Successful Deaf Leaders in Government

Overview Who represents the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in government? High school Deaf students learn about national and international Deaf leaders who serve as elected or appointed officials. Students research the branches and agencies of state government to further understand how legislation and initiatives impacts the Deaf community. Lobbying for pending legislation, they also conduct email interviews with the former Commissioner of the Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (MCDHH) and other Deaf government leaders. These communications and a computer slide show become part of students' School to Career electronic portfolios. They share their exhibits and presentations with a middle school social studies class. Finally, each student burns a CD for a Successful Deaf Leaders in Government web page that will eventually appear on their school server.

Classroom Activities
Community Activities
Career Activities
Research & illustrate branches of state government.
Create Who's Who in elected state offices.
Write & send letters to Deaf leaders.
Arrange interviews & compose questions for leaders.
Create & present computer slide show for school & community.
Develop hyperlinks of slides for a Successful Deaf Leaders in Government web page.
Establish email dialog with former MCDHH Commissioner.
Interview elected councilman
Interview leaders about pending legislation affecting Deaf community.
Encourage family & friends to lobby for legislation.
Create Deaf Leaders in Government bulletin board for school community.
Present computer slide show to middle school social studies classes.
Continue to work on Successful Deaf Leaders in Government web page.
Research qualifications for candidates running for office.
Research world's first deaf elected Member of Parliament.
Attend Legislative Day at the State House.
Meet with local representative & lobby for legislation affecting Deaf community.
Discuss how technology enhances communication skills required for campaigning & serving in office.
Research access to government jobs as Deaf adults.
Develop electronic School to Career portfolio.

Learning Standards English Language Arts & Mathmatics

Connect reading with own and others' experiences.
Research state government.
Use technology to present information effectively.
Make effective presentations.

School to Career Competencies

Complete Entire Activities.
Organize and Analyze Information.
Develop Communication and Literacy Skills.
Use Technology.

Assessment Students use rubrics to assess computer slide shows and presentations. Students and teacher review and give feedback to presentations and electronic portfolio items. Students answer questions about government leaders and the relationship of the Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing to the executive, legislative and judicial branches.

Software or Materials Used For photos: digital camera; for copies of individual student electronic portfolios: CD burner; CD discs, CD label maker; for storing research information: floppy discs; for printing pictures and bulletin board displays: photo paper and color ink jet ink printer; for wordprocessing, computer slide shows, and organizer: Microsoft Office and Inspiration; for web site: Microsoft FrontPage 2000.

Web Sites Web Sites for Successful Deaf Leaders in Government

Keywords Deaf Leaders, Massachusetts Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing MCDHH Massachusetts Legislature, Kevin Nolan, Gary Malkowski, School to Career, BJ Wood

Final Words Understanding how individual needs are supported by government agencies opens eyes to the importance of electing government leaders who understand the American Disabilities Act. Also positive is the student response to legislative lobbying.

Teacher Tip Compare the school's student government and or town meetings with state government to draw on background knowledge. Using PowerPoint is highly motivational. Students who complete their section are eager to help their peers.

E-mail contact Sharon Clark

Teacher Bio Sharon Clark teaches U.S. History and World History in the high school program at the Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, a School to Career School. Prior to this, she taught at the Beverly School for the Deaf where she also was principal. Tutoring in the MCAS After School Tutoring Program, this busy lead teacher is known for successful multi tasking. She has mentored new teachers, coordinated the Cluster 5 Best Practices Program, is team leader for the high school program, and serves on the school's Instructional Leaders Team.

Subject Areas United States History and World History

Grade Levels 9 - 12

Students SPED Deaf and Hard of Hearing




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