Jr. NAD Delegates Advocate for Deaf Education

Arabella BieluckeAyishatu Osman, and Maverick Finkle, along with Jr. NAD sponsors Janna DiBiase and Dawn Moore and Superintendent John A. Serrano, met with legislative aides from the offices of Congressman John Sarbanes, Senator Chris Van Hollen, and Senator Ben Cardin to advocate for changes to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Specifically, the MSD representatives advocated for the guiding principle of the IDEA, Least Restrictive Environment (LRE), should be reframed as Language-Rich Environment when working on bills that impact deaf children. They explained that while the IDEA emphasizes placing children who receive special education in the least restrictive environment, this principle may not fully address the needs of deaf children, who require a language-rich environment for optimal learning. By reframing LRE as Language-Rich Environment, lawmakers can better understand the importance of language acquisition for deaf children and make more informed educational decisions.

The student delegates' advocacy efforts are part of a broader movement to improve education for deaf children and ensure they receive the support and resources they need to succeed. We applaud their efforts for this important cause.