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American Annals of the Deaf

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Black Deaf Students: A Model for Educational Success

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These characteristics have been considered in designing the proposed resilience program. The program would be initiated early in the life of the child and continue through their postsecondary program. Schools and postsecondary programs need to begin planning programs that focus on children’s strengths and ate ongoing. In too many schools systems today, administrators are continuously changing programs to fit new “educational fads” with no real vision of where they are going and how they will educate African American deaf and hard of heating students and other minorities.

Structure of the Program

The resilience program consists of the family, the school, postsecondary programs, and community stakeholders. Universities and colleges, as community stakeholders, could play major roles in this process by providing research, professional training, and postsecondary credit courses in the high schools for teachers and staff. The components of this resilience pro- grain are connected and Support each other. This proposed program would have a “director of resilience” who reports to the principal of the school and would have the following roles:

  1. Coordinating services of the schools with parents, postsecondary programs, and other community stakeholders in developing and implementing a resilience program
  2. Providing best practices of linking academic and student support services (mental health, athletic, and residence life programs) to resilience goals
  3. Providing resources and training and development for teachers and staff, as well as parents and community agencies, to develop innovative approaches to develop and enhance resilience
  4. Serving as a resource on resilience to administrative, teacher, and staff development program planning
  5. Identifying and planning strategies to address practices and programs that are in conflict with fostering protective factors
  6. Coordinating resources for the library and for a resource center on resilience
  7. Coordinating workshops and speakers for the school on innovative programs that focus on resilience
  8. Building partnerships with community organizations to promote student resilience
  9. Creating partnerships with colleges and universities for advanced placements of students, research and data analysis assistance, grant writing, and professional development purposes
  10. Administering the program

Program Development

The program would use a collaborative approach that is developed through planning meetings that involve teachers, administrators, students, parents, community organizations, and other stakeholders. This would be accomplished though formal planning meetings as well as ongoing informal communications. The initial meetings would include retreats involving facilitators to help the group process, and the information from these meetings would be used to develop the resilience mission statement, develop annual goals, and gather information for the strategic plan. A series of scheduled meetings would be held to discuss goals, develop new ideas, and to exchange information about program development. In addition, those involved would attend monthly and annual forum and planning meetings.

The purpose of the resilience program is to link the home, school, and community in establishing environments that promote resilience through such protective factors as (a) care and support, (b) open and ongoing communication, (c) high expectations, (d) challenging educational opportunities, (e) meaningful participation, (f) parent involvement, and (g) discipline and structure. The goals of the program would include the following:

  1. Enhancing the resilience of more African American deaf and hard of hearing children, adolescents, and young adult students to facilitate their transition
  2. Linking academic, student support services, residential living, and athletic objectives with resilience enhancement
  3. Coordinating school resilience programs with parents, community, and other stakeholders

The following would be critical outcomes of this program:

  1. More African American deaf and hard of hearing children, adolescents, and young adults will benefit from protective factors in their homes, schools, and communities.
  2. Schools serving African American deaf and hard of hearing children, adolescents, and young adults will integrate protective factors into the curriculum, mental health programs, athletic programs, after-school programs, and residence life programs.
  3. Schools for the deaf and mainstream programs will collaborate with parents, postsecondary programs, and community stakeholders to provide protective factors that enhance resilience.
  4. More collaboration will occur between schools for the Deaf and mainstream programs.
  5. More African American students will enter four-year colleges and universities and graduate.

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