Early Intervention and Preschool Resources
Starting Out – Early Identification
“Growing Together: Creating Language-Rich Environment” – Interviews with parents, researchers, and scientists
“Through Your Child’s Eye: American Sign Language” – Produced by California State University – Northridge & the California Department of Education
Visual Language & Visual Learning (VL2) – Research Briefs for Educators & Parents
Early Intervention Resources Birth to 3 years-old
- Deaf Mentor Program – Birth to 3-years-old
- Address: 1200 W. Speedway Blvd. Tucson, AZ 85745
- Main Number: 520.770
- , Director
Arizona Early Intervention Program – Department of Economic Security (Cost for Early Intervention Services decision has been reversed – all services provided after July 1, 2014 are at no cost to families)
“How Early Intervention Can Make a Difference: Research and Trends – Beth Benedict” – Visual Language & Visual Learning (VL2)
“Early Intervention: The Missing Link ” – Produced by ASLized!
Transition into Pre-Primary (3-5 years-old)
In partnership with Raising Special Kids
Teaching Strategies GOLD – statewide assessment tool used to children’s developmental data and outcomes as well as to drive instruction and programming
Arizona Preschool Resources
Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and Blind – Includes site-based schools in the Phoenix Metro Area, Tucson, and in ASDB’s Regional Cooperative programs
Family Support Resources
Family Support & Other Resources
Arizona Hands and Voices – Parent led organization
Guide by Your Side – A Parent Mentor Program of Arizona Hands & Voices
Raising Special Kids – Parent led organization
The Ear Foundation of Arizona – Hearing testing and assistive technology resource
ASDB Family ASL Classes – Both site-based schools, Arizona School for the Deaf and Phoenix Day School for the Deaf, offer ASL classes for families every week during the school year. These classes are taught in ASL with some English support (and Spanish at some locations). Families participating in area cooperative programming are welcome to attend the family classes on campus! Additionally, childcare is offered for younger children/siblings if needed.
For more information, contact the school’s main office: Phoenix, 602.771.5304
Primary and Secondary Programs
Primary & Secondary School Resources
Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and Blind – Includes site-based schools in the Phoenix Metro Area, Tucson, & in ASDB’s Regional Cooperative programs
ASDB Events Calendar
- Address: 7654 N. 19th Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85021
- Main Number: 602.771.
- Courtney Fritz, Principal
- Address: 1200 W. Speedway Blvd. Tucson, AZ 85745
- Main Number: 520.770.
- Shelly Camp, Principal
Address: 2051 W. Northern, Suite 200. Phoenix, AZ 85021
Justan Rice, Director
Address: 153 W. Vista Dr. Holbrook, AZ 86025
Ruth Parsons, Director
Address: 1000 E. Butler Ave. Suite 115. Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Jane MacDonald, Director
Address: 1200 W. Speedway Blvd. Tucson, AZ 85745
Pia Benson, Director
Address: 2450 S. 4th Ave. Suite 600. Yuma, AZ 85364
Wemme Walls, Director
Arizona & California
- Lions Camp Tatiyee – 1-week summer camp for Deaf/Hard of Hearing and Coda (hearing children with deaf parents) ages 7 to 17 in Lakeside, Arizona (Free)
- Camp Grizzly for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Youth – 1-week summer camp for Deaf/Hard of Hearing children, Coda (hearing children with deaf parents), and siblings ages 7-15 in Wilseyville, CA (scholarships available)
- DCS San Diego-Deaf Youth Literacy Camp – 1-week summer camp for Deaf/Hard of Hearing children ages 8-14 in Jamul, CA (Free)
- Lions Wilderness Camp for Deaf Children – 1-week summer camps Deaf/Hard of Hearing youth, Coda & siblings ages 7-15 in Wrightwood, CA & Nevada City, CA (Free for Deaf/Hard of Hearing with $30 deposit & $400 for Codas and siblings, ASL fluency required)
Camps Across the US
Clerc Center-Gallaudet University offers a comprehensive list of camps/summer programs for Deaf/Hard of Hearing children, their siblings, and children of Deaf parents organized by state
Post Secondary Transition
Transition to Postsecondary Education (Off to College) – Office of Civil Rights
Your child’s Education & Career Action Plan and the IEP – Arizona’s required transition planning for all youth
Assistive Technology for Kids
Hearing Aid Resource Page – Arizona Department of Health Services
Strategies for Keeping Hearing Aids on Young Children – Success for Kids with Hearing Loss provides survey results from parents with deaf children that use hearing aids. Parents provided helpful tips and ideas that may be useful to you!
Children’s Rehabilitation Services
Multi-media Language Resources for Families
ASL & English Bilingual eBooks & Apps and Website Resource Pages
- American Sign Language Resources – American Sign Language University is a sign language resource site for ASL students and teachers.
