Help Arkansas School for the Deaf Athletes!

Hello Deaf Community Members and Friends,

My name is Casey Brown, and I am the head coach of the Arkansas School for the Deaf Special Olympics team. PLEASE forward this to everyone in your organization. I ask for your quick vote for my Deaf athletes to win $10,000 and 1,000,000 Wyndham Reward Points. I appreciate your time and your vote! Voting is open now and ends June 9th.
We are one of eight nationwide finalists for the Baymont Inn and Suites Home Team Hospitality Contest, and if we get the most votes, we win $10,000 and 1,000,000 Wyndham Reward Points. Can you imagine the incredible things my team could do with all of that?!?!?!

Here’s how you vote:

So please go to and
click on Home Team Hospitality
and then click on Region 4, ASD Leopards.

Summer Youth Programs

Gallaudet University is offering two different Summer Youth Programs for students who are deaf or hard of hearing July 9 – 17, 2015.

Discover Your Future is for students entering grades 9 through 12.  Provides students with popular team-building activities that develop leadership and teamwork skills.  Self-assessment activities to learn about a students strengths, weaknesses, potential careers, values, and interests.  Students will develop a mini-portfolio that they can use with parents, school counselors, and potential employers.  Finally students will explore career options through stimulating workshops.

Immerse into ASL!  is for students entering grades 10 through 12.  Students will be able to choose from three different course options to match their current skill level.  Students will learn alongside fellow signers from all over the country, learn information about Deaf culture and deaf history and will have the opportunity to sightsee in Washington, DC, attend social events and much more!

For more information visit their website at



Clerc Center Releases Classroom Interpreting Guides

The Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center has released five Classroom Interpreting Guides.  A Guide has been written for Students, Parent, Teachers and Interpreters.  The Guide for students offers several strategies that students can use to help them learn and make friends in school.  The Guide for parents includes information about accessibility and integration in an interpreted educational setting.  The Guide for teachers includes suggestions for how the classroom teacher and the interpreter can work together to improve accessibility and integration.

To access the documents visit .

More information about classroom interpreting can be found at

Nashville STARS – ASL Lessons

Nashville students have been busy making sign language teaching videos!   The students have made several videos to date. Please help spread the word, they are really adorable and the students are working hard on them.    

  Lesson 1: The alphabet   
Lesson 2: Name Signs   
Lesson 3: Introductions   
Lesson 4: Thanksgiving Signs   
Lesson 5: Holiday Signs   
Lesson 6: Numbers   
Lesson 7: Basic Signs and Sentences   


2015 ASDC Conference Keynote Presenters Announced

 Analco and Stephen Families2015 ASDC Conference Keynote Presenters


 The Analco Family:   “We Took The Road Less Traveled”

Based on their experiences as hearing parents of deaf children, Gary and Carol Analco will share information designed to empower parents to seek support so they won’t feel alone. They will talk about family dynamics within a variety of settings and experiences and share guidance regarding parenting choices and opportunities targeted toward supporting the child’s resilience, identity, autonomy, learning, and overall quality of life.


The Stephen Family: “Courage in our Hearts – A Family’s Love Story”

As a Deaf person, Larry Stephen will present “Courage in our Hearts – A Family’s Love Story”, sharing stories of how his parents made a life-altering decision to give him the opportunity to be independent and successful. In addition, Larry will share how his parents and sister learned sign language and explain how his sister Charisma was his blessed bridge to the hearing world.

Both Keynote Presentations will include a mixture of story telling and information sharing via power points and short video clips. Each family will be on stage for their presentation.

To register or find more information about the 2015 Conference, visit the Conference website at

Thank You Ohio School for the Deaf

ASDC would like to extend a huge THANK YOU to the Ohio School for the Deaf for hosting the October, 2014 ASDC Board Meeting. The  ASDC Board met October 29 – 30, 2014 at the Ohio School for the Deaf in Columbus, Ohio.  Watch the monthly email blast to learn more information about ASDC and exciting upcoming announcements.

Welcome Institute for Disabilities Research and Training, Inc.


ASDC welcomes our newest Organizational Member, the Institute for Disabilities Research and Training, Inc. (IDRT).  IDRT is dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities, their families, and service providers through research and development, training, technical assistance, and advocacy.  Although their work benefits people with all disabilities, they specialize in research and development efforts on behalf of children and adults who are deaf and hard of hearing.  They have particular expertise in the development of American Sign Language accessible computer software and other assistive technology products.

For more information about IDRT visit their website at


Albert Pujols “Pinch Hits” to Support 20th Anniversary of the Toys“R”Us Toy Guide For Differently-Abled Kids®

Toys R Us 2014

The World’s Greatest Toy Store® Teams Up with Baseball World Champion and Proud Father to Continue Special Needs Advocacy Efforts and Backing #ToysforAll


WAYNE, NJ – August 19, 2014 – Toys“R”Us® today announced the release of its 20th Anniversary edition of the Toys“R”Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids®, an easy-to-use toy selection resource for those who know, love and shop for children with special needs. Now in its second decade of annual publication, the complimentary shopping guide is a go-to for families, friends and caregivers involved in the special needs community, and is available in Toys“R”Us® and Babies“R”Us® stores nationwide, as well as online at both English and Spanish. This year, Toys“R”Us is teaming up with baseball World Champion, proud father and special needs advocate, Albert Pujols, who appears on the cover alongside Cameron Withers, a 5-year-old boy from Los Angeles.


