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JCPL Offers Workshop for Reading to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children

(LAKEWOOD, Colo. – Nov. 25, 2013) Jefferson County Public Library announced today that it is offering a special event for parents, educators and librarians of deaf and hard of hearing children from 5-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, at the Belmar Library, 555 S. Allison Parkway.

This workshop will focus on the effective book sharing techniques outlined in The 15 Principles of Reading to Deaf Children, which is based on book sharing strategies deaf adults use when reading to deaf and hard of hearing children. Topics covered include: why reading is important, how to use sign language to share stories, reading while not knowing all the signs, and keeping American Sign Language and English visible while reading.

“Parents know the importance of sharing books with their children, but those whose children are deaf or hard of hearing may be struggling with how they can create a meaningful experience for them,” said Deborah Dauenheimer, special populations coordinator for JCPL. “This program aims to help these parents share this crucial interaction with their children.”

“Reading and signing aloud is one of the most significant early literacy components in a deaf child’s life,” said Arlene Gunderson, M.Ed., presenter and director of Gallaudet University-Regional Center Southwest and Austin Community College–Riverside Campus. “Every deaf child needs to experience this activity, which means the parents’ involvement is just as significant as acquiring American Sign Language skills." 

“Deaf and hard of hearing children deserve to be exposed to literacy at an early age through their native language,” said JenniferMcLellanECE team lead teacher, Rocky Mountain Deaf School. “I am beyond thrilled to have parents learn and practice The 15 Principles of Reading to Deaf Children in order to promote early literacy.”

A knowledge of sign language is not necessary to attend this event. Food will be provided from 5-5:30 p.m., and for children who accompany their parents, storytelling, storytime and activities will be offered.

Registration is required – please email no later than Friday, Nov. 29.


This event is offered in partnership with Gallaudet University-Regional Center Southwest, Austin Community College District, Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind, and the Rocky Mountain Deaf School.

About Gallaudet University

Gallaudet University is the world leader in liberal education and career development for deaf and hard of hearing students. The University enjoys an international reputation for its outstanding programs and for the quality of the research it conducts on the history, language, culture, and other topics related to deaf people.

About Rocky Mountain Deaf School

Rocky Mountain Deaf School is a free public charter school in Jefferson County that offers a bilingual education for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students in Preschool-12th grade, providing a language rich environment in both American Sign Language (ASL) and English.

About Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind

The Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind (CSDB) provides children and families statewide with comprehensive, specialized educational services in safe, nurturing environments. We empower learners to become self-determined, independent, contributing citizens within their communities.

About Austin Community College District

Austin Community College is a nationally recognized two-year college serving Central Texas. ACC is focused on student success and providing affordable, flexible pathways to help students reach their education goals, learn new job skills, or advance their career.

The college currently enrolls more than 43,000 credit students and serves an additional 15,000 students each year through noncredit programs.

About Jefferson County Public Library

Jefferson County Public Library (JCPL) is the third largest public library in the state of Colorado. Our mission is to meet the changing needs of our communities by providing information and environments that promote personal growth and community transformation. A JCPL library card is the smartest card in your wallet, giving you access to an online library that operates 24 hours per day, seven days per week, a network of 10 libraries, a Bookmobile, a Traveling Children's Library and an eTrain mobile computer training lab, as well as books, periodicals, CDs and DVDs, audio and eBooks, and computer and Internet resources. For more information contact your local library or visit