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

Giving Tuesday – Donate Today

Today people all across the country will be joining together and demonstrating their generosity for Giving Tuesday. Please join in and choose the American Society for Deaf Children (ASDC)!

Each day I am proud of ASDC and all that we have accomplished for families who have deaf children.

Participation in Giving Tuesday is another opportunity for us to work together, and continue our service to families and children.

Click the DONATE button on the website to give today!

Please consider making your tax deductible donation today in honor of someone special this holiday season.

Once you donate, then please share information about ASDC with others! Post on Facebook and other social media. Let your friends and family know that you are giving to ASDC.

Join us this holiday season in making a difference for families on Giving Tuesday!

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


ASDC 5K Run/Walk


Join ASDC and thousands of others for the inaugural 5K Run/Walk supporting the 2015 ASDC Conference.   Save the date for Saturday, September 27, 2014 at 8:00 am for the Run/Walk.  For more information or to register visit


Looking forward to seeing you on September 27th!


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.


Sign? See Your Brain – Research Opportunity

The MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Wellesley Laboratory for Language and Cognitive Development are studying the neural basis and development of social cognition in children with different language experiences, including American Sign Language.

They are looking for children interested in participating in an FMRI study who are

  • a KODA, CODA, Deaf, deaf, or have a profound hearing loss
  • between the ages of 4 and 13
  • use ASL on a regular (daily) basis (studies are conducted in ASL)

Studies take about half a day and include lunch, snacks, and playtime.  Kids are rewarded with gift certificates, pictures of their brains, and fun prizes.

For more information, email

For more information and videos visit their website at