EHDI Annual Meeting March 18-20, 2018 Faced with Obstacles from Community

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EHDI (EARLY HEARING DETECTION & INTERVENTION)  17th annual meeting happened this week in Denver Colorado. Today is the last day of the "annual meeting" As stated on their website, they state that the conference/meeting has "built a strong reputation for bringing together a wide variety of attendees" Their attendees are mostly individuals that work in state and federal level "early hearing detection and intervention"

Their goal is to "enhance the implementation of comprehensive state-based early hearing detection and intervention" and here are a few other things that they expect individuals from the conference to learn about prior to their departure:

"Interpret and describe current research and research methods related to EHDI.

Examine cultural competence of providers and assess their ability to work with children who are deaf or hard of hearing, their families, and communities.

Discuss the importance of enhancing and creating new and ongoing working relationships among federal agencies, non-profit organizations, state health departments and educational agencies, advocacy groups, families, and professionals."

Sheri Farinha has written an open letter to Karl White in response to EHDI's declining LEAD-K workshop from inclusion in the upcoming 2018 EHDI Conference.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oRWT9FYWds]

According to their Facebook page, "The Lead-K Campaign is a civil right movement to end the nationwide epidemic of language deprivation by promoting language equality, American Sign Language (ASL) and English, as a basic human right for all Deaf babies, LEADING to a new generation of Deaf children who are Kindergarten-ready."

They have reported that there is an epidemic of language deprived deaf children who have been denied ASL and it is an ongoing and growing epidemic. Children who are not exposed to language have irreparable impact on their education and development.

With EHDI and The Lead-K Campaign focused on bettering children lives through different means, one may think the conference would embrace Lead-K Campaign involvement however they have denied their involvement not once, but twice. Sheri has stated in her open letter that people reviewing workshops submissions made some unprofessional and biased statements towards the workshop they asked to include this year. English Transcript of Video Available Here 

In response to many things but including the exclusion of The Lead-K Campaign and to EHDI being in Denver this year, there was a rally in front of the conference by "Transform EHDI NOW" on March 17, 2018. Their description reads: "Marches, activities, and an educational conference transform E.H.D.I to "Early Healthy Deaf Identity"

An introductionary video on the Transform EHDI NOW website shares a few thoughts with the viewer about what the campaign is working towards.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBOZ_7f2r3I]