ISRC Digital Update
September 2011
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

~ The Illinois Deaf Latino Association hosts “Dinner and Social at Wendy’s” for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people and hearing people interested in Deafness, Hearing Loss, and Sign Language. The event is from 5-8 p.m. at the 1595 Lee Street Des Plaines, IL Wendy’s. Please visit them on Fridays 9/2, 10/7, 11/4, 12/2, 1/6/12. For more information please contact Juan Bernal at [email protected] or

~ SIGN LANGUAGE CLASSES!!! SPONSORED BY: Northwestern Illinois Association WHERE: St. Charles East High School 1020 Dunham Road St. Charles, IL 60174 WHEN: Wednesday Evenings (10 week session) September 14, 2011 – November 16, 2011 Class Dates as Follows: 9/14, 9/21, 9/28, 10/5, 10/12, 10/19, 10/26, 11/2, 11/9, 11/16 COST: $35/person $50/immediate family **All classes are offered in English** LEVELS TO BE OFFERED: 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Level 1 ~ 6:00 pm. - 7:30 p.m. Advanced Sign For more information or to register for a class, please call Brigid Young 630/402-2014 15 CPDU credits available for 100% attendance. Registration cutoff will be 9/13/11.

~ Saturday September 17, 2011 Sabado 17 de Septiembre 2011. An Illinois Deaf Latino Event: Deaf Latino Awareness Day Día del conocimiento del Sordo Latino For more information visit
~ Deaf Awareness Day – Back to the Basics on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the James R. Thompson Center 100 W. Randolph Street, Chicago (Between Clark and LaSalle). Come and network with more than 30 exhibitors from social service agencies, businesses, and community resources focusing on services and products for people who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Late Deafened, and Deafblind. Learn about new products and services in our community. State of Illinois Department of Human Services For more information please contact: Jean Baker at [email protected]; 630-495-0827 (Voice); 888-261-8512 (TTY); 630-812-1619 (VP).

~ Saturday October 15, 2011 Sabado 15 de Octubre, 2011. An Illinois Deaf Latino Event: Miss Deaf Latina Pageant Senorita Sorda Latina Pageant For more information visit

~ 11th Annual National EHDI/ Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Conference March 4-6, 2012 St. Louis, Missouri

~ Conferences especially for PARENTS and FAMILIES!
~ South of Eighty Conference for Parents of Children with Hearing Loss November 5, 2011 Jacksonville
~ North of Eighty Conference for Parents of Children with Hearing Loss March 24, 2012 Rockford
~ South of Seventy Conference for Parents of Children with Hearing Loss April 14, 2012 Mt. Vernon
~ 6th Annual Family Leaders Conference Date: April 28, 2012 Location: Spaulding Pastoral Center, Peoria, IL Featuring an exciting new presentation from Paula Kluth. Watch for Registration Information, coming soon!

~ Parent Infant Institute Illinois School for the Deaf June 10 - 15, 2012 Jacksonville, IL

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  1. Upcoming Events
  2. Low Cost Internet Provided by Comcast to Low Income Families
  3. Hearing Loss Simulator
  4. Research You Can Use – Strategies That Work
  5. Start the Year off Right – Ideas From Teachers Around the World
  6. Start the Year off Right – Parents
  7. In Our Library: Kid-Friendly Parenting with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children by Daria J. Medwid and Denise Chapman Weston (book)


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Low Cost Internet Provided by Comcast to Low Income Families

How to qualify:

To qualify for $9.95 a month Internet service and a low-cost computer, your household must meet all these criteria:

  1. Be located where Comcast offers Internet service
  2. Have at least one child receiving free school lunches through the National School Lunch Program
  3. Have not subscribed to Comcast Internet service within the last 90 days
  4. Not have an overdue Comcast bill or unreturned equipment
How to apply:
  1. Call 1-855-8-INTERNET (1-855-846-8376) to request an application
  2. We will mail you an application. Complete and return it, along with lunch program documents from your child's school
  3. We will notify you by mail about the status of your application. Allow 7-10 days for a response
How to get connected: Once you are approved, we'll mail you a welcome package with everything you need to set up your Internet service and receive our free Internet training. If you choose to purchase a low-cost computer, your welcome package will provide details.

Comcast's website about the program in English:

Comcast's website about the program in Spanish:

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Hearing Loss Simulator

The NIOSH Hearing Loss Simulator (HLSim) is a Windows®-based program that displays a "control panel" for playing sounds while adjusting the simulated effects of noise and aging. A simulated individual's age (in years) can be entered along with the years of exposure to noise (in A-weighted decibels). The effects are shown visually on the frequency band control panel and sound level display screen while the user listens to the audio playback.

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Research You Can Use – Strategies That Work

A new research summary identifying seven school interventions that really work with students.

A companion webpage called Using What Works, which will connect you with more information about those seven interventions.

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Start the Year off Right – Ideas From Teachers Around the World (there are even more great ideas listed on the full site)

Learning to Learn Submitted by John from Melbourne Third Grade

The entire school completes a unit of work called "Learning to Learn." The idea is that the children are given an active role in settling up the classroom for the year. It involves writing a class vision statement, teachers and students exchanging letters, writing expectations for different parts of the day, creating class mottos and mascots as well as behavioral expectations (rules). We have discovered that because the children are actively involved in the process, it develops a great rapport between teacher and student, as well as making the children more responsible for the actions. This unit (with 14 year's experience) has made the beginning of the year the easier and has replaced the need to rush into Literacy, Math, etc and allows you to get to know the kids.

Classroom Scavenger Hunt Submitted by Leanne from Wisconsin 4th Grade Teacher

Scavenger Hunt the Class and Classroom. Pairs of children are given a list of questions about their class and classroom to answer. First most accurate sheet wins. Some examples are: How many children are in this class, how many girls/boys are there, how many dictionaries are in the room, what day is Sept 9th, where are the games kept, where can you find a sharp pencil? This activity helps the children get to know each other and their new classroom.

