Gallaudet University Regional Centers and Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind Expand Partnership, Strengthen National Network Supporting Deaf Children and Their Families

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Gallaudet University and the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind are expanding their multi-year partnership to increase sign language access and support services to deaf children and their families and the professionals who serve them throughout the southeastern United States. Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind becomes the host partner for Gallaudet University Regional Center - South

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Our collective work can now help provide a more seamless pathway for lifelong success for deaf children from birth to college and beyond.

Gallaudet University and the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB) announced today that they are expanding their multi-year partnership to increase sign language access and support services to deaf children and their families and the professionals who serve them throughout the southeastern United States.

Talladega-based AIDB now serves as the host institution for the Gallaudet University Regional Center (GURC) South, joining three additional GURCs and host partners in other regions throughout the nation. The four GURCs, administered by the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center at Gallaudet (Clerc Center), comprise one of the nation’s leading networks serving deaf children and their families.

The expanded partnership between Gallaudet University and AIDB will provide an array of critical services, trainings, and outreach to deaf children from birth through high school throughout the Southern region of the U.S., including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Early intervention, early language acquisition, professional development, high school to post-secondary transition and career readiness are among the key services offered.

For the last two years, a partnership between the Clerc Center and AIDB, the Regional Early Acquisition of Language (REAL) Project, has worked to provide support to deaf children in nine southeastern states from birth through the age of three. The addition of the GURC will allow the continuation and expansion of services and training to professionals and families in the region for students aged 4 through high school.

“We are beyond proud of our ongoing partnership with the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind and the collective impact we have made together the past several years,” said Roberta J. Cordano, president of Gallaudet University. “Gallaudet is very pleased to have this opportunity to strengthen our partnership with AIDB through collaborative work with the Clerc Center. This work helps bring critically important services and resources to more deaf children and their families throughout the region. Ultimately, our collective work can now help provide a more seamless pathway for lifelong success for deaf children from birth to college and beyond.”

“It is an honor for AIDB to serve as a host institution for the Gallaudet University Regional Center-South,” said Dr. John Mascia, President of Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind. “Through this collaboration with Gallaudet, a premier national liberal arts university serving students who are deaf, AIDB will be able to develop and provide regional services in Alabama and in the surrounding states. We are excited and grateful to expand the AIDB/Gallaudet partnership and we know that this opportunity to impact the lives of individuals who are Deaf is limitless.”

GURC Realignment

In addition to the newly-expanded Gallaudet-AIDB partnership, Gallaudet University’s Clerc Center is realigning its four GURC regional locations as follows. GURC-East will remain with host partner Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill, Massachusetts, with Ohio joining this group. GURC-Midwest will now be run by host partner Austin Community College in Austin, Texas, with Texas joining the Midwest group. GURC-South will be covered by host partner AIDB at its North Campus located in Decatur, Alabama, with Arkansas joining this group. GURC-West will remain with host partner Ohlone College in Fremont, California.

About the Gallaudet University Regional Centers
The Gallaudet University Regional Centers were established in 1977. Through partnerships with host institutions, the Gallaudet University Regional Centers share Gallaudet's undergraduate and graduate programs and the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center's resources and expertise through training programs, workshops and conferences, youth programs, technical assistance, and consultation. For more information please visit the GURCs.

About Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind
Founded in 1858, Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind is America’s most comprehensive education, rehabilitation and service program serving individuals of all ages who are blind, deaf, deafblind or multidisabled. Through five campuses in Talladega and a statewide network of Regional Centers, AIDB provides services to over 30,000 people per year. For more information please visit Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind.

About the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center at Gallaudet University
The Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center at Gallaudet University is a federally funded center with exemplary elementary and secondary education programs for deaf and hard of hearing students and is tasked with developing and disseminating innovative curricula, instructional techniques, and products nationwide while providing information, training, and technical assistance for parents and professionals to meet the needs of deaf and hard of hearing students from birth to age 21. For more information, please visit the Clerc Center.

About Gallaudet University
Gallaudet University, federally chartered in 1864, is a bilingual, diverse, multicultural institution of higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf, hard of hearing and deafblind individuals through American Sign Language and English. The university enrolls over 1,300 students in more than 40 undergraduate majors, as well as many graduate programs at the master’s and doctoral level. It also conducts much research in a variety of fields, including brain imaging, educational neuroscience, education, linguistics, psychology, Deaf history and culture, and Black Deaf history and culture.

Media Contacts:

Tyrone Giordano, Director of Communications, Clerc Center
tyrone.giordano@gallaudet.edu (202)609-7979

Jacque Cordle, Advancement Officer, Marketing and Community Relations, AIDB
cordle.jacque@aidb.org / (256) 589-8024

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