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The Time is Now: Research Shifts in Understanding Language Acquisition Impacts in Deaf Education with Roberta J. Cordano Transcript

Audio Description: A slide with the title: "The Time is Now: Research Shift in Understanding Language Acquisition Impacts in Deaf Education." Roberta J. Cordano, JD, President, Gallaudet University, Collaborative Experience Conference, Breezy Point, Minnesota, Friday, November 3rd, 2017.” In the bottom left-hand corner of the slide is the logo for Gallaudet University.

Roberta Cordano: I want to recognize a few special people who are here from Gallaudet. One is really our longtime leader in this community for bilingual education,and I often sign this now using this sign because it better expresses to show how we're working towards equity in recognition and status between ASL and English. One of my first teachings and learnings really happened here, when I was founding Metro Deaf School and Dr. Laurene Simms really was an educator for me. She was working at the Indiana School for the Deaf and was working to establish bilingual education there and since Indiana was close to Minnesota, she became our guide as we built the program here at Metro Deaf School. And now she's at Gallaudet University - that's fantastic! One thing I would like to say about Minnesota here, is that we have a lot of families here from immigrant families in the African American community, Latino community, Hmong community but those parents do not have the same level of access to information that those of you in this room have, and one of Dr. Simms' passions is to make sure that we provide opportunities to all families and all students. We need to invite families from different cultures, languages, communities, races and ethnicities to be included in this type of collaborative communication that you've started here. So, it's critical to pay attention to who is not here not just who is here. That's the work you have in front of you Minnesota, and if there is any state or group of people who can do it, it is you. It is you. I have confidence in the wonderful parents, educators and leaders in this great state. You can lead the conversation on this too. Again, Dr. Simms, I want to thank you for your leadership for these years. You helped Metro Deaf School get off the ground in 1993, and look at where we are today, together again.

Really, it was thrilling when I became president of Gallaudet to realize that Dr. Simms was part of the faculty and it is a great thing for me how our paths have kept crossing all this time. I also want to recognize Sheri Cook from Gallaudet University's regional center, which is one of the sponsors of this event. Our regional centers are part of our commitment to increase our ability to support parents, families, schools and communities across the nation, and it's an ongoing part of Gallaudet's journey, to understand how we can increase our impact in providing support to people like you. So, Sheri, would you please stand and be recognized.

Last but not least, I want to recognize my spouse Mary. Many of you know Mary from her long-time work in Minnesota. She drove me up here and she'll drive me back to the cities afterwards. So, it's the best way for us to get some time together in our busy schedules. So, thank you Mary.

Okay I just want to note that the timer is not on and I will take up as much time as you give me if I'm not sure of how much time I have left so...

Audio Description: This is a slide with an image of an adult and a child. Inside that image are the words love and language on the slide.

Cordano: If you leave with anything from this presentation, I want you to remember two things: love and a language. There is a national conversation being led by people here and through Lead-K, Nyle DiMarco, who are trying to understand the deep connection between love and language. Let's talk about education, especially for those of you who have been in the field for many years. The traditional view that we've had in our education system when we're working with deaf parents, families and deaf children, and this includes my own experience, was that deafness was framed through an audiological perspective. In other words, the focus was on hearing loss, with an emphasis on the word loss and we've been learning through our work in the last, oh I'd say, it's been maybe a generation of work with the deaf community. Really, we've understood this for hundreds of years, but the value of sign language and visual learning versus auditory learning and the deaf child's ability to thrive. We've known it for a long time, but it's only really become a part of our discourse related to the education of deaf children, lately. Now we realize it's not about hearing loss, it's about language. We are not talking about a deficit; we're talking about an asset. I mean the deaf community, we've known that for hundreds of years and until the Milan conference happened of course which it is hard to overstate the impact of that Milan conference, and how the fact that it convinced the world for years that the brain and the auditory cortex were all about sound. Oh, I should jump. Wait a minute. Wait a minute. I got something here.

