updated screening tool that physicians administer to parents to help determine if a very young child has autism has been shown to be much more accurate than earlier versions at identifying children who could benefit from further evaluation, according to researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health.
Full article available here.

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New Mood Chart from Chart Jungle

ITHI 2014 Parent Track

ITHI 2014 (IL Teachers of Hard of Hearing and Deaf Individuals) Parent Track IL Hands & Voices has worked for the past 2 years to bring moms of children with hearing loss to their annual conference. It was so well received that this year they partnered with ITHI, HVEIO, ISRC and many other agencies servicing children in IL with hearing loss to create an ITHI Parent Track.
ITHI 2014 will take place this year at the Hilton Springfield, 700 E. Adams St. - Springfield, Illinois, and will begin Friday, February 28th at 10am and conclude at 4pm. This is a great opportunity for parents to learn along side deaf educators throughout the state.
You can register for ITHI by CLICKING HERE.
You do not need to participate in Moms Night Inn to take part in ITHI this year. Dads are welcome too!! Hotel rooms are on a first come first service basis at a discounted price for a Friday night stay. For more information see

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Buddy bench at Roundtown Elementary to help foster friendships

Second-grader Christian Bucks noticed that some of his friends didn't have anyone to play with on the playground at Roundtown Elementary School.
He decided to take action to help foster friendships at his school, setting forth to acquire a buddy bench for his peers.
The way the buddy bench works is if students feel lonely on the playground without anything to do, they can go to the buddy bench, and another student will come to the bench and ask if they want to play or talk.
Read the full article here.

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Emailable Tips for Teachers

Karen Anderson, Director of Supporting Success for Children with Hearing Loss, has suggested a resource for teachers of children with hearing loss: Monica Cegelka, M.Ed., a teacher consultant at CREC Soundbridge in Connecticut, has worked with students with hearing loss for over 25 years, most of them spent as an itinerant teacher helping to support students with hearing loss (and family and staff) who attend school in their home district. The tips were developed as a way of reinforcing and adding more detail to information presented at the school’s staff fall workshop. The tips are sequenced so that those most important to start the school year are the first ones in the list. Not all tips apply to all students and some may need to be modified for individual needs. Recipients have reported that getting one tip at a time has been an effective strategy for implementation. Focusing on one strategy each week reduces anxiety and results in an improvement in best practice techniques for their students with hearing loss. A printable version of Emailable Tips for Teachers is available.

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ASL University

ASLU is an online American Sign Language curriculum resource center. ASLU provides many free self-study materials, lessons, and information, as well as fee-based instructor-guided courses. Many instructors use the ASLU lessons as a free "textbook" for their local ASL classes.
ASL University Lessons Page has 30 lessons by Dr. Bill Vicars. The first 15 lessons include videos of Dr. Bill teaching ASL one-on-one with a student. Lessons 16 through 30 do not have videos online, but they are available on the Superdisk (DVD in the ASLU Bookstore).

Dr. Bill also has 2 sign language apps available through iTunes: ASL: Fingerspelling and BSL: Fingerspelling These apps are fingerspelling practice tool to help you improve your ability to read fingerspelling and are created by Dr. Bill Vicars of

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ISRC Annual Report for 2013

The FY 2013 Annual Report from ISRC is available on the website at the Reports and Graphics section and directly at this link: FY 2013 Annual Report

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In Our Library:
Children’s Books in Sign Language

Did you ever wish you could read a book to your child but don’t know all of the signs? The Illinois Service Resource Library has children’s books that include a DVD of an adult reading the book in sign language. Some examples of the books in this collection include The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Rainbow Fish, Is Your Mama a Llama, I Know an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly, Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, and many others.

Children who are deaf and hard of hearing often miss out on the benefits of having a parent read to them. These benefits include increased knowledge of language, learning communication and logical thinking skills from the characters in the books, improved attention span and memory retention, a closer relationship with the parent who reads, and a love of books. Parents who are able to read to their children in sign language also develop their own sign language skills, which improves communication at other times.

ISRC library items may be requested by e-mail at [email protected], by phone at 847-559-8195, or by fax at 847-559-8199. The complete list of Books with Sign Language DVDs, as well as the complete library catalogue, can be found on the Library Page of the ISRC website at

The ISRC Library Catalog is available through the traditional Catalog and free apps available for iPhone, iPad and Android. After installing the apps, set the Library Name to "ISTAC." No password needed.

**Remember our materials are free to borrow and will be mailed to you directly with return postage included. You are invited to take advantage of this extremely valuable resource. The library consists of an expanding collection of over 1200 items, including books, videotapes, audiotapes, test kits, and games related to deafness, deaf culture, sign language, audiology, mental health, behavior management, parenting, and administration. For more information or to request a specific item, please call ISRC at (847)559-8195 or (800)550-4772, e-mail us at [email protected], or visit **

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