Promoting Culturally Responsive Teaching in Deaf Education

by | Jun 26, 2020

2020 National Deaf Education Conference

NDEC and NAD logos

The National Association for the Deaf is hosting its 5th annual conference on deaf education, which will be hosted online for the first time!


The National Deaf Education Conference (NDEC) brings together educators, students, interpreters, and other school professionals to learn, collaborate, and educate one another on hot topics within the K-12 community.

When everyone is included, everyone wins!

The 2020 conference will have two components: NDEC Engage, a two-day virtual conference that will feature presentations and panels by students, educators, community activists and interpreters, and NDEC Signs, which will comprise of weekly workshops distributed between July-September. Topics will focus on teaching practices and serve as a forum to discuss new ideas in the classroom!

NDEC’s collaborative approach to their Deaf Education Conference isn’t limited to teachers of deaf and hard of hearing students. Deaf students, interpreters, administrators, and community activists are among those presenting at the conference. This holistic approach strongly mirrors the values of Communication Service for the Deaf’s online deaf K-12 resource center, CSD Learns.

CSD Learns is an online platform with a team of consists of intersectional deaf and hard of hearing educators, curriculum developers, and role models who all have navigated school classrooms as deaf and hard of hearing students. Together, the team has created several K-12 learning modules in ASL that focus on STEM and Financial Literacy through a series of video and curriculum materials led by deaf professionals. The emphasis on creating educational content that is both deaf-made and deaf-led is by design.

Role models are powerful motivators.

Although deaf and hard of hearing students are educated in a variety of learning environments, 75% are reportedly educated in predominantly hearing institutions. Lack of exposure to deaf adults in the classroom or professional occupations can have a devastating impact on their motivation to learn. Brian Milburn, CSD Learns’ Program Manager, says it best:

Headshot of Brian Milburn
“Role models are like a lighthouse or guiding beacon; they shine a light on paths unknown and serve as a sign of comfort anytime someone has doubts about what’s possible.”

This is especially true for students in classrooms where teachers cannot communicate effectively with them or understand their unique learning needs. CSD Learns believes that the best way to create learning outcomes among students is to introduce them to adults with shared experiences and identities. Utilizing this educational framework that supports culturally responsive teaching, CSD Learns has developed modules on STEM and Financial Literacy led by deaf professionals in these fields and industries.

CSD Learns Offers Free Educational Resources in ASL

Educators and learners can access video and curriculum materials through bite-sized courses and downloadable teacher’s toolkits on CSD Learns’ website. Educators can easily incorporate these materials into their classrooms and enhance their effectiveness in connecting deaf students to the complicated subject matter. Learners can download EdApp to access CSD Learns’ course materials whenever and wherever they are.

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.

The best part about the NDEC and CSD Learns? They’re free! Register for the NDEC Engage two-day virtual conference hereSign up to receive updates on the upcoming weekly workshops from NDEC Signs. For year-long access to online learning resources in ASL, visit

CSD Learns is a proud sponsor of NDEC 2020. As experts in virtual education, they will be providing operational support to the event organizers.  

Looking for Deaf Education Resources? You’re in the Right Place!

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