Since 1998, Deaf Initiatives has had the pleasure to offer many exciting initiatives to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families.
"Navigating Your Child's Future" was an important series of workshops designed to:
- ensure that parents of children with a hearing loss receive support and resources to maximize success for their children; and
- allow parents and extended family members an opportunity to network with other families facing similar situations.
Workshop topics in this series included Audiology, Assistive Technology, How to Write an IEP, literacy, among others. Navigating your Child’s Future was offered to 200 families from 2002 - 2010.
"Making a Difference with Your Future" helped facilitate the transition of deaf and hard of hearing youth from high school to post secondary education or work. The purpose was to help both the student and parent begin thinking about life after high school, options that are available to them and how to prepare for those options. Deaf Initiatives used this biennial transition weekend to give deaf and hard of hearing youth, and their families, access to career guidance, job path planning and higher education options. Deaf Initiatives welcomed more than 175 families from 1998-2010.
An extension of the Making a Difference with Your Future workshop was the D.E.A.F. Awards, an exciting evening of entertainment that brought together the deaf and hearing communities. The Awards were also an opportunity for the students participating in the Making a Difference workshop to showcase their skills. Through a brief question and answer period, the students competed for wonderful prizes. Several internationally known entertainers have performed at the DEAF Awards since 1998, including CJ Jones, Beethoven’s Nightmare and the Gallaudet University Dance Company.
Due to the success of the "Making a Difference with Your Future" transition weekend, an extension was created to assist students and parents with the decisions related to post-secondary education."On the Road to Your Future", a four-day bus trip, exposed high school students and their parent/guardian to two of the most prominent post secondary institutions in the country for the deaf and hard of hearing populations. The National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) in Rochester, NY is one of the seven colleges of the Rochester Institute of Technology and is the world's first and largest technological college for deaf and hard of hearing students. Gallaudet University in Washington, DC is the only liberal arts university in the world designed exclusively for deaf and hard of hearing students. The most recent bus trip was held in April 2011. More than 125 students have participated since 2001.