Who We Are

For more than 50 years, the American Society for Deaf Children has been committed to providing support, encouragement, and information to families raising children who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing.

ASDC was founded in 1967 as a parent-helping-parent organization, originally called The International Association of Parents of Deaf Children. The organization changed its name to American Society for Deaf Children in 1985. ASDC is the oldest national organization founded by and governed by parents of deaf children.

Today, ASDC is a national, independent non-profit organization whose purpose is providing support, encouragement, and information to families raising children who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing. ASDC depends solely on donations, memberships, and proceeds from conferences for operations and is governed by a volunteer board.

ASDC recognizes the crucial role families play in the success of children who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing. We affirm that families are capable and willing to guide their children’s lives. Parents have the right and responsibility to participate in decisions regarding their children’s educational and social development.

ASDC supplies the information and support families request to ensure that their decisions and actions are based on up-to-date and accurate knowledge.

Our Core Commitments

Our Mission

The American Society for Deaf Children (ASDC)  is committed to empowering all families with deaf* and hard-of-hearing children and youth by embracing full language and communication access in inclusive environments through mentoring, advocacy, resources, and collaborative networks.

Our Vision

All deaf* and hard-of-hearing children and youth deserve the opportunity to thrive in every aspect of their lives through the empowerment of children, their families, and the professionals that serve them.

Our Values AND BELIEFS

  • We believe that families need information and resources from multiple sources in order to make informed decisions regarding education and communication.

  • We believe in the celebration of a positive identity and empowerment of all deaf* and hard-of-hearing children through healthy family support, linguistic competence and high quality education in the home, school, and community.

  • We believe deaf* and hard of hearing children are entitled to full language and communication access from birth. 

  • We believe that language development and exposure to deaf mentors and peers are vital to ensure optimal intellectual, social and emotional growth in deaf* and hard of hearing children.

  • We believe that the early inclusion of deaf* and hard-of-hearing perspectives is essential to defining language, culture and identity.

    *ASDC uses the term deaf to be inclusive of various hearing levels and identities within the deaf community. 

    Our Philosophies

    Parents of Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing children and youth:

    • Have the right to make informed decisions on behalf of their children.
    • Benefit from meeting other parents of deaf children from a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and philosophies.
    • Benefit from meeting successful deaf children and members of the deaf community from a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and philosophies.

    Children have the right to:

    • Be valued and respected as children capable of high achievement, regardless of their degree of technology use.
    • Meet, socialize and be educated with other Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing children.
    • Achieve fluency reading and writing English, and to the extent of their ability, speaking English.

    Medical, Audiology, and Educational Professionals serving deaf children and their families have a responsibility to:

    • Be informed about the successes of Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing persons from all walks of life, including those who use American Sign Language, as their primary language and those who do and do not use cochlear implants.
    • Recognize the benefits of early language, including sign language, and work to ensure that Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing children’s language development, whether signed, spoken or both, progresses at a rate equivalent to that of their hearing peers.
    • Refer parents to a wide range of information sources, including Deaf individuals, families with Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing children, schools for the Deaf and local, state and national parent and deaf adult organizations.

    Our Leadership

    Cheri Dowling
    Executive Director
    cheri@deafchildren.org

    BOARD OF DIRECTORS

    EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

    Jennifer Luce
    Vice President

    Lauri Rush
    Treasurer

    Carlisa Thompson
    Secretary

    Malibu Barron
    Past President

    MEMBERS

    Angelica Lee Gagliardi
    Patrick Graham
    Michelle Jablonka
    Brenda Perrodin
    Maria Romero

     

    Our Impact

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