Children who are deaf or hard of hearing need peer support in order to share and comprehend how being deaf or hard of hearing impacts their daily lives. Learning that there are others who have similar life experiences and frustrations helps children to accept and understand what it means to be deaf or hard of hearing and maintain a positive self-image. Providing an adult role model who is deaf or hard of hearing is an integral part of the program that promotes positive self-esteem and a "can do" attitude.
Regional K-5 Student Groups
Peer support groups are established based on the number of students within a one-hour commute of designated sites. (Please contact us for locations.)
K through 5 group meets two hours a week for eight consecutive weeks. Experiential learning activities like games, journaling, role playing, art projects, problem solving, small group discussions and assistive technology demonstrations are designed to build assertive listening and communication skills, self-esteem, leadership, personal awareness and a strong, positive identity as a deaf or hard of hearing individual.
Note to Local School Districts
Interpreters, transliterators and educational technicians used by the students within their academic program will also be used during the K-5 peer support groups, and districts are responsible for transporting students to and from the program site. An MECDHH health form must be completed for each student and given to the group facilitator/MECDHH staff person. In the event that a student is unable to attend a session, the student's school should notify the Regional Program coordinator.
Middle School/High School Student Groups
Groups of students from grades six to twelve meet for two consecutive days (one overnight) with deaf and hard of hearing peers from all over the state for a total of 24 hours of fun. Our program provides a stimulating context for building friendships and self-advocacy skills, expressing thoughts and feelings, and sharing cooperative learning experiences. Activities may include: games, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, camping out, orienteering and rock climbing and other activities in the great outdoors.
Three two-day sessions a year are offered and students are strongly encouraged to attend all three sessions to reap the greatest benefit from the program.
Communication Access Commitment
Each child's preferred mode of communication is accommodated and respected. Interpreters, Cued Speech transliterators, and hearing assistive technologies are an integral part of all our programs.