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Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Welcomes Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Conference

Collaboration to Connect Children with Opportunity

Annapolis MD – Approximately 100 attendees participated in the 2018 Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Conference yesterday in Crownsville, Maryland. The conference is an annual event aimed at improving Maryland’s Early Hearing Detection and Intervention System and geared toward parents and professionals who provide support to Deaf and hard of hearing children. Participants included teachers, parents, state agencies, nonprofit organization leaders, and other stakeholders from across the state. Early hearing detection and intervention is necessary to ensure families with children who are identified as Deaf or hard of hearing receive the proper support to help prevent language deprivation and delay.

“Maryland is a national leader for early hearing detection and intervention resources,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “An inclusive Maryland is a strong Maryland, and our administration wants to ensure that every Deaf and hard of hearing child has access to the opportunities they need to succeed.”

The conference was funded through a grant from the Office for Genetics and People with Special Health Care Needs – managed through the Maryland Department of Health. The conference was offered in both ASL (American Sign Language) and English. Speakers included Bridgetta Bourne-Firl, a longtime Marylander and expert in K-12 ASL content standards; Rachel Kolb, a Rhoades scholar from Emory University and national TED talk presenter regarding advocacy issues for Deaf children; and Kori Hamilton Biagas, an advocate for educational equality and the interworking of education from the classroom to the national policy level.

“With the recent release of the Maryland State Department of Education Technical Assistance Bulletin detailing services offered and industry standards for those who provide support to Deaf and hard of hearing children, it’s more important than ever to ensure that the discussion on hearing detection and intervention is continued,” said Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Executive Director, Kelby Brick. “The combination of the recent bulletin, along with this conference, is sure to pave the way for a better future for Deaf and hard of hearing children.”

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