Audio Description: We have a slide with the title "Language Access Challenges."

The bullet points read: - epidemic of language deprivation-spoken written, visual;

- higher literacy rates with early exposure to sign language;

- absence or suppression of visual language in early intervention programs and medical approaches;

- lack of awareness about the benefits of visual language;

- lack of language and literacy testing with research-based visual language milestones.

Cordano: So, let's go back to that Milan conference. We know now there's a portion of the brain called the auditory cortex, and we have believed for years that the auditory cortex was related to sound, hearing, and that language had to be acquired through sound and speech. That spoken language was the key to knowledge and cognition, and that's been the myth and we have broken that myth, clearly. The community's wisdom, the experience of educators over all these years, the experience of parents clearly tells us that. And what we were hoping to do is connect that research and wisdom with what you're doing today and recognize we are not at war with each other anymore. This is what I have in front of us as our challenge today. We had a great discussion last night. A lot of people sign the idea of language deprivation this way, and we talked a little bit about that concept. I don't think it's conceptually accurate because it's more the idea of language retention or holding language back from exposure, because children have not even been given access to both languages. We withhold that visual language from our children and that's because many medical professionals still believe and endorse the idea that spoken language comes first, and sign language can be held until later.  They hold back that visual language with the belief that the auditory cortex or spoken language has to be developed first but meanwhile while you're holding that language back, the brain is developing, and some children never get it at all. We are making a deliberate choice to retain or delay that exposure, which has definitely been the scientific way of thinking about this for years and years worldwide. But we have a growing amount of evidence that says when a child receives early exposure to visual language, sign language, any sign language in the world, and remember we're not just talking about American Sign Language, there are over 300 sign languages in the world. 300! We know now, that early exposure to visual language is the bridge to literacy in all languages.

If you go back and you read some of the early papers written from the research they were doing in France before our 200th anniversary of deaf education here in America, way back in the 1700s, before Thomas Gallaudet bought deaf education over from France, they had already figured it out. That if you teach deaf children through sign, that's the bridge to learning French. So that knowledge and thinking has been there for years. This is not some brilliant new idea. And there are some words that maybe I'll be using today that seem a little political to you, but I'm always trying to be balanced in my word choice and speak to the experience of people who are not deaf, and maybe have not experienced language deprivation. To people who have experienced language deprivation, it really is language oppression. To others who have not had that experience. It maybe feels like we're talking about somethings absent, something we can't or don't know how to provide. 

So there's a difference in lived experience here and what I can ask of you today is if you feel, - I don't know, triggered from something that I might sign today or one of the words that spoken in the English translation today, I'd ask you to take a moment to say why am I feeling this? What does this bring up for me? And just sit with yourself and notice. There are so many powerful feelings that emerge from all of us in this room, and I  can't be here with you without recognizing that. So, I ask you to sit with the goal of understanding a point of view that might be radically different from your own, and whatever feelings come up from that.I think  I'll move on because so much to say.

Another word, or really concept, I want to put out there, and it's not on the slide but those last two bullets are connected to this. I begin this presentation with the discussion about language equity.  So, for example in healthcare what does a physician have in their toolkit to offer families in terms of medical intervention; spoken language related interventions. They can provide speech therapy, hearing testing, auditory testing, cochlear implant technology, hearing aid technology. These are what a physician has access to as interventions, but they're all related to spoken language. And I know here in the state of Minnesota we have the deaf mentor program which has been in place since 2009, and that is an intervention strategy that is not only based on a doctor's tool kit. So, we have to be careful not to blame the system it's just that there are these interventions that are designed to provide access to spoken language.

