Ten resources to activate awareness of cultural and linguistic diversity

by:
Amanda Dunaway, MSDE, CED, LSLS Cert. AVEd
Audrey Nemeth, M.S.D.E, CED, LSLS Cert. AVEd

Why is cultural and linguistic diversity important to us at CID?

In line with our core values of respect and compassionate, individualized education, CID is committed to building a culture of inclusivity for our students and families. We see a multitude of identities intersect in our CID community. As such, we strongly believe representation of these identities matters. Through the work of examining our school culture, we continue to activate awareness of our school staff through critical conversations, ongoing professional development and the sharing of resources. Below are ten examples of organizations, teaching materials and books which guide us on this life-long journey.

Organizations

  1. The Radical Middle
    • Communication choice belongs to a family. For families that choose listening and spoken language, CID provides outstanding services. The Radical Middle provides a community of professionals with expertise in other communication modes. For more information, read our blog post on the Radical Middle.
  2. Teaching Tolerance
    • Their mission is to help teachers and schools educate children and youth to be active participants in a diverse democracy. Their free resources include a monthly publication (paper or digital), podcast, lessons, printables, videos and many more.
  3. We Stories
    • This local non-profit organization partners with families to promote conversations about race through literature. The We Stories model of beginning this process through examining the literature is a good starting point to activate conversations at home.
  4. Educators for Social Justice
    • This organization is committed to connecting educators across the lifespan and building networks to mobilize resources to promote progressive change.

Teaching Materials

  1. My Family Builders
    • Representation matters, especially during play! These open-ended educational wooden toys encourage children to embrace family diversity through play. Check out toys with hearing devices!
  2. I Never Forget A Face
    • This matching game celebrates various representations of cultures. A great language or auditory training activity for any age!
  3. Represent your students with art supplies that match their skin tones!

Books

  1. Preschool Board Books
  1. Elementary Picture Books
  1. Young Adult Novels

These are just some of the resources you can use to guide diversity efforts in your own organization. Let us know in the comments if there are any resources you use which are not listed here!

Amanda Dunaway has worked in the Virginia J. Browning Primary School at Central Institute for the Deaf (CID) for over 10 years currently serving as the Instructional Facilitator. In 2009 she became a certified Listening and Spoken Language Specialist (LSLS Cert. AVEd). Amanda teaches Math and Content Instruction for Children who are Deaf/HH for the Program in Audiology and Communication Sciences at Washington University School of Medicine. Her professional interests include elementary content curriculum, executive function skills in students who are deaf/hard of hearing, teacher preparation, and educational technology. She is a CODA (child of a deaf adult) and a SODA (sibling of a deaf adult).

Audrey Nemeth has been working as a Teacher of the Deaf for twelve years, serving primarily children ages three-five at CID, as well as at the Moog Center for Deaf Education.  She has taught a variety of language levels, and the importance of vocabulary, repetition and speech development can be observed in every lesson she teaches.

In addition to teaching children with hearing loss, Audrey provides parent/caregiver support on a weekly, bi-monthly, and monthly basis.  These sessions consist of: presenting information about hearing loss; discussing strategies, techniques, and activities for helping parents teach their children to talk, and providing embedded coaching to parents to improve their child’s communication skills.

Audrey also has a passion for teaching other professionals. For the past nine years, she has provided supervision and mentorship to student teachers from a variety of universities.

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