The American Society for Deaf Children (ASDC) is committed to empowering diverse families with deaf* children and youth by embracing full access to language-rich environments through mentoring, advocacy, resources, and collaborative networks.
All deaf children and youth shall have the opportunity to thrive in every aspect of their lives through the empowerment of their families and the support of the community.
ASDC Core Beliefs
We believe in the celebration of a positive identity of all deaf children through healthy family support, linguistic competence and high quality education in the home, school, and community.
We believe deaf children are entitled to full language and communication access. We also believe that language development, respect for deaf individuals, and access to deaf mentors are important to ensure optimal intellectual, social and emotional development.
We believe that consideration of language opportunities for deaf children should be based on facts. Research consistently demonstrates that fluency in American Sign Language and English, with or without technology, offers all deaf children optimal opportunities for academic and social success, and thus both should be part of their language-rich and fully accessible environment.
We believe that there should be access to early identification and education by qualified providers, engaged family involvement, and educational opportunities equal to those provided for hearing children. Our objective is to ensure that young deaf children will achieve kindergarten readiness and will be academically and socially prepared by the time they enter elementary school. Kindergarten readiness is a critical step for children on the path of developing into happy and successful adults.
We affirm that parents have the right and the responsibility to be primary decision makers and advocates for their deaf children. For this role, parents need access to accurate and current information, educational opportunities, and support.
*ASDC uses the term “deaf” to be inclusive of various hearing levels, including those who are seen as, or identify as Deaf, deaf, or hard of hearing.