What is a Deaf coach?


A Deaf Coach is a deaf adult who is fluent in sign language and has the skills to work with hearing families with deaf and hard of hearing children. The Deaf Coach collaborates with the various school District’s early intervention specialists to coordinate and provide services, reinforcing the language goals of the child and the family.

Learn more about what we offer by clicking the expandable list below.

  • Prepares the child for Kindergarten
  • Focuses on language acquisition for success in Kindergarten
  • Meets with the family for 1 to 1.5 hours each week at their home
  • Engages the family in sign language communication, including vocabulary
  • Models the use of sign language and visual cues when interacting with the child
  • Provides useful strategies for visual communication
  • Shares information and resources about Deaf Culture and the general experiences from a deaf individual’s perspective
  • Introduces families to events in the Deaf Community

Families with deaf and hard of hearing infants or young children under age 5 who want the benefits of providing a linguistically and culturally rich environment for their child to enhance language acquisition.

Families who want to explore all possible options to support their child’s future success.

Families who seek the opportunity to learn a variety of firsthand experiences and challenges faced by deaf children and adults in a safe environment.

DCS screens Deaf coaches for their fluency in American Sign Language, their ability to communicate and develop rapport with families, and their comfort in interacting with young children. DCS seeks Deaf coaches who have completed a college education or possess professional experience providing ASL instruction, and involvement in working with youth. We employ coaches who support all types of communication needs. Deaf coaches are non-judgmental, neutral and respect parents’ choices. All deaf coaches are screened via a background check. Deaf coaches are expected to participate in specific required trainings during staff meetings.

Deaf Coaches provide essential tools and resources for families and their children. DCS utilizes specialized curriculums developed for use by deaf coaches which incorporates a variety of resources designed to promote maximum benefits for the child and family.

  • ASL For Families – A series of 37 topics to help families learn ASL for use in everyday environments and routines
  • Early Visual Communication Strategies – A series of 18 topics summarizing strategies to focus on the child’s visual environment so the child is able to shift toward acquiring language
  • Deaf Culture – Designed to introduce families to Deaf Culture and the Deaf Community
  • SB 210 Milestones – Language Milestones were developed by the SB 210 committee for children who are Deaf or hard of hearing, birth to five years of age. The Deaf Coach will support their families and the early intervention specialist by ensuring their children are making the progress necessary to be ready for Kindergarten. More information can be found at https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/ss/dh/sb210langmilestones.asp

For more information about the program, please contact your school district’s early intervention specialist or contact our Youth and Family Services Director at 619-550-3435.

Please click here for more information about the statewide program under LEAD-K Family Services

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