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 the California Department of Education website.