Back-to-School Time Capsule Submitted by Susan from New York Special Education Teacher

I do a Time Capsule every year with my students as one of my first activities. It includes their favorite color, book, TV show, sport, animal, school subject, etc... One they have each completed one, they fold it up and seal it and it goes in a box that I have labeled Time Capsule. In May, they compete the same form and then they open the one from September and compare their answers. To much of their surprise many things have changed over the course of eight months. They even notice a difference in their handwriting. This activity is always a winner with my students. I have been doing it for years!

Class Mosaic Submitted by Patricia from Uruguay 6th Grade Teacher

I had a very good experience doing a class mosaic. I give each student a square piece of white cardboard and I ask them to write, draw, or put anything that represents them as individuals. They decorate the piece of cardboard as they wish. Some of them may find that their piece has a restricted area, a colored part. They should not write in that colored part. When they finish, they have to put the mosaic together as if it was a puzzle in order to see what that colored part in each square forms. When the mosaic is put together "6th FORM" can be read. I tell them that the class works as a whole and if one part of the mosaic is missing, falls or is torn, the class is not complete. We are all part of that class and we all build it up. It's a great experience to make class bonds. I forgot to mention that the teacher should decorate one square her/himself. I hope this is clear enough and gives some ideas to other teachers in the world. Enjoy it and have fun doing it!

25 ways to make this the best school year ever

Back to school for the child with LD

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Start the Year off Right – Parents

The anticipation of Back-to-School brings excitement and anxiety to both parents and children alike. First day jitters, new routines, structured schedules and separation anxiety affect millions of students each fall. Judsen Culbreth, Editorial Director of Scholastic Parenting and Early Childhood Magazines, offers helpful tips to parents to assure a smooth transition into the new school year.

Keep Reading Fun: Reading is the basic survival skill in today's information society. Reading at home should not be associated with homework -- children should be encouraged to read for enjoyment as well as for school. Instilling the love of reading in children not only enhances essential literacy skills, but has been proven to have a positive effect on all areas of childhood education. Parents can follow simple suggestions to get kids reading, and keep them reading for a lifetime.

Read 20 Minutes a Day -- Make reading a part of a regular routine, and "sharpen" reading skills before school starts. Set aside at least 20 minutes every day to read with or to children. For infants and toddlers, sing songs and read nursery rhymes -- before bedtime, after dinner or in the bathtub. Such regularly scheduled activities allow parents and children to bond, especially in today's busy world.

Read Books of Interest -- Make a list of a child's favorite themes. Each week select a new theme and find books that relate -- books from a series, books on sports, animals, and travel, etc. Keep a card catalog with the child's favorite books and his/her reviews of each book read.

Set up a Book Club and Book Party -- Parents can arrange a book club with their children's friends from school. Once a week/month they can meet after school to talk about their favorite books, share their favorite chapters/characters, and do fun activities themed around the book of the month. Kick off the school year with a book party and invite everyone to come dressed as their favorite character.

Read, Read, Read -- If a child has slacked off in their reading this summer, parents should help get them back in the habit by creating ways to make reading a fun activity. Hold bedtime reading sessions where kids can read a book in bed or outside in a tent with flashlights, choose books they want to read from their personal home library, etc.

First Day Anxieties: Separation anxiety can be overwhelming for many young children, but there are many ways to make the first day of school an easy transition for parents and children.

Greet the Teacher -- Parents should talk to the teacher and child together to discuss some of the appealing classroom activities that await him/her at school, and to discuss a child's dislikes, fears, allergies, or other issues the teacher should be aware of.

Request the Class List -- Parents should ask the school or teacher to provide them with a copy of their child's upcoming class list and try to arrange for the child to meet some of his/her new classmates.

Spend Time in the Classroom -- Explore the classroom to see what it looks like helps kids feel more at ease. Parents should be flexible, arriving early and spending time in the classroom until the child becomes comfortable and settled.

Good-byes -- For younger children, separating from parents can be difficult, but a good-bye ritual can free children from these anxieties. Use special parting signs just for parent and child. When the parent drops the child off at school, the best way to establish trust is to give a quick kiss and hug and then cheerfully say, "Good-bye, see you later." The key is to remain calm and positive.

Plan After-School Activities -- Parents can plan something special for their child after school. Kids love looking forward to a special after-school activity.

Rituals & Routines:* Keep routines and patterns! Children find comfort in daily routines, whether it's bedtime, meals or getting up in the morning. When schedules are disrupted by sudden changes such as the start of a new school year, it can be very unsettling for a child. Parents can help children by creating special rituals a few weeks before school begins so they can feel more secure, less distracted and ready to learn.

Morning Moments -- For younger children, developing a special "getting-ready" routine and sticking with it is the key to happy mornings. When children can predict what's coming next, they feel competent and are much more likely to cooperate. A relaxing routine might start off with some snuggle time and independent play, followed by a nutritious breakfast.

Bedtime -- A parent should establish a leisurely bedtime routine. Rushing a child can make him/her feel that the parent does not have time for them. Therefore, evening time should be scheduled to include quiet time together, storybook reading, a bath and some bedtime snuggling.


The back-to-school assignment for parents of special needs kids.

Working together: A parent's guide to parent and professional partnership and communication within special education.

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In Our Library

Kid-Friendly Parenting with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children by Daria J. Medwid and Denise Chapman Weston (book)

Summary: Step-by-step guide to working with deaf children ages three to twelve; includes play activities to help improve communication, problem solving exercises, and relationship building strategies.

Link to Catalog

**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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