EHDI Motion on Language Deprivation Approved
May 3, 2016 — The Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is thrilled to announce that the Maryland Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Advisory Council just adopted a motion advising the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) to issue a letter to every parent of a child identified as Deaf or hard of hearing explaining that their child runs a severe risk of language deprivation and that the best way to prevent such deprivation is to ensure that their child is exposed at the earliest possible age to visual language in addition to English. In Maryland, this typically means English and American Sign Language (ASL).
This is a powerful statement and a giant leap in addressing language deprivation. Once again, Maryland is taking the lead in the country on Deaf and hard of hearing issues.
The adopted motion included language recommending that copies of the information to be distributed through every EHDI channel, and distributed to families, professionals in the EHDI process, and accessible online in multiple languages, including English, Spanish, and ASL.
We want to recognize and thank Dr. Jennifer Reesman, Chair of the EHDI Advisory Council, for her able leadership in navigating the council through this process. We look forward to working with the EHDI Advisory Council and with DHMH in achieving the best outcomes for all Marylanders.
About the Governor’s Office of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing
The Governor’s Office of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing advocates for and promotes the general welfare of Deaf and hard of hearing individuals in Maryland by addressing policy gaps, providing expertise related to Deaf and hard of hearing issues, and facilitating access to resources and services.