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Services for Families

Research has proven that the number one influence on student success is family engagement. When families are an active part of their child’s learning experience student achievement increases and absenteeism is reduced. Parents and families who are involved in their child’s education feel like part of the educational team and more empowered to make decisions regarding their child’s education. 

OSD believes that family engagement is the key to student’s success and we are committed to engaging and supporting families of deaf and hard of hearing children across the state. We offer a variety of support services to families, such as: 

  • Parent Mentor Support Services

  • ASL Classes 

  • Workshops and trainings

  • Resources and Supports

Please see below for a more detailed description of services for families. 

Parent Mentor Support

Parents and families of deaf and hard of hearing children often feel alone and unsupported because deafness is a low incidence disability, meaning less than 1% of the children are diagnosed with a hearing loss. Families and children experience more success when parents are connected to other parents who have “been there and done that.” Our Parent Mentor is also a parent of a deaf child and is here to be a voice of experience and knowledge for other families of deaf children.  

Our Parent Mentor works directly with families across the state and families of OSD students to provide information, resources & referral services. She is here to provide unbiased support and help to families of students with any degree or type of hearing loss to best navigate state systems of support, including the special education system. Our Parent Mentor can attend IEPs and ETR meetings with families and is connected with a network of professional and family resources. She has experience and expertise that is utilized and shared to serve Ohio school teams and families.   

In addition, she is part of a statewide Parent Mentor project and can connect families with their local Parent Mentors when available. OSD’s Parent Mentor also acts as support personnel for the 100 other Parent Mentors around Ohio when their cases require specialized knowledge regarding hearing loss. When local PMs are not available, our Parent Mentor can refer families directly to the Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities or other advocacy agencies.

ASL Classes 

OSD offers ASL classes for families with a deaf or hard of hearing child. Please check back for upcoming classes

OSD offers ASL classes to high school students through distance learning

There are a variety of programs for families to learn ASL online that are not sponsored by OSD. Click here to see a list of ASL classes and supports. The intent of providing the list of classes is to provide additional ASL support to families, but OSD is not responsible for the content provided on these sites.  

Workshops and Trainings

Information will be posted and shared here as it becomes available.

Resources and Supports

OSD's Parent Mentor provides a timely and comprehensive list of resources in a public Google Drive folder for families and professionals to use and share. The resource list is created from a variety of sources and experts in the field of deaf and hard of hearing education and advocacy, including nationwide non-profit organizations, Ohio Department of Education, OCALI, State Support Teams, and more.

Resource List for families and professionals (redirect to Google Drive folder)

A Guide to Parents Rights in Special Education (redirect to an ODE document)