During the summer of 2005, as part of the Gallaudet Leadership Institute and Center on American Sign Language and English Bilingual Education and Research (CAEBER), numerous professionals gathered at Gallaudet University to prioritize areas for the future direction of early childhood education of deaf and hard of hearing children. The priority areas identified were:
As a result of that meeting, the Center for ASL/English Bilingual Education and Research: Early Childhood Advisory Focus Group was formed. The purpose of the National ASL/English Bilingual ECE Advisory Focus Group was to coordinate and collaborate in the compilation of a bilingual early childhood curriculum for deaf and hard of hearing children. This compilation was intended to be used with home-based, school based and community based programs. The work of the advisory focus group was to develop a research-based curriculum for professionals to use to implement an ASL/English bilingual early childhood approach. This work was also is in alignment with the National Deaf Education Project (http://www.ndepnow.org). In addition to curriculum, the group identified research and resources as priorities to address (as stated above).
The Advisory Focus Group’s three-year project ended December 2010 and a new group was formed. The National ASL/English Bilingual Consortium for Early Childhood Education is a non-profit organization of professionals who are dedicated to the development, management, and coordination of ASL/English bilingual early childhood programs for children who are deaf and hard of hearing and their families. This organization gives us an opportunity to continue working with our colleagues on some of the aforementioned areas as well as setting up cooperative and collaborative networking among professionals.
Over The Years...