The work we have to understand, the work we have to do, is to ask where are the tools for interventions around visual language? Why is our system not giving those tools to health care education and parental support from birth to five? Why is there not visual language access?  And the difference is if you give me a hearing aid like I had as a child and you give me speech therapy, that might fix me, but it's dedicated to me alone, but if you ask me how did I learn ASL, that was through family activities. Health care interventions are designed to be delivered one-on-one to a single person, and it's not what a family may need to help their child thrive, to allow their brain to thrive. So how do we shift from that feeling that we see of oppression, frustration, isolation, but the system is designed to foster because it's not designed with equity in mind. And the approaches are not the same. There's a huge disparity. 

Let's look at the evidence, that last point on the slide. So, think about Metro Deaf School, it's been working for the last, -what, twenty-nine, -1993, twenty-four, twenty-four years. Thank you, Mandy...of course you've been living and breathing it every day. Twenty-four years! And they (Metro Deaf School) have been working to identify and document language milestones in ASL. So, people like Mandy Fredrickson, one of our English teachers, from Metro deaf school, have been pioneers in finding out what happens in that process of learning ASL in English and how do those developments track over time. What is happening in those children's brains? That experiment has been happening for twenty-four years now at Metro deaf school but there's still so much information and data we don't have. Schools like MSAD, and so many of the other deaf schools around the country, We're not collecting all of their data, still. We are still experimenting with learning. If you look at English, we've got five hundred years of research and studying about how to learn English. ASL? We're looking at sixty years’ worth of data, compared to 500 years? Sixty, fifty-seven really years of data? What can we look like as a community when we have 500 years of research, thinking, teaching and experience in our pocket? That is our work.

Audio Description: A slide with the title "Language and Culture". On the slide is a piece of art from Nancy Rourke. It's a picture of the world and in front of it are a series of hands signing the sign for "join." Each hand is painted a different color. 

The bullet points on the slide read:

- Rich linguistic and cultural heritage;

- Knowledge of Deaf epistemologies is critical;

- Deaf identity and social emotional growth.

- Deaf family experience.

The credits are listed as DeClerk, 2010, Leigh, 2009.

