The New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DDHH) in partnership with The College of New Jersey’s School of Education’s Center for Sensory and Complex Disabilities (CSCD) is excited to announce their continued partnership through The Campaign for Language and Literacy Excellence (CLLE). CLLE is a statewide initiative focusing on the promotion of early language and literacy development in young deaf, hard of hearing and deafblind children. CLLE continues to expand collaborative partnerships with agencies and higher education institutions invested and working to also address this need.
Through the collaboration of New Jersey Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and The College of New Jersey’s Center for Sensory and Complex Disabilities, CLLE announces a three-year grant initiative focusing on the following coordinated activities:
Family Matters Project: To establish a combination of family directed activities that will address both ASL language immersion and literacy promotion. Family directed activities will include Family Language Immersion Opportunities, the Early Literacy Project and the Certificate for Parent Literacy Support Coaches.
Family Language Immersion Opportunities will provide families with young deaf, hard of hearing and deafblind children activities that promote visual communication, infuse ASL into early childhood developmental activities, Deaf culture learning opportunities as well as the opportunity to connect and network with other families. These opportunities will be provided across the state of New Jersey to expand outreach efforts from NJ DDHH and CLLE.
Early Literacy Project will provide literacy development opportunities through teaching families strategies to increase early literacy development using visual communication. This project will include reading children’s stories using ASL, incorporating storytelling with a combination of visual communication skills and additional strategies and tools such as Visual Thinking Strategies©. Instruction provided to families will be provided by individuals who are deaf/hard of hearing/deafblind themselves and/or fluent in ASL and familiar with Deaf culture and have strong connections to the Deaf community.
Certificate for Parent Literacy Support Coaches will use the results and outcomes of this family initiative to develop a formal proposal for the TCNJ administration to consider to offer a “continuing education course of study” for undergraduate credit (or no credit) for interested families and individuals.
Family Scholarship Program: To develop, manage and advertise a scholarship program for families in need of financial assistance to learn ASL and/or to attend conferences, trainings, workshops and/or literacy events for families with deaf, hard of hearing or deafblind young children with a focus on ASL as well as transportation expenses to attend such events.
Curriculum and Certificated Training Initiative: To develop a training curriculum and sequential coursework resulting in a certificate of completion for Deaf/Hard of Hearing adults who are in the role of mentoring young deaf, hard of hearing and deafblind children. ASL Deaf Language Associates provided through the NJ DDHH’s Language Instruction Program provide support to enhance visual communication and language (ASL) in young deaf, hard of hearing and deafblind children. Through this initiative, CLLE will develop a unique curriculum and training course that supports the role of ASL Deaf Language Associates that may include (but is not limited to) acquiring skills of collaborative teaming with other service providers, interpersonal communication, problem-solving, procedures for conducting home visits, cultural competency and understanding bias, instructional strategies for the promotion of language learning, and effective documentation for progress monitoring.
Research, Evaluation and Evidence-based Practices Initiative: To develop research, evaluation and creation of evidence-based practice for language and literacy promotion in deaf, hard of hearing and deafblind young children that will have direct impact on the continued growth and expansion of NJ DDHH’s Language Instruction Program.
CLLE continues to expand each part of this project with members from the following groups:
- Deaf/Hard of Hearing/DeafBlind Community
- Professionals working in the Deaf/Hard of Hearing/DeafBlind Community
- Families with children who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing or DeafBlind
CLLE continues to “get the word out” about our efforts as well as the complementary efforts of the Language Instruction Program for the purposes of
- Sharing our events and information
- Like/Follow/Share CLLE on social media @NJCLLE
Learn more about the New Jersey Department of Human Services’ Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing’s Language Instruction Program origins here.
Learn more about CLLE’s first year program and initiatives here.
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