Resource Guide for Parents of Infants and Toddlers Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

In 2011, a panel of parents convened at the California Department of Education (CDE) 
to create a document for parents of children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, that 
contains evidence-based and balanced information. It is our intent that this information 
will help you understand the services provided through an Individualized Family Service 
Plan (IFSP) focusing on your child’s language development. Children who are Deaf or 
Hard of Hearing have a right to early language development programs, regardless of 
their hearing levels, with the ultimate goal of achieving skills needed to enter 
kindergarten ready to learn. 

When you make informed decisions regarding your child’s education, it is important to 
know your rights as an IFSP team member within Early Start (ages birth to three), and 
later, as an Individualized Educational Program (IEP) team member (ages 3-22). It is 
also important to consider all language opportunities and communication tools that are 
fully accessible and available to your child. 

You are encouraged to see your baby as a whole child by seeing beyond his or her 
hearing level and to focus on kindergarten readiness. The Parent Resource Guide 
Committee has developed this resource guide that includes resources from national, 
state, and local organizations, camps, and Deaf agencies, which explain all of the 
opportunities available to your child. The CDE seeks to empower you to take steps in 
preparing for your child’s education by using this resource guide. To view the complete 
Parent Resource Guide, go to