Cordano: I want to talk briefly about this. I have another part of my presentation that I'll move on to because I got to move a little quickly, I guess. I want to shift the discussion right now to look at people who were not raised in the Deaf community, those of us who were maybe identified as a person who is a spoken language user or a hearing person. The world that a hearing person grows up in is based on sound and spoken language. It is the orientation of your brains. It is your way of being. So, the first step is for you to understand that part of yourself. That's how you were raised, your way of knowing the world, okay? So that's one group of people and for those who were deaf and possibly grew up in a deaf family or went to a Deaf School like I did myself, I grew up in a world where sign language was always there. Sign and visual language were my way of knowing the world. I had some limited access to sound when I was little, but my way of knowing the world is visual. Let me give you one example of a story that a parent once told me. A very close friend of mine, CODA, so has deaf parents, no siblings. So, the only child of deaf parents, raised in an ASL environment, and he was having a child and he said to me, -now again, remember this is a hearing gentleman, but raised in a deaf family. He loves the news, he loves to listen to the radio every day, okay? And I could not believe this when he said to me. "How is my son going to get the news. I listen to the news every morning. The moment I wake up, I turn on the news. I'm listening to it all day long." And he was heartbroken and really, honestly wondering how will my son get the news? He signs. he has deaf parents, but his grief was profound. Ok, that's because it's his way of being in the world even though he grew up with deaf parents and he knew how to sign from a young age, his world was still very oriented towards sound. He was hearing, getting information through his ears. That is his orientation to the world, and he was grieving when he understood that his son would not have that same orientation to the world, that he would connect to the world very differently. I was the person who said to him, “he doesn't know the difference. He's never listened to the news. He doesn't know that anything is missing. That sense of loss that you have is actually yours as a parent, not his as a child.“ And I said how our family made up for that was we had newspapers, books, magazines all over the house. You could not sit down in any room without having something to read or something to do related to reading English, news and information and that's how we got our news through newspapers. My father subscribed to four newspapers at home; weekly newspapers, daily newspapers, periodicals. I think there were 10 magazine subscriptions, both left and right, always with a balance of perspectives and reports, because my parents were committed to knowing what does the left think, what does the right think, the moderates. That was our way of being, the visual orientation, and it's hardest thing for people's brains to really adapt to that understanding. You have to understand the power of your brain and how that works. There is so much we know now about the human brain, and there are so many fears people have related to deaf children and those fears come from their own sense of being, their own orientation of how they connect to the world through sound. For example, let me show you one of the limitations of that orientation and I've been joking about this at Gallaudet. We laugh all the time.I don't know if you notice people who drive to work, hearing people, and no matter how well they sign or how fluent they are, if you pull up next to them at a stoplight and wave to get their attention, they do not respond no matter how hard you wave and it's because their orientation is forward - visually narrow. But a deaf person who pulls up next to another deaf person, you just have to move a finger and you get an instant response. Our visual orientation is so much wider. Our brains are primed to catch movement in our periphery. That's our orientation. You will find out later that hearing people's brains, especially those who are raised with just one language, if you grow up with English only and learn sign later, your peripheral vision will be narrower. Narrower than that of a child who was raised bilingually with both languages or visual language only. And that driving experience is proof of that, and I've got to ask you all the hearing people around me, I experiment everywhere I go, and we laugh in our office about this all the time. Who can actually pick up somebody waving to them in their peripheral vision? We laugh, we see a people attempting to widen their periphery and it's hilarious. Their brain is working so hard to shift that perception, but you have to have self-awareness to be able to do that and once you have that self-awareness, you can really expand that range of vision. And when we make it funny and not anger-based, we really can learn and it's pretty funny really. So deaf people see that kind of waving in the very far reaches of their peripheral vision. A lot of hearing people wouldn't even see that because your brain has been trained from birth to three. Your brain is set. So, practice forgiveness for how your brain is wired. That's my message for you today. Practice forgiveness for how your brain is wired, and practice love for those who are committed to the language, whether they sign or not. Practice love for those of you who are committed to access to language, especially visual language, whether they are a fluent signer or not. Ask yourself, not if that person is hearing or how well they can hear, ask yourself is that person committed equally to each language, English and ASL. If the commitment is there, then practice love with each other. That is how you will succeed and thrive in your collaborative efforts here in Minnesota. 

Audio Description: See a slide with an image of a lightbulb, and an image of the world superimposed on it with the quote: "The limits of my language means the limits of my world." by Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Cordano: It's all about language, and actually this should be a plural, -the limits of my languages as plural. The limits of my languages means the limits of my world.

Audio Description: A slide entitled "Critical Policy Considerations." There's an image on the slide of a human figure leaning against a gurney which has the sign on it "being deaf.

The subtext is "Published Policy Recommendations" with the following bullets:

- Early screening and intervention; 

- Close and continual holistic monitoring;

- Protection of rights through informed choice decision-making and consent;

And there is a list of citations on the bottom of the slide.

Cordano:  I've already touched on these concepts in my presentations so far, and you've already been hearing, -I read your agenda. You're covering all of these topics throughout this conference, and it's a beautiful agenda truly. The learning that you'll have today just fits these concepts, and it's one of the reasons, even though my schedule got tighter and tighter, I was afraid I was going to have to drop being able to come here but I said to myself "No, these are my people. They are doing the work and I have to be here in Minnesota. I have to come.” You are the leaders in this work. You in Minnesota, and I've told Franken and Klobuchar this, that you in Minnesota are leading this country. And they are not aware of that enough of the policy considerations. Get active with your Senators and Representatives. Do you know Betty McCollum, Representative McCollum? She has a deaf nephew who went to Gallaudet. Oh cousin, right. She loves Gallaudet. When was the last time you showed up in her office to tell her what you were doing? When was the last time? Oh, she's from the fourth District in St. Paul. She loves Gallaudet. Big supporter of Gallaudet. You need to contact your state and local government and federal government, federal representatives, to show that this conference is an example of your leadership in this topic in the nation. I love Minnesota. I'm just telling you. I'm just telling you. Keep doing it right.

