Remote Learning Resources
The Decibels Foundation is pleased to share the following resources for families with children who are deaf and hard of hearing. In this time of school closures and pausing of services, we hope you will find this information useful as you navigate the world of remote and virtual learning.
We wish to thank the following organizations for their contributions that were instrumental in the creation of this list: Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program at Boston Children's Hospital, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program at Minute Man Arc Early Intervention, The Learning Center for the Deaf, Massachusetts Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Program, as well as other families and professionals that shared this valuable information with us.
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Remote Learning Tips and Best Practices
Massachusetts Special Education Information and Resources
This website through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts includes the most up-to-date information and recommendations for educators, providers and families from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).
How to Make an Accessible Face Mask with Window
These masks help address the challenges with traditional face masks. Please note, these masks are not FDA approved nor meant to replace medical masks.
Accessibility Tips for Remote Learning at Home
From The Learning Center for the Deaf, Public School Partnerships, view these tips for effective remote learning for students that are deaf and hard of hearing. View the tips here.
The Described and Captioned Media Program
Free Remote Learning resources for families and educators.
- Families and educators who have at least one student with a disability can register for free membership and access over 8,000 captioned and described educational videos.
- Teachers can create Student Accounts, group students together in Classes, and assign videos to students and Classes.
- Users can instantly choose “captioned” or “described” with the Language/Accessibility button found under the video player.
The National Deaf Center
The National Deaf Center developed a guideline to ensure that educators provide equitable and accessible course content for their deaf and hard of hearing students in the virtual learning environment. Parents can share with their child's educators as needed. View the PDF here.
How To Turn on Closed Captioning
Click here for instructions for how to turn on closed captioning on YouTube and some other platforms that schools use for virtual learning.
Comprehensive list of captioning options and instructions from Tina Childress. https://connect-hear.com/knowledge-base/
Speech and Language Support
All About Audiology
Website - https://allaboutaudiology.com/
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/allaboutaudiologypodcast/
American Society for Deaf Children
The American Society for Deaf Children has programs that will help you learn sign language to support your child’s language and communication. There is a great assortment of videos, games, ASL read-a-longs, and more. https://deafchildren.org/knowledge-center/parents-and-families/learning-asl/
Baylor University - "Using Music to Support Language Development in Children with Hearing Loss"
This resource discusses the effects hearing loss has on language development and gives a description of different kinds of hearing loss. How a multicultural approach using music benefits children with hearing loss and what steps parents can take to include music in speech therapy at home are also highlighted in detail within the article. https://onlinegrad.baylor.edu/resources/music-children-hearing-loss/
Boston University - Deaf Education Library
Comprehensive list of ASL resources for deaf education. http://www.bu.edu/articles/2020/asl-education-library-deaf-children-coronavirus-isolation/
Central Institute for the Deaf (CID)
College Consensus - Resources For Deaf And Hard Of Hearing College Students
Available resources for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students pursuing higher education opportunities. https://www.collegeconsensus.com/resources/college-life/tools-for-students-with-hearing-impairments/
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program at Boston Children's Hospital
View this comprehensive list from the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program at Boston Children's Hospital. It includes suggested activities, links to websites, YouTube videos, free printable content and more here.
The Hanen Centre
This is a non-profit that is dedicated to providing training and resources for professionals who work with children with language disorders, as well as many resources for parents. They have a wide variety of resources that address early language development, social skills and literacy.
This educational software targets following directions, phonological awareness, sequencing, and auditory memory skills. https://www.hearbuilder.com/
Lots of great resources, including a whole community message board, loads of handouts, and a podcast (Powering Potential). They are free, but require you to create an account for access.
Website - https://community.hearingfirst.org/p/familyregistration
Listening and Spoken Language Strategies and Techniques (recommended) - https://hearingfirst.org/en/learning-growing-lsl/lsl-strategies-techniques
The Learning Center
Visit The Learning Center's eResource center. Here you will find many ASL stories signed by Deaf teachers and staff, as well as at-home activities available in ASL.
Listen with Lindsay
Website and blog - https://listenwithlindsay.com/
Instagram - http://www.instagram.com/listenwithlindsay
She also has an excellent roundup of all the ASL resources https://listenwithlindsay.com/how-to-learn-sign-language-as-an-adult-and-asl-resources-for-parents-of-children-with-hearing-loss/
Mommy Speech Therapy
Free speech and articulation worksheets.
Seven modules of Setting Language in Motion from Children's Hospital & Gallaudet
Free online course - https://www.gallaudet.edu/clerc-center-sites/setting-language-in-motion.html
Fun, online courses in ASL. There is a free basic sign language course and other programs are available for purchase. https://signitasl.com/
Super Duper Inc
Provides many learning materials for professionals and parents.
Selected apps, social media and YouTube channels
A Deaf family shares quick video clips with different signing themes. https://www.youtube.com/user/sheenammcfeely
This YouTube channel includes stories read by professional ASL interpreters with Closed Captioning. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL3CC0DF43F5C8814F
Author Cece Bell
During the Covid-19 pandemic, author Cece Bell (El Deafo) is providing an engaging ‘’inside story” chapter by chapter on YouTube. Families can subscribe if desired. Having a copy of the book is extremely helpful. El Deafo is an autobiographical graphic novel enjoyed by many families of children who are deaf and hard of hearing. Subscribe to Cece Bell's YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqumqDfE9869Kow_Kygavcg
A great resource for parents of babies and toddlers. Dana and Lindsey, two children’s librarians, teach songs, fingerplays, and baby lap songs that they use for their story hours. It’s easy to find songs that fit a vocabulary theme or a child’s interest. Some songs include ASL signs. Subscribe to their channel.
