Frequently Asked Questions

Check out our most commonly asked questions.

How often do Deaf mentors provide their services in our home?
The family’s needs and goals determine how many hours of home visit services will be scheduled. This will be determined during the IFSP meeting.
How can we receive Deaf Mentor services?
  1. Your child must first have their hearing levels identified by healthcare professional(s).
  2. Next you will need to contact the Arizona Early Intervention Program (AzEIP) and fill out their referral form. You may also request a healthcare professional, therapist, teacher, caretaker, or other professional in the field of Early Intervention to fill out the request form and submit it for you. (Link: https://extranet.azdes.gov/azeip/azeipref/forms/categories.aspx)
  3. AzEIP may refer you to the Early Childhood and Family Education program (ECFE) which is a program under the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind (ASDB). If you do receive Early Childhood and Family Education services, you can make a request to your ECFE teacher, letting them know that you would like to add Deaf Mentor services.
  4. The Early Childhood and Family Education teacher will contact the Deaf Mentor Program to refer your child to initiate the service.
What happens when our child reaches his/her 3rd birthday?
  1. Your child will have an IEP meeting with the Early Childhood and Family Education teacher and the home school district to determine the school placement.
  2. If your child is placed in an ASDB-related preschool service, your child is eligible for Deaf Mentor services until the age of 5.
  3. What does it mean by an ASDB-related preschool service:
    1. Phoenix Day School for the Deaf’s preschool program
    2. Arizona State School for the Deaf’s preschool program.
    3. Arizona State School for the Deaf’s satellite preschool program in San Tan Valley, Arizona.
    4. A home school district’s preschool program which also provides an itinerant Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing through Arizona Schools for the Deaf and Blind’s cooperative services.
Do Deaf mentors participate in Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) meetings?
  1. Yes, Deaf mentors do participate in the IFSP meeting.
  2. You may also request to invite Deaf mentors to the IFSP meeting.
Can we invite our Deaf mentors to our Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meeting?

Yes, you can invite your Deaf mentor to the IEP meeting.

What if I do not want to receive Early Childhood and Family Education services by a teacher but do want to continue with Deaf Mentor Program services?
You will need to contact the director of the Early Childhood and Family Education Program to discuss your concerns and needs.
What other activities does the Deaf Mentor Program offer to families?
  1. American Sign Language classes in Phoenix, Tempe, and Tucson.
  2. Annual Snowflakes Families Festival
  3. Workshops
  4. Deaf Mentor can accompany families to the events.
We would like to hire a Deaf mentor as a private tutor. Can we hire a Deaf mentor?
  1. Due to the conflict of interest, Deaf mentors are not able to work as a private tutor on the side during the time your family is receiving services from ASDB.
  2. However, you may hire the Deaf mentor after your ASDB services have ended.
  3. You may ask your Deaf mentor to provide you with referrals, names of other Deaf individuals who may teach you.
How do I communicate with the Deaf mentor while I am still learning American Sign Language?
  1. You can request deaf mentor to reserve an interpreter at any time. For the first home visit, the Deaf mentor will request an interpreter.
  2. You can text with the Deaf mentor.
  3. You can write on piece of paper with Deaf mentor.
  4. You can use gestures to communicate with Deaf mentor.
Do all Deaf mentors come from a similar background?
  1. No, each Deaf mentor has their own unique background, experiences, skills, personalities, and knowledge.
  2. However, all Deaf mentors are fluent in American Sign Language.
If I do not like my current Deaf mentor, can I request a different Deaf mentor?
  1. Yes, you may request a different Deaf mentor.
  2. To request that your Deaf mentor be changed you will need to contact the Deaf Mentor Program coordinator and/or Director of the Deaf Programs and provide an explanation for your request to change.
If I want my child to receive a Cochlear Implant and speech therapy, will that have an impact on Deaf Mentor Program services?
  1. Your child can still receive Deaf Mentor Program services while using a CI and receiving speech therapy.
  2. The amount of hours of Deaf Mentor Program services may change based on your family’s goals and needs.
People tell me that American Sign Language could be bad for my child. Is that true?
  1. No, this is not true about American Sign Language.
  2. It’s important to recognize that each and every child’s needs and skills are different.
  3. Language acquisition is critical for all Deaf and Hard of Hearing children, because language is the gateway to learning and literacy. “Many deaf children have delays in their face-to-face language development which can negatively affect literacy learning” (Mayer, 2007).
  4. One critical way to support early language development is family engagement (Moeller, 2000).
Can my child learn to use spoken English and American Sign Language?
  1. Regardless of which language, based on the evidence the use of American Sign Language and a spoken language English bilingual approach is essential for children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing to gain full access to language as early as possible. This in turn will facilitate development of linguistic competence and avoid language delays (http://www3.gallaudet.edu/clerc-center/info-to-go/language-and-communication/faq-asl-spoken-english.html).
  2. This approach, which facilitates both ASL and spoken English early in a child’s linguistic development, has the potential to promote and safeguard language acquisition through both visual and auditory modalities (http://www3.gallaudet.edu/clerc-center/info-to-go/language-and-communication/faq-asl-spoken-english.html).
  3. For references and resources, please go to this link: http://www3.gallaudet.edu/clerc-center/info-to-go/language-and-communication/faq-references-and-resources.html
What do I do when someone demands me to choose only one mode of communication?

Please contact either the Deaf Mentor Program Coordinator or the Director of the Early Childhood and Family Education Program.