Resources for Parents/Guardians
We live in a world with overwhelming information. It may be a struggle to find information specific to your child’s needs. There are countless ways to succeed in advocating for your deaf or hard-of-hearing child to thrive. ISD works with its families to locate specific resources, such as:
- at-home activities
- helpful articles
- suggestions of parent and other organizations
- other valuable information regarding communication options and support services for deaf and hard of hearing children.
Each child is different and there’s no formula that will work for everyone. Let’s start advocating for your child. Then, they will advocate for themselves and thrive in the world.
ASL Classes, Workshops & More
Learning American Sign Language (ASL) will enable you to have direct, meaningful communication with your child or learner. It will help them develop their vocabulary and thrive with language access. Free ASL classes are offered both in-person and online.
All area families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing are welcome! Non-ISD families also welcome. No registration necessary; held at the ISD Elementary Library. Dates for school year 2023-2024:
- Thursday, Sept. 7, 6-7 p.m.
- Thursday, Nov. 16, 6-7 p.m.
- Thursday, Jan. 11, 6-7 p.m.
- Thursday, March 7, 6-7 p.m.
Educational workshops for families and educators are provided by the outreach department. Link to workshops page
Webinars, Workshops & Conferences
Deaf Role Models, Deaf Mentors & Parent Mentors
Please note: Deaf mentors, Deaf role models and parent mentors are currently only available to students and parents enrolled at Iowa School for the Deaf.
Iowa School for the Deaf is pleased to offer Iowa School for the Deaf students and parents the advantages of being paired with Deaf role models, Deaf mentors and parent mentors. This free service matches you with formally trained and screened adults who are either deaf, hard of hearing or who have raised children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Visits are structured to accommodate the families’ schedules and comfort levels. Visits may be virtual, in person, at public meeting places or in the family’s home.
With 90% of deaf children born to hearing parents, it is common for parents to struggle with how to raise a child who is deaf. These children likely respond better to visual information than auditory input. A Deaf mentor connects families who have deaf children with Deaf adults who are trained in helping parents learn and use visual learning strategies. Additionally, mentors have likely experienced the feelings and situations families are facing, and can share insight and provide an optimistic perspective. Deaf mentors and families often build lasting relationships.
Deaf Role Models
When children have never met another person who is deaf, a Deaf role model demonstrates for them and their families how deaf and hard-of-hearing people lead independent and successful lives. Deaf role models share information about communication technology, help families access support networks, encourage families to attend social and educational events just for them and their children and more.
Parent mentors know what you are experiencing. They have also raised children who are deaf or hard of hearing and can provide understanding and support, parent-to-parent. Parent mentors help parents understand the unique needs their children have. They offer information and resources to connect you to other parents and find the best opportunities for your child. Finally, parent mentors know exactly how you feel. They are empathetic listeners and trusted peers who also want what’s best for your child.
Statewide Resources Library
Electronic and hard copy materials on a host of sign language and related topics are available through the library.