[Audio Description: A video of 22-month old Ayla signing with her family members.

Ayla is deaf. Her family members are hearing and all sign. The signs she demonstrates are:

Lights out.

I'm awake!

Diaper.

Potty.

Cold!!!

Hot.

Having a bath makes Ayla clean.

Mommy.

Daddy.

Grandma.

Grandpa.

Eat

Cereal

Cracker

Popcorn

Cheese

This is pancakes.

I'm done eating.

I'm thirsty.

Drink

This is hot coffee.

Farm

Duck

Horse

Pig

Sheep

Fish

Crab

Octopus

Bear

Red

Orange

Yellow

Green

Blue

Purple

Brown

Black

White

Audio description continues: A - B - E - F - G - J - L - O - Q - T - X - Y – Z

A-Y-L-A: AYLA

Do-Do? Meaning what to do.

WOW!!!

On the screen, it says Ayla's entire family, many extended family members and some family friends are using ASL with her. She demonstrated emerging and developing language skills in the two to three years range at 20 months old.]

Cordano: And this is what we all want to see in our children, right? This is what we want to see. I have to tell you that, -well maybe some of you saw me talk about this last night, I was talking about the research we're doing at Gallaudet in the visual language and visual learning lab VL2 - this is what we call it. They have noticed there's a lot of comments in the deaf community about how deaf parents with deaf children raise children with a very rich language base. So, what if we were able to provide a baby who is deaf, the kind of language access that Ayla's family does, even for parents who have no access to ASL before that. So, if we pair them with deaf families who sign, and have babies from birth, and try to compare them.  We can test development and their milestones. So we can study the milestones of each type of baby but do you know, we already know the research on milestones of language development and this has been done, a while ago with hearing babies who have access to spoken language. They start babbling at around 6 months of age, not speaking words, just babbling. In an ASL rich environment at 6 months, a deaf baby is also babbling, same developmental milestones babbling in English, babbling in ASL. Six months later, deaf babies come out with their first signs like milk or cow. Just like what's happening with the hearing babies. Spoken language, single words Mama, Dada, milk and by 12 months. Oh wait, sorry, sorry, sorry, six months is babbling, twelve months is first word and then by 18 to 24 months, two to four-word sentences. It's amazing. Those milestones are exactly parallel, when you have access to language. What they found is the brain is essentially the same in each baby. The brain is not looking for one language over another. The brain is searching for any kind of patterns, and that's what language is based on, patterns. So, it will, -the brain will sort it all out over time. Two, three, four languages, the brain can handle it, and we have found that bilingual brains are superior to monolingual brains and I'll show you a picture of that in a moment.

Audio Description: A slide with the title "What Do We Know Now." There's an image of a human figure interacting with the checklist. The subtitle is "Research demonstrates."

ASL is a language and part of a culture with a citation for Padden, 1980. ASL is biologically equivalent to spoken English based on research cognitive and brain development studies with a citation for Gallaudet University, VL2.

Cordano: Oh, I'm sorry, I was going to tell you a story about these two families. So, we were moving on but wait, wait, wait, I got to go back. So, what they found is the brain is looking for patterns, okay? So, the next question is hmm...if a baby's born, -a deaf baby to hearing parents, who do not know sign, what is their language compared to a deaf baby with signing parents? The first discovery is it's all about love. That's number one. The biggest predictor of a child's success is love from the parents. How many parents are in this room? Raise your hand. Parents raise your hands. It's obvious you love your children. You wouldn't be here if you didn't love your children. You have already succeeded in the first benchmark of success because you love your children. Love is the first indicator of success.

