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Delaware Families for Hands & Voices
March Newsletter


What a crazy busy month March has been.  A big thank you to everyone who came out bowling with us on March 24!  I hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did!  If you missed it this year, be sure to watch for flyers next spring.  We had a record turnout of more than 60 people!

EHDI 2012 Annual Meeting

St_Louis_Gateway_ArchMarch 4-6 the 11th annual EHDI Meeting was held in St. Louis. Delaware sent 10 representatives this year. The conference offered many choices for sessions on topics from each and every issue related to infant hearing. DE Hands & Voices sent Julie Johnson, Heidi Heath-McEvoy, and Angie Miller. We split up to cover the greatest number of topics possible. I will be presenting information from those sessions in upcoming newsletters.

For general conference info:

Math Tips for March
Spring is in the air! How about some fresh ideas for boosting our kids’ math skills?  Remember, keep it fun and keep it relevant!  Mary Hicks, a Bilingual Literacy Specialist at Delaware School for the Deaf submitted the following tips and resources to help.  Thank you Mary!

Source: Book “Helping Your Child Learn Mathematics – With activities for children in preschool through grade 5” published by the U.S. Department of Education / Office of Communications and Outreach 

Walk and Count (Preschool-Kindergarten) 
What to do: 
-Take your child for a walk. You can walk around your neighborhood, through a park, or just around the rooms in your home. As you walk, say silly things for your child to do, such as the following: *Take two big steps and three little steps *Take three little steps, hop one time, take three big steps *Take one little step, turn around two times *Hop four times, turn around one time *Take three big steps forward and two big steps backward
-Count aloud each kind of action that your child performs and compliment for efforts “1,2 … 1,2,3 … 1,2 That’s great!” 
-Let your child turn the tables and say silly things for you to do as you walk.
-For your kindergarten child, expand the activity by asking him/her to “guess” (estimate) how many of his/her steps it will take, for example, to get from the tree to the corner. After he/she makes an estimate, have him/her count steps to see how close the estimate is. Next ask him/her how many of your steps it will take. Will it take you more steps or fewer to go the same distance? Again, have him/her count to see if his/her answers are correct. 

Check It Out (Grades 3-4) 
What to do: 
-As you wait in a grocery checkout lane, use the time to have your child estimate what the total cost of your groceries will be. Tell him/her that one easy way to estimate a total is to round off numbers. That is, if an item cost 98 cents, round it off to $1. Explain that the answer he/she gets won’t be the exact cost, but it will be about that. Tell him/her that the word about shows that the amount you say is just an estimate. 
-Using the estimated total, ask your child: “If the groceries cost $16 and I have a $20 bill, how much change should the checker give back to me? If the cost is $17.25, what coins is she likely to give me? 
-At the checkout counter, ask your child to watch as the items are rung up. What’s the actual cost of the groceries? How does this amount compare to the estimate? When you pay for the items, will you get change back from your $20 bill, or will you have to give the checker more money? 
-If you receive change, have your child count it out to make sure the amount is correct. (Grocery shopping can be a good place to show children a practical use for calculators – for example, as a way to keep a running total of what the groceries cost.) 

A few websites:

Increasing Cultural Competence of Health Care Providers Serving Diverse Populations 

In order to provide equitable and effective health care, providers should be able to function effectively within the context of the cultural beliefs, behaviors, and needs of consumers and their communities. Deaf and hard-of-hearing patients face unique concerns obtaining health care, communicating with health care providers and understanding their health issues and treatment. Communication challenges between deaf and hard of hearing persons, and their health care providers, have a direct effect on patient health and outcomes. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, all patients have the civil right to be able to communicate effectively with their health care providers. 

Culturally Deaf, Late-deafened and Hard of Hearing Populations 

Culturally deaf and late-deafened or hard of hearing persons are 3 distinct populations with different needs and strategies. Those deaf since birth or early childhood represent a percentage of the combined deaf and hard-of-hearing population. The majority of late-deafened and hard of hearing population are elderly people who grew up learning language, reading and writing and who have gradually lost their hearing or have become deaf over time. 

The late-deafened population has steadily increased over the past 20 years with the aging of the baby-boom population, and is expected to increase significantly during the next 10 to 20 years. Although research shows nearly half of Americans age 65 and older have hearing loss—with one-third having significant hearing loss—most people over age 60 are not screened for hearing loss. 

American Sign Language is the most commonly used signed communication of the D/deaf in the U.S. People who communicate verbally and with sign language are considered bilingual. Most people who lose their hearing gradually (hard of hearing) do not learn sign language. Some learn to speech read. According to the publication DEAF and Hard of Hearing, only 30 percent of the English language is readable on the lips, which means 70 percent is filled in by knowing the context or guessing. 

