President’s Message – Newly Identified Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children – Fall 2013

by Shannon Howell As the summer 2013 cue camp season comes to a close, with Cue Camp Virginia scheduled for September 27–29, 2013, I would like to take the opportunity to thank the many volunteers who have contributed their time and services to make each NCSA-sponsored camp successful: Spring Camp Cheerio in North Carolina, Camp ChiCueGo in Illinois, and Cue Camp New England in Maine. These camps have allowed participants to learn Cued Speech as well as improve their cueing skills.

The NCSA Board held its Spring / Summer meeting in Monroe, Louisiana in April, and was sponsored by Nûby, which is owned by Penny and Eddie Hakim, parents of Abraham, a deaf adult cuer. We are grateful to the Hakim family for their hospitality and continued advocacy on behalf of Cued Speech and the NCSA. We also congratulate them on the marriage of Abraham last May in Israel.

During the Board Meeting, Marah Ranko, a representative from the Hands and Voices organization presented about the organization’s activities and ways the NCSA can provide information about Cued Speech to parents of newly identified deaf and hard of hearing children. The NCSA looks forward to developing a partnership with Hands and Voices in the future, as this organization is a nationwide parent and professional support group and has much to offer.

Earlier this summer, I had the opportunity to meet with Lauren Pruett of Language Matters, Inc. (LMI) and Shellie Burrow of the Training, Evaluation, and Certification Unit (TECUnit). During our productive meeting, we reaffirmed our intentions to work together more closely in the future. The NCSA will partner with LMI and the TECUnit to further the support of Cued Speech and the need for providing qualified and certified Cued Language Transliterators.

In the coming months, the NCSA will begin planning for the 50th Anniversary of the invention of Cued Speech in 2016. I encourage volunteers to step forward to help us with the planning. We will also be expanding our board to include Regional Directors, who in turn will identify state directors. These individuals will work locally to represent and conduct Cued speech outreach.

I want to remind those of you who are municipal, state and federal employees to think of the Deaf Children’s Literacy Project when making your annual workplace giving pledge through the Combined Federal Campaign. We count on these gifts to continue our important work. The NCSA’s Fall/Winter Board meeting will be held October 18–19, 2013, in Portland, Oregon. All Board meetings are open to the public and we encourage members to attend. If you would like to address the Board but are unable to make the trip, we can work with you to arrange a Skype video session. The Board is committed to ensuring that the needs of its members are met. As always, you are welcome to contact us with questions or concerns. If you would like to volunteer your time, we would love to talk to you.

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Shannon Howell

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