LEAD-K Statement to ROAR

LEAD-K statement in response to ROAR:

The National LEAD-K and state teams continue to encourage an in-person dialogue to better address any and all concerns.

LEAD-K has remained in the “Driver’s seat” and steadfast in our stance for language milestones for families to work with their infants and toddlers to get them Kindergarten ready. LEAD-K, a Deaf-led movement across the United States, has been transparent and inclusive working with its grassroots movement and model legislation for 7 years and has posted numerous updates through the years.

In addition, we have sent representatives to different states on request to meet with their collective communities to explain about LEAD-K and provide advocacy training. For many of the inquiries in the ROAR response to LEAD-K, there are answers that have already been provided but apparently disregarded. For this reason, we insist on an in-person dialogue so that everyone can understand why certain actions had been taken. This is the first time ASL is in law, on par with English. These are the two languages used by Deaf children, and promoted by LEAD-K.

The political process has led to strange alliances with other organizations. Our purpose for meeting with AGB was to get them to stop sabotaging our bills in various states. We now have new opposition from American Cochlear Implant Alliance (ACIA), Association of Speech and Language Hearing Association (ASHA), and Academy of Audiology Association (AAA). Why not help us ROAR against ACIA, ASHA, and AAA? We are obviously doing something right if such entities are against LEAD-K because we included ASL and asked for data accountability.

LEAD-K is a breakthrough to end language deprivation for all Deaf babies. It’s a step in the right direction and there is more to be done.

We are happy to share more, however, social media is not the place to resolve disagreements. We respectfully continue to extend our invitation to meet.

Sheri Farinha and Julie Rems Smario, Co-chairs
And the LEAD-K Team