We believe deaf or hard-of-hearing children are entitled to full communication access in their home, school, and community. We also believe that language development, respect for the Deaf, and access to deaf and hard-of-hearing role models are important to assure optimal intellectual, social, and emotional development.
We believe that consideration of communication opportunities for deaf and hard-of-hearing children should be based on facts. Research consistently demonstrates that fluency in sign language and English offers deaf children (including those with cochlear implants) and hard-of-hearing children optimal opportunities for social and academic success, and thus both should be part of their language-rich environment.
We believe there should be access to identification and intervention by qualified providers, family involvement, and educational opportunities equal to those provided for hearing children. The goal should be to provide children what they need in order to become self-supporting and fulfilled adults.
We affirm that parents have the right and responsibility to be primary decision-makers and advocates. For this role, parents need education, access to information, and support.