RE: SB 210 (Galgiani): Special Education: Deaf Children: Language Benchmarks – SUPPORT, as amended
Dear Senator ______________:
As a resident of California, I support SB 210 bill to ensure that deaf children arrive at school with appropriate language development and Kindergarten-ready. A significant number of the approximate of nearly 4,000 Deaf children currently between of the ages of 0-5 in California arrive at Kindergarten with inadequate language development necessary to achieve the academic competencies and social emotional growth. This bill would require the state Department of Education to monitor and track the language development of Deaf children, with hearing levels that range from hard of hearing to profoundly deaf, through their IFSP (Individual Family Service Plan) or IEP (Individual Education Plan) from birth to the age of five.
Deaf children have the same ability and capability to learn language as their hearing peers. The ability and right to develop one’s language is central to the human experience and a necessary prerequisite to literacy, cognitive, emotional, linguistic, academic, and social growth. Without language, there can be no education. The delays caused by language deprivation are a common scenario for which there are no accountability from the professionals working with the Deaf infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and their families. It is high time that California instills accountability in the education of Deaf pupils and focuses on language development using benchmarks during the child’s first five years to ensure they are Kindergarten-ready for academic success.
For these reasons, we encourage our Senate Appropriations Committee to fully to support SB 210, as amended. Deaf children in California need you!