The second benchmark, and this is where the story comes in, one of the things we're not talking about enough and this is where the mentorship programs can really address this, if a parent just starts signing baby signs like milk, from the moment they learn their child is deaf and they continue to expose the child to signs, even while they themselves are learning the language, that child's brain develops exactly the same as a child with full access to ASL.

Should I say that again? Parents, if they use gestures to try to visually connect with their deaf baby, it will continue to develop visually. 

And, by the way, we know that if at least one parent has a deafblind child, and for deafblind babies, its physical contact with the baby that promotes development, with that physical exposure or visual exposure to the child, the brain will open right up and come alive.

So that means we have to recognize that the self-esteem of parents and comparing yourself, hearing parents comparing yourself to deaf parents who are fluent signers, do not even worry about it. You are on the right path. Your baby's still learning. Your baby's brain will still thrive regardless. The science is on your side. 

Audio Description: A slide with the title "Challenging Assumptions: Research." There's an image of a navigational sextant and two bullet points. 

The first is - Claims that learning to sign hurts the child's ability to learn English and destroys their chances of ever learning to speak are wrong with a citation of Gallaudet, VL2, 2016.

The second is - In contrast, research shows that providing a deaf child with sign exposure within a bilingual framework from the very beginning can support learning spoken and written English.

Cordano: I've already talked about these concepts so it's what I've said already.

Audio Description: We have a slide with the title "Research Demonstrates."

An image of Dr. Laura-Ann Petitto along with a quote: "The more language exposure, the better. The brain does not discriminate; it accepts both sound and sign."

Cordano:  So, Dr. Laura-Ann Petitto has talked about when children are learning, all children, deaf and hearing, if they have exposure to multiple languages, that's optimal for brain development. And for deaf and hard of hearing children, especially, and I'm saying hard-of-hearing too because even though they can hear some, be very, very careful of that feeling of leaning towards spoken English as the primary language for those kids. The ability to stay in the visual language ASL especially for those hearing parents, -oh, I know it's a challenge because your brain is so oriented towards spoken language. So, for those of you who are hearing and have that feeling that it's really hard to steer away from spoken English, and of course that's why sim-com is so popular because your brain is wired towards English, even if you're hard-of-hearing and grow up with English. I was like that. I sim-commed for a long time and sometimes I still do if I'm with hearing people because I just want to be able to communicate period.  It's all about communication. There are no right or wrong answers for how you agree to communicate with someone, and I will tell you I have no opinion on that. Pick whatever you want related to communication. That's the most important. But you have to know the difference between the goal of communication and that's connecting with each other and the goal of providing language...mm-hmm. Teaching a child's brain to understand this visual language, means a shift for those of you who are spoken English users. Just as if you were learning spoken French, you still have to shift your brain towards a different way of putting grammar together and it's hard. Oh, I know it's not easy. I know. And that's where I have empathy, and we all need to have empathy for each other, that it's about language, the ability to shift from one language to the other. Oh, it is not easy because your brains are already wired towards finding the easiest path for language and communication. For me, ASL and English were in my life, my whole life, because my parents signed to me all the time, but we were always reading. We finger spelled a lot, which actually was my access to English. Fingerspelling was my access to English But I was able to shift languages pretty easily, and I would sim-com because I wanted to be able to communicate with people. They weren't connecting with me through ASL. I would just add my voice, and I know Metro Deaf School, those teachers were all on me about sim-coming, and it's really hard when you're in a mixed group. It's hard to know exactly what to do. But if you're just trying to communicate one-on-one, sim-comming may work, but there's a loss in both languages. And it's best not to ride the line because that's not a language. It's a tool for communication. To communicate more effectively, you need to stay in one language only. At Gallaudet, I prefer people choose the language they're most comfortable with in order to express themselves. If that's spoken English, great. If it's sign, that's great, too. We recognize and respect both languages.

Audio Description: A slide with the title "Building Research Foundations." On the slide is an image of several brain scans. 

