Louisiana LEAD-K (Language Equality and Acquisition for Deaf Kids), is a bill that proposes to establish a task force of professionals to recommend framework to assess the language milestones of Deaf and Hard of Hearing children ages 0-5 for both English and American Sign Language (ASL) and to provide resources for parents. This is a first step towards collecting valuable data to end the language deprivation epidemic among Deaf and Hard of Hearing children.
"The LEAD-K Campaign is a direct response to the alarming number of Deaf and hard of hearing children arriving at school without language. Language deprivation has irreparable catastrophic consequences on the educational, social and vocational development of Deaf and hard of hearing children.
"When provided with access and opportunities, the Deaf child has normal ability to develop language. The Deaf child who has the foundation of language will acquire English literacy.
"The Campaign aims to end language deprivation through information to families about language milestones and assessments that measure language milestone achievements, and data collection that holds our current education system accountable.
"At LEAD-K, we believe that Deaf children benefit from American Sign Language (ASL), a natural visual language, however our goal is language acquisition regardless of the language used, whether ASL or English or both. We cannot afford to lose another generation of Deaf children by engaging in a ideological war. Deaf children who have language are Kindergarten-ready." - LEAD-K.org
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