- Gallaudet University eBook Series – The Baobab & The Boy Who Cried Wolf
- Pointy Three by Adam Stone & Joyce Hom
- Zoey Goes Camping by Christopher Blythe & Jena Floyd
- Zoey Goes to the Dog Park by Rachel Berman Blythe & Jena Floyd
- Signed Stories by ITV Broadcasting Limited
- ASL Nook – American Sign Language learning resource for parents and children
ADA & Advocacy Resources
About the American’s with Disability Act (ADA)
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a federal law enacted in 1990, guarantees that children with disabilities can not be excluded from public accommodations (private businesses including preschools, child care centers, out-of-school time programs or family child care homes) simply because of a disability.
Disclaimer: While this resource may contain legal information, it is not intended to provide legal advice. For specific legal questions related to the ADA and child care, contact the US Department of Justice ADA Information Line at (800) 514-0301.
You may not like the word disability because it can give a negative impression of a child’s abilities. But the ADA uses the term disability to help prevent discrimination based upon a person’s differing abilities.
In the ADA, ‘disability’ means a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities.
- Physical impairment – includes but is not limited to asthma, blindness, deafness, seizures, heart disease, or cerebral palsy
- Mental impairment – includes but is not limited to developmental delay, behavior disorders, or learning disabilities
- Major life activities – includes breathing, hearing, seeing, speaking, walking, using of arms and legs, learning and playing (especially for children).
Providers, children and parents benefit when all children learn and play together
Every child is unique. Including children with special needs in child care reflects our larger community where people with and without disabilities live, work, and play together. Inclusion contributes to acceptance, improved socialization, and understanding of individual differences.
Benefits of inclusion for child care providers:
- Access to a helpful network of professionals
- Improved knowledge about child development
- Potential tax credits or deductions
The ADA requires that public facilities (includes for profit and not for profit):
- Make reasonable modifications to policies and practices that allow children and adults with disabilities to participate in the public program/service, unless doing so would constitute a fundamental alteration of the program.
- Provide auxiliary aids and services needed for effective communication with children and adults with disabilities, when doing so would not constitute an undue burden.
- Cannot exclude children or adults with disabilities from their programs/services, unless their presence would pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others or require a fundamental alteration of the program.
For more information:
US Department of Justice’s Guidelines to Effective Communication – for D/deaf, deaf-blind, blind, and visually impaired individuals
Advocating for Your Child
In the community
- Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing – ACDHH is a state agency charged with improving the quality of life for deaf and hard of hearing Arizonans and their families.
- Arizona Center for Disability Law –
In the classroom
- “Equality & Quality Education for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children: Child First Campaign”
- “Getting What Your Child Needs to do Well in School” – Arizona Center for Disability Law (ACDL)
- Arizona Standardized Testing – AIMS, including information on testing accommodations and alternative testing
- Assistive Technology through the Arizona Department of Education
- Classroom Interpreting – Working with Educational Interpreters
What is Child First?
While the deaf and hard of hearing communities and the special education world in general have debated the meaning and reach of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for more than 30 years, it is beyond contention that when provided appropriate language, learning and academic opportunities deaf and hard of hearing children can and do attain high levels of achievement. The population of deaf and hard of hearing children is diverse, and their needs for access to language and communication are diverse as well. These include access to American Sign Language and English and communication through sign language, spoken language, sign and voice, visual technology, auditory technology, and other supports and services. When access is not provided, children fall behind in linguistic and cognitive growth and ultimately educational achievement. Support for each child’s language and communication development is the key to the child’s success.
The Child First Campaign
What: Child First is a national campaign to ensure that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) appropriately addresses the language, communication, and educational needs of deaf and hard of hearing children.Who: Child First was developed and is being driven by national organizations that advocate for the educational rights of deaf and hard of hearing children.
Why: At the time IDEA (then the Education for All Handicapped Children Act) was passed in 1975, many children with disabilities were precluded from going to school, either by law or because schools were not equipped to teach them. IDEA changed that by requiring states, local school districts, and schools to provide them with an individualized education.
The main principles include:
- Individualized Education Program (IEP): A program tailored to the child that supports the child’s progress in the general education curriculum. For deaf and hard of hearing children this includes consideration of language and communication.
- Evaluation: A child’s IEP is based on information gathered through an appropriate evaluation. The evaluation must be performed by qualified personnel.
- Least Restrictive Environment (LRE): To the maximum extent appropriate students with disabilities are educated with students who are not disabled.
- Procedural Safeguards: The student and his parents have certain rights that are protected by law, such as the right to be involved in developing the IEP and the right to be part of the team that decides placement.
In order to meet deaf and hard of hearing students’ educational needs, programs must first address their language and communication needs. However, today implementation of IDEA pays little attention to this issue. Instead, IDEA implementation often focuses on the location where the child is being educated, rather than the supports and services available at that location to meet the needs of the child. Child First is attempting to shift the focus of IDEA back to the individual needs of the child. It is attempting to ensure that deaf and hard of hearing children’s IEPs and educational placement facilitate full language and communication development, which will lead to greater educational success.
It is time to ensure that deaf and hard of hearing students across the United States experience the same kind of access to language development, social interaction, and academic opportunities experienced by their hearing peers.
