Deaf & Hard of Hearing Role Model Services gives parents a positive vision for their child's future. It can offer a sense of optimism and hope by connecting you and your child to successful Role Models who represent the diversity of language, use of technology, assistive listening devices, type of hearing loss, etc. Role Models serve to guide you and your child and offer unbiased support from someone who has experienced the challenges of being deaf or hard of hearing first-hand.
The Role Model Approach
Research shows that parents and caregivers who connect with Role Models who are deaf or hard of hearing develop more trusting relationships with their child, learn successful coping strategies and develop a stronger sense of competence in raising a child who is deaf or hard of hearing.
Lifetrack employs principles from the Joint Council on Infant Hearing (JCIH) and best practices resulting from a study conducted in partnership with Wilder Research. Our vision includes providing mentoring services by trained Role Models who are kind, flexible, understanding, unbiased, and show unwavering support for families.
If you are a parent with a young child newly identified as deaf or hard of hearing, connecting with role models who are deaf and hard of hearing has many benefits for you:
- Helps to calm your anxiety about the world with Deaf/Hard of Hearing people.
- Introduces your child and family to a Deaf/Hard of Hearing community.
- Helps normalize your new world and all the experiences and the feelings that go with it.
- Gives you an opportunity to ask questions regarding communication choices (Cued Speech, Listening and Spoken Language [persons who use spoken English] or American Sign Language).
- Offers strategies for building family relationships that will help your child feel fully involved in family life.
- Provides opportunities to address practical concerns in a less formal, more personal setting where the child feels comfortable, and feels like an important and included member of the family.
Provides a first-hand perspective on specific kinds of technology Role Models have found to be useful accommodations to everyday life and situations.
Parents who see Deaf and Hard of Hearing adults as valuable members of their team begin to understand their child’s potential! As a result, the child will have an increased self-esteem and self-confidence in his/her identity. Connect with one or many of our Role Models! You can read their bios here.
For more information about D/HH Role Model Services for families with young children ages birth to 6 please contact the D/HH Role Model Services Supervisor at DHHRM@lifetrack-mn.org.
If you are a parent of a child, ages 7-21 who is deaf or hard-of-hearing:
Participating in Deaf and Hard of Hearing Role Model Services offers your child, ages 7-21, the opportunity to meet with a Role Model who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing up to six times, where they will discuss topics such as:
- Social skills
- Community Relationships
- Peer Relationships
- Building and Maintaining Friendships
- Self-esteem and identity
- Use of technology
For more information about D/HH Role Model Services for children ages 7-21, contact the D/HH Role Model Services Supervisor at DHHRM@lifetrack-mn.org.
Become a Role Model
Lifetrack is looking for Role Models! If you are an adult who is deaf or hard of hearing and you are interested in becoming a Role Model, view the job description or contact Deaf/Hard of Hearing Role Model at DHHRM@lifetrack-mn.org.