Culture in Context 

Culture is essential in assessing a person’s health and well-being. Understanding a patient’s practice of cultural norms can allow providers to quickly build rapport and ensure effective patient-provider communication. Efforts to reduce health disparities must be holistic, addressing the physical, emotional, and spiritual health of individuals and families. Also important is making connections with community members and recognizing conditions in the community. 

Get to know your patients on an individual basis. Not all patients from diverse populations conform to commonly known culture specific behaviors and beliefs. Generalizations in this material may not apply to all patients. 

  • Ear and Hearing. 2007 Apr; 20 (2): 187-95 • Ear and Hearing. 2009 Jun; 30 (3): 302-12
  • International Journal of Audiology. 010 Jul; 49 (7): 497-507 • Journal of Aging and Health. 2009 Dec; 21 (8): 1098-111.
  • Journal of Aging and Health. 2010 Mar; 22 (2): 143-53. Epub 2010 Jan 7
  • Journal of the American Academy of Audiology. 2007 Mar;18 (3): 257-66
  • Research in Gerontological Nursing. 2008 Apr;1 (2): 80-6.
  • Scandinavian Audiology. 2000; 29 (4): 266-75

This article was submitted by Pamela Robinson, Au.D. Doctor of Audiology and President/CEO of HearSay Services of Delaware, Inc.  Thank you Pamela!

In This Issue:
  • Upcoming Events
  • Delaware's Still Listening
  • Math Tips for March
  • Increasing Cultural Competence of Health Care Providers Serving Diverse Populations


There will be no chapter meeting in March.  Our next chapter meeting will be April 24 at 6PM at TLK Academy in Peoples Plaza, Glasgow.  Child care can be provided on request!  We have the complete meeting schedule for 2012 on our website.

Family Advocacy and Child Educational Services (FACES) will be hosting a Family Education Series. This program will be offered both at the Delaware Statewide Programs for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Deaf-Blind at 630 E Chestnut Hill Road in Newark, and at Child Development Watch, 2nd floor, 18 N Walnut St, Milford. The northern series dates are April 19, May 10, and June 5. The southern series dates are April 5, May 2, May 14, and May 30. Spoken English Interpreters and child care will be provided. For more information, please contact Tara Kelly at

CHOP CCC Family Conference, "Planting the Seeds for Success" April 14, 2012, 8:00AM-3:30PM. For more information call Jaime Ramanauskas, Family Resource Coordinator at 2670426-0780, or email her at 

Dr. I. King Jordan will give a lecture series at West Chester University on April 19.

Gary Lasako Memorial Fishing Derby, April 28, 10:00 am at Brandywine State Park's Wilson Run Creek.

Hear We Go Annual 5K Run/Walk, May 6th at Nemours Mansion and Gardens, Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children.  Registration opens at 12:00 pm, Race starts at 1:00 pm.

Delaware’s Still Listening

The Delaware’s Still Listening conference was held on March 21 at the Dover Sheraton. This was the 5th conference on hearing loss, sponsored by Delaware Health and Social Services. This year the theme of the conference was “Raising Expectations.”

The keynote speaker, Mr. Howard Rosenblum is the Chief Executive Officer of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD). He spoke about his experiences as a deaf attorney, and encouraged the crowd to expand our deaf and hard of hearing children’s horizons by seeking out adult deaf role models for them. If you are interested in finding some deaf adult role models for your children, or if you are a deaf adult interested in becoming a role model, send us an email reply to this newsletter. Hands & Voices is a big supporter of building relationships between families, and we would be happy to attempt to facilitate some introductions. 

Mr. Rosenblum also proposed a fix for the issue of language access in doctors’ and lawyers’ offices with a small fee tacked on to annual state license fees for these professionals. The money would go into a fund that they could later access to pay for interpreters for their clients and patients. Even after ADA, language access in these vital service fields continues to be a difficult problem for ASL users, primarily because of funding and convenience. 

This year’s conference featured 2 panels, “Policy and Laws – How Do They Impact Us,” and “Young Professionals – Models of Success.” Panel members discussed their own experiences, both achievements and difficulties in these areas. The audience was treated to a wide variety of stories, issues, and solutions. All of the presentations were interesting, informative, and useful. The convention committee reports that presentations will be available online at the Delaware’s Still Listening website soon for those of you not able to attend this year. 

Thank you to everyone who helped make this another great day in Delaware! Hope to see you all in Dover again in 2014.
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Delaware Families for Hands and Voices
TLK, Peoples Plaza
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