What you can do: To find out how you can support improved outcomes for deaf and hard of hearing students contact
Child First Principles
Quality access to language and communication is a human and educational right.
This right is fundamental and indispensable in the provision of a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) for deaf and hard of hearing children under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Sadly, however, the implementation of IDEA does not adequately protect this right.
Language deprivation is disabling.
On-going access to language and communication is taken for granted for every hearing child and is essential for healthy cognitive functioning and development. Without such access, deaf and hard of hearing children lose the opportunity to become thinking, literate, self-sufficient individuals. Instead, they experience disadvantages and delays that can become impossible to erase. It is diminished exposure to language and communication – not being deaf or hard of hearing per se – that disables a deaf or hard of hearing child. Educational programs must ensure that deaf and hard of hearing children have opportunities for language development, on-going interactive access, and age-appropriate use of language. Language and communication are central to the educational progress of deaf and hard of hearing children.
Research supports need for full access to all interactions.
Research shows that children and adults learn more from human, social interactions and active learning than from anything else. Children need to have access to and be connected with a variety of peers and adults with whom they can communicate spontaneously and effectively. As fundamental as this issue is, such genuine opportunities are all too often elusive for the deaf or hard of hearing child at school.
The Individualized Education Program (IEP) determines the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) for a child served under IDEA.
The IEP identifies the unique educational needs of the child, which ultimately leads to the choice of placement. IDEA requires a continuum of alternative placements to be available, as any single placement cannot be the LRE for all students. Because LRE varies by student – a setting that meets the needs of one may not necessarily meet the needs of another – all placements on the continuum, including specialized programs and schools, are equally valid and necessary. Discussions about LRE that focus solely on location without taking into account the quality of education, support services and social interactions a child experiences in that environment are misguided.
One size does not fit all.
As with other students receiving their education through special education, a “one size fits all” approach cannot be used to determine a deaf or hard of hearing child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals or subsequent placement. Each child’s unique strengths and needs must drive these. Every child must have an education and learning environment that goes beyond mere physical inclusion – it must provide accessible language development and interaction opportunities so that the child is a true member of the school community.
CAESD- January 2012
Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf share information and resources about the Alice Cogswell and Anne Sullivan Macy Act (H.R. 3535) that will have direct impact of the education of deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired, and deafblind children in the US.
What is AZ ABLE?
- AZ ABLE is A
izona’sABLE Plan that is offered to Arizona residents through a partnership with Ohio’s STABLE Account Program. AZ ABLE is administered by the Department of Economic Security (DES).
- An AZ ABLE account is an investment account that allows qualified individuals with disabilities to save and invest money without losing eligibility for certain public benefit programs, like Medicaid or SSI.
- AZ ABLE accounts are made possible by the federal Achieving a Better Life Experience “ABLE” Act passed by Congress in 2014. AZ ABLE launched March 5, 2018.
- AZ ABLE accounts are similar to a 529 college savings account or 401(k) retirement plan and can work alongside Special Needs Trusts. They can also function like a regular checking account.
What are the Benefits?
- AZ ABLE accounts provide financial independence and empowerment for individuals with disabilities by dramatically increasing the ability to save and invest.
- Before, individuals with disabilities could only save $2,000 before losing needs-based benefits.
- Now, AZ ABLE accounts
allowsindividuals with disabilities to save and invest up to $15,000 annually without affecting eligibility for certain public benefits programs. If a beneficiary is employed, he/she may contribute up to an additional $12,060 of employment earnings to an account bringing the total maximum yearly contribution limit for employed beneficiaries to
$27,060 per account.
- AZ ABLE account funds can be used on Qualified Disability Expenses including:
- education, housing, transportation, healthcare, assistive technology, employment needs and basic living expenses.
- Earnings on an AZ ABLE account grow tax-free and are not subject to federal income tax, so long
- as they are spent on Qualified Disability Expenses.
Who is Eligible?
- An “Eligible Individual” is someone whose disability began before the age of 26, has been living with their disability for at least one year, or expects their disability to last for at least a year.
- An individual must also do one of the following: 1. Be eligible for SSI or SSDI; 2. Have a condition listed on the Social Security Administration’s List of Compassionate Allowances Conditions; or 3. Self-Certify their diagnosis.
- Visit az-able.com/eligibility/ to take the quick and easy eligibility quiz to learn more.
What is the STABLE Card?
- The STABLE Card is a debit card participants can use to easily spend money from an AZ ABLE account. It is available at no cost to all AZ ABLE account holders!
- The STABLE Card is a loadable prepaid debit card. It does not pull money directly from a
- STABLE Account to better protect spending. The card is accepted anywhere MasterCard is used.
How do I Enroll?
- An AZ ABLE account can be opened by a qualifying person with a disability, the parent or legal guardian of an eligible individual, or by a designated Power of Attorney.
- Online enrollment is free. Participants will need to deposit a minimum of $50 to open an account.
- Account set up and enrollment is done online at AZ-ABLE.com. No bank trips necessary!
STABLE Account – Administered by the Ohio Treasurer’s Office
1-800-439-1653 | | www.stableaccount.com