Author Laura Brown on Twitter @AuthorLBrown
Not everyone is on Twitter, but for those who are, author Laura Brown is deaf, teaches sign language and shares on Twitter routinely. She recently shared Stay Home, in both English word order and ASL grammar. She raises awareness about ASL. Families can learn to sign from a deaf individual who otherwise might not have access during this time of isolation. Her Twitter handle is @AuthorLBrown. You can also use the hashtag #aslsignoftheday.
Search for these helpful apps for speech and language development.
My Play Home
Fun, interactive app for preschool aged children. Ask your child to tell you what the characters in the house are doing to work on sentence structure, language formulation or articulation skills.
Colorful flashcards, matching games and stories that target specific speech sounds for articulation practice.
Also look for these, (if you are using these at home, it is important to sit with your child to model/stimulate language):
Toca Boca (monsters, doctor, tea party, birthday party)
The Listening Room
Social and Emotional Support
During this time when the world seems upside down, we may need even more information and more support than usual, yet we are being asked to distance from one another and cannot connect as we typically do. There are a number of programs and agencies that continually sift through much of the information and put it together in a way that may take the burden of off parents and caregivers.
Hands & Voices
“Hands & Voices is a non-profit, parent-driven organization dedicated to supporting families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing.” Their curated page regarding COVID-19 as it relates to and impacts children who are deaf or hard of hearing and their families is comprehensive and easy to navigate. http://www.handsandvoices.org/covid-19.html and https://handsandvoices.org/resources/fostering-joy.htm
AG Bell has a list of resources for continued learning at home and language-based activities for children. https://www.agbell.org/COVID-19-Resources
Chad Ruffin, MD
Dr. Ruffin, is an orally deaf otolaryngologist, has an informative website with a page specific to COVID-19 and deaf and hard of hearing adults and children at https://www.chadruffinmd.com/covid19-dhh.
The Federation for Children with Special Needs
The Federation for Children with Special Needs is always an expert provider of information and training for parents and professionals. Their COVID-19 page https://fcsn.org/faqs-new/ and their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/fcsnfb/?ref=br_rs have supportive and informative content during this stressful time.
MyASLTech is offering free membership through the month of April. You need to send an email to the linked address within the page to request the membership. The web site has ASL-related games and activity templates that support ASL and English literacy skills https://www.idrt.com/asltech_home.php.
It can be hard to focus on what we need emotionally when we are worried about meeting other basic needs within our households. Our state websites have critical and frequently updated information about the policies and precautions, agencies and resources that may be useful to you.
Guide RESOURCES DURING COVID-19 https://www.mass.gov/guides/resources-during-covid-19
We cannot lose sight of the importance of our own health and wellness. Practitioners, insurance companies and changing regulations have made it possible for both adults and children to receive mental health support and care through telehealth. Telehealth is the practice of “meeting” with or talking to health care providers over the telephone or in video chats. These websites contain ideas and activities and strategies to support both you and your children.
Resources and tips to help boost emotional health and well-being during the COVID-19 outbreak. https://www.mass.gov/info-details/maintaining-emotional-health-well-being-during-the-covid-19-outbreak
Massachusetts Department of Mental Health https://www.mass.gov/orgs/massachusetts-department-of-mental-health
Network of Care MA – Finding Behavioral Health Services https://massachusetts.networkofcare.org/mh/
Mindfulness, intentionally bringing your attention to what is happening in the present moment, and meditation, are useful and free ways to manage stress and to provide yourself with a little bit of self-care. Many people want to try this, but are nervous because they do not know how or have never done it before. The link below will bring you to a website of thousands of free meditations, guided meditations, podcasts, lectures, music and more for all levels of interest and experience. There is an ap for your phone of the same name.
Facebook is a quick and easy way to follow news and information, but the right pages can also create a sense of support as you become part of a virtual community of people with shared interests. Some of our state agencies and programs have pages that make it easier to stay current with the vast content being created and shared right now. They also can provide some inspiration and connectivity that you may feel like you are missing as we continue to spend most of our time at home.
Massachusetts Universal Newborn Hearing Screening Program (UNHSP) https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=214403993161
Early Intervention Parent Leadership Project (EIPLP) https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=108236104290
Department of Public Health Massachusetts Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=416558951735554
The Decibels Foundation https://www.facebook.com/decibelsfoundation/
There are many parents and caregivers of children who are deaf and hard of hearing who may be experiencing these weeks the way that you are. Or some who may need to hear what you have done to get through. Highs and lows and successes and struggles. These pages are well moderated and very welcoming.
NE CI and HA Kids https://www.facebook.com/groups/803469413118862/
Parents of Children with Cochlear Implants https://www.facebook.com/groups/2339174952/
BEGINNINGS for Parents of Children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, Inc. https://www.facebook.com/NCBegin.org/
Positive Parenting & COVID-19: 10 Tips to Help Keep the Calm at Home
Tips for Coping with a New Baby During COVID-19
ASL Stories Directory https://deafchildren.org/knowledge-center/resources/sign-language-stories/