One set entitled: ASL - fixation; another set entitled: Gesture - fixation.

The bullet points on the slide read: 

- Early exposure to visual language supports development of spoken and written English;

- Same brain processing advantages and cognitive benefits as bilingualism in two spoken languages.

Cordano: So, these are brain scans and if you look at the overlap, the yellow and the red, that's what happens when your brain is firing with exposure to ASL,and the green is spoken language or sound-based language exposure. There are some differences, but what's very exciting to see is how if you expose children to both languages, the brain shows a ton of activity across the hemispheres. This is an active thriving brain. This is our proof.

Audio Description: A slide with the title: "Research on visual language and visual learning." There's an image on the slide of an adult signing with two children.

The quote on the slide reads: "They have stronger visual attention skills and better vocabulary, higher cognition, language, reading, and self-regulating skills than non-sign-exposed deaf children with some reading and language abilities exceeding hearing monolingual children." The citation is Gallaudet, VL2, 2016.

[The slide changes.] 

Audio Description: A slide with the title: "Studies Replicated by Scientists Support Findings."

On the slide is an image of a child wearing a cap full of sensors for tracking brain activity.

The bullet points read: 

- Deaf infants exposed to sign language achieve all of the same developmental milestones as hearing children;

- Brain scans show sign language is processed in the same brain tissue that processes speech;

- The rhythms and patterns that make up the phonological level of organization of all languages are the same in signed and spoken languages.]

[The slide changes.] 

Audio Description: A slide with the title: "What does this mean for you?" On the slide is an image of a light bulb with gears inside.

The bullet points read: 

- Understanding cutting-edge research on the brain and language;

- Research demonstrates the need for more access to visual language;

- Research improves the quality of education for deaf children.]

Cordano: So again, this is the science and it has to be disseminated to and by all of you, you need to get out there and I encourage you to take this, make this science part of our understanding of our own children's brains, and your own brains as well. Let me show you something interesting about language milestones. Research shows that the neuroplasticity of the brain peaks between birth to 3. That's the peak of your language acquisition. When a child gets that language exposure from birth to 3, its funneled through the language cortex. No longer are we referring to it as the auditory cortex. It's the language cortex because that's where language is developed. And then after age 3, those early years where language is still stored in the brain, it's stored in long-term memory. It's not as innate as we once thought. So that's the most critical learning for all of you today related to love and language. Those first three years are the most critical, and after that it's still not too late, it's just stored in a different area of the brain and it could still be used but the total neuroplasticity of the brain will be just a little bit different. At Gallaudet, we're committed to continuing this work and continuing to disseminate our findings out to all of you. And I want to thank you so much for inviting me here to explain this, of what we're doing in our research at Gallaudet, and to provide you with tools for leading your children into the future, because the future must be different.

Audio Description: A picture of a woman sitting in a chair with the words on the screen "we realized being deaf was not about hearing."

Cordano: This mother who had a deaf baby and finally realized it wasn't about the baby's inability to hear it was about language. 

Audio Description: Slide with the title "Clerc Center." There's an image of one of the resources from the Clerc Center on the slide, and the logos for Gallaudet University and the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center.

Cordano: The Clerc Center at Gallaudet has already been working to disseminate a lot of material that you can use. Our Odyssey magazine, you may have participated in our conferences and the birth to twenty-one group will continue to use this vehicle to disseminate information to all of you. To support your success, if you need more from us, please give us your feedback. We're open to listening to how we can support you even better.  VL2 and the Clerc Center partner in creating and disseminating information, and we have our Department Education at Gallaudet, where Dr. Simms is. We are open to hearing from all of you about what you need as teachers, as leaders or superintendents, please let us know how we can support your success from Gallaudet. And keep up the good work. Keep up with the challenge of being better than we are sometimes today. It's possible to keep holding out the hope, holding out the love, and holding out for language. Thank you very much. 

[applause]

[At the end of the video are two slides listing all of the references.]

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