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Communication ≠ Language: Shifting our Paradigms Through Policy

When engaging in advocacy for Deaf children’s rights to American Sign Language and to be bilingual, we need to understand differences between communication and language, the goals of language, and the importance of policy framing. As part of the discussion will be semantics used in framing language and Deaf education issues within early intervention services policy. Also covered will be the language policy report that California Association of the Deaf and CSUN Deaf Studies commissioned and published in 2017. Finally, I propose a new policy framing for including Deaf ASL within Deaf education for Deaf children ages 0-5.

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Marla Hatrak

Marla Hatrak

Marla is Co-Chair for California Association of the Deaf’s (CAD) Policy & Advocacy Committee. She is also a co-founding member of Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf Kids (LEADK), a campaign advocating language acquisition/development and literacy for Deaf children so that they are Kindergarten-Ready (K-R). She has a Masters’ in Early Childhood Studies with Specialization in Policy and Advocacy, and currently, a doctoral student in Educational Policy, Leadership, and Management. She works in Mayberry Lab for Multimodal Language Development at the University of California San Diego (UCSD).