ISRC Parent University

The Illinois Service Resource Center Parent University is a resource for parents and guardians to further develop ideas and support for raising children who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or have Visual Impairments. ISRC has collected presentations on topics pertinent to parents and guardians and have made them available on the ISRC website. 

Each of the presentations has been turned into a training module that includes a video, article, or other material, along with a quiz.

Completed quizzes may be uploaded here

As an incentive for completing the training modules, parents will earn Amazon gift cards:

Complete one module - $5 Amazon gift card

Complete a second module - $10 Amazon gift card

Complete a third module - $20 Amazon gift card

There is a maximum of three gift cards in each three month period.  Parents may start again in the next three month period. 

Create a Social Story

Robyn Cox of Child's Voice School created a video about creating a social story to help your child deal with a challenging behavior at home.

Parent Café Events

ISRC sponsors Parent Cafe Events such as Family Literacy Nights or Game Nights.

Photos of past Parent Cafe events can be found HERE.

For information on the next Parent Cafe event in your area, contact

Panel Discussion about Growing Up Deaf

ISRC Parent Facilitator Christy Woodall coordinated a Parent Café in Plainfield District 202 that featured Brenda Schmidt, a Deaf adult, and several of her family members. Schmidt has held several administrative and teaching positions in Deaf Education, including Supervisor of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing program at Southwest Coop. Schmidt and her family members responded to questions about what it was like to grow up Deaf, grow up with a sibling who is deaf, raise a child who is deaf, and live with a spouse who is deaf.

Questions covered a wide array of topics, including assistive technology, accommodations, school, communication, safety, friendships, advocacy, and raising a successful child who is deaf or hard of hearing.

Panel of Adults who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing

This ISRC Parent Cafe event at John Powers Center in Vernon Hills featured a panel of adults who are deaf/hard of hearing. The event was co-sponsored by Illinois Service Resource Center and the Special Education District of Lake County. 

ISRC has created a variety of downloadable resources for parents including behavior charts, behavior expectations at home, behavior related sign language, potty training, internet safety, anger management, and more. 

All About Me Template - This template can be used to create a trifold brochure of information about your child that can be shared with teachers, Scout leaders, etc. Download the document and then personalize. 

Angry Choices - This visual support provides options for acceptable behaviors to choose when your child is angry / mad.

A Parent's Guide - Educational Rights and Responsibilities: Understanding Special Education in Illinois  - This document was developed by the Illinois State Board of Education for parents and others to learn about the educational rights of children who have disabilities and receive special education services. It includes sample letters for parents. 

Guide By Your Side offers a variety of activities throughout the year for families of students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Illinois Organization of Parents of Blind Children provides opportunities for parent connections.

Positive Behavior Expectations at Home - This visual support provides examples of behavior expectations in the categories of respect, responsibility, and safety.

Voice Volume Chart - This visual support helps children understand different voice volumes.

Zones of Regulation - This visual support helps children learn categories of emotions and behavior choices to match each category.


ISRC ha creado una variedad de recursos descargables para padres que incluyen gráficos de comportamiento, expectativas de comportamiento en el hogar, lenguaje de señas relacionado con el comportamiento, entrenamiento para ir al baño, seguridad en Internet, manejo de la ira y más.

Derechos y responsabilidades educacionales: entendiendo la educación especial en Illinois “Guía para padres”  - Este documento fue desarrollado por la Junta de Educación del Estado de Illinois para que los padres y otras personas aprendan sobre los derechos educativos de los niños que tienen discapacidades y reciben servicios de educación especial. Incluye ejemplos de cartas para los padres.

Comportamiento de la Casa - Ejemplos de expectativas de comportamiento en las categorías de respeto, responsabilidad y seguridad.

Welcome To Holland

The poem Welcome to Holland was written by Emily Perl Kingsley to explain her experience as a parent of a special needs child.   

Parent Training Modules

These parent training videos are presented in sign language with voice over and subtitles.  

The videos were developed in collaboration with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and The Chicago Hearing Society.

Module 1 - Communication 

Module 2 - Behavior 

Module 3 - Social Emotional Learning  

Module 4 - Home-School Connection

Module 5 - Positive Parenting  

Module 6 - Resources

Module 7 - Environment 

Parent Training Curriculum - DHH

Parent Training Curriculum - VI

Parent Training Workbook

ISRC Parent Facilitators

The Illinois Service Resource Center team includes parents of students who are deaf, hard of hearing, or visually impaired who facilitate opportunities for parents and students to connect with each other.

Current Parent Facilitators include:

Chicago South Suburbs Michelle Snoddy 

District U-46 Maira Nava 

Northern Illinois Association (NIA) Amy Keslinke

Southern Illinois Celesta Bowers 

If you are interested in becoming a Parent Facilitator in your area, please contact