While Pujols is known for his passion on the diamond, his dedication to the special needs community is even greater. As a parent to a daughter with Down syndrome, Pujols serves as a vocal advocate for children with special needs through the Pujols Family Foundation. Since 2005, the Pujols Family Foundation has worked diligently to provide children and families living with Down syndrome with the tools they need to thrive. As part of the launch of this year’s Guide, Pujols will bring that same devotion to his partnership with Toys“R”Us in helping to reach its customers nationwide and raise awareness of this one-of-a-kind resource.


“As a proud dad to my beautiful daughter, Bella, who lives with Down syndrome, I understand how important it is to have resources like the Toys“R”Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids to help in making informed choices to support a child’s development. And, as a professional athlete, I truly value the importance of play and recognize the impact it has in the lives of children who face everyday challenges – for these kids, playtime is not just about fun, it’s an opportunity to explore their strengths and experience success in reaching each new milestone,” said nine-time All-Star baseball player, Albert Pujols. “I have a tremendous amount of passion for this cause, and I’m excited to partner with Toys“R”Us to make it easier for gift-givers to find toys for the special needs children in their lives that will inspire their imagination, encourage inclusive play and help them develop new skills.”


Trusted Toy Recommendations Tailored to Children’s Individual Abilities


Serving as a trusted resource for family, friends and caregivers of children with special needs, the Guide is packed with everyday playthings selected for their unique ability to help kids build critical skills, such as creativity, fine and gross motor and self-esteem, during playtime. Each of the toys featured in the 63-page buying guide has been vetted in partnership with the National Lekotek Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making play accessible for children of all abilities.


To equip parents with targeted recommendations as they set out in selecting a toy for their child’s specific set of abilities, each toy in the Guide is paired with skill-building icons, which help users easily identify the playthings that are most suitable for the child they’re shopping for. The following are examples of toys featured in the 2014 Guide, highlighted by the skill they promote:


  • AuditoryBaby Einstein Octoplush from Kids II®
  • CreativityMega Bloks Build ‘n Learn Table from MEGA® Brands
  • Fine MotorHot Wheels KidPicks Super 6-in-1 Track Set from Mattel®
  • Gross MotorMonster Dirt Diggers from Little Tikes®
  • LanguageDoctor Role Play Set from Melissa & Doug®
  • Self EsteemClassic Doodler with 2 Stampers from Fisher-Price®
  • Social SkillsElefun & Friends Chasin’ Cheeky from Hasbro®
  • TactileCyclone from Radio Flyer®
  • ThinkingConnect & Create Geometric Set from Imaginarium
  • VisualMarker Maker from Crayola®


“For two decades, the Toys“R”Us Toy Guide for Differently-Abled Kids has been a valuable resource for parents looking to find toys that help build specific skills for their children,” said Kathleen Waugh, Chairman, Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund. “We’re honored to partner with Albert Pujols in our goal to bring joy to children of all abilities. Toys“R”Us has a long-standing commitment to ensuring tools like the guide are accessible and available for parents and children everywhere.”


Through the Toys“R”Us Children’s Fund, Toys“R”Us, Inc. has long supported the special needs community through organizations such as: American Society for Deaf Children, Autism Speaks, the Pujols Family Foundation, HollyRod Foundation, Muscular Dystrophy Association, National Down Syndrome Society, National Lekotek Center, National Organization of Parents of Blind Children, National Center for Learning Disabilities, Special Olympics, Spina Bifida Association and United Cerebral Palsy.For more information, please visit


Shopping the Guide, In-Store, Online and On-the-Go


Those who prefer to browse online can take advantage of the shop-by-skill option at Customers can narrow their toy selection by focusing on a specific skill to refine their search. Shoppers can also view the Guide via their smartphone by scanning the QR code featured on dedicated signage located at their Toys“R”Us store’s Customer Service Desk. Those searching for mobile apps can also download the official Toys“R”Us App Guide for Differently-Abled Kids. Using the same skills criteria featured within the traditional Guide, the App Guide provides a convenient, on-the-go resource for viewing, researching and comparing mobile apps designed to build individual development skills for children of all ages. All apps featured within this helpful resource can be found in the App Store for iOS or the Google Play Store for Android.


In addition to finding toy recommendations, parents can peruse the Guide’s “Top Ten Tips for Buying Toys,” prepared by the National Lekotek Center, as well as “Safe Play Tips for Children with Special Needs,” which were created based on research collected from leading safety and special needs organizations, to help avoid playtime injuries.