“Deafness is not about hearing, but about communication.” - Ogden, 1996
The Deaf Mentor Program is a service for families and their infants and young children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Services through this program are offered statewide and occur in the child’s natural learning environments – home and community.
The Deaf Mentor Program is a public program and free of cost to New Mexico residents. Services are individually tailored through state and federally regulated practices to meet each child's and family’s strengths and needs.
About the Deaf Mentor Program
The Deaf Mentor Program facilitates the understanding that with early and ongoing access to language being deaf is a difference, not a disability.
Building a rich, natural language and communication environment for a child is critical to realizing his or her potential in life and becoming a full member of his/her family and community.
Ninety-five percent of deaf and hard of hearing children are born to hearing parents. Most of these parents have never met a deaf person other than their own baby. Parents are filled with questions. By simply introducing a parent to a trained Deaf Mentor, many of the anxieties that parents have can be drastically reduced.
What do Deaf Mentors do when they visit a family?
- Demonstrate and teach natural communication strategies
- Teach sign language
- Share their experiences growing up as a deaf or hard of hearing person
- Focus on five areas during their home visits:
- Making the Child’s World Accessible
- Deaf Culture
- Building Community
- Support families in making connections within the deaf and hard of hearing community in order to foster positive self-identity for their child
Deaf Mentors are trained in the Deaf Mentor Curriculum and Shared Reading Project and are experienced in working with families and their young deaf or hard of hearing children. Providers live in, or close to, your community and travel to see you in your home.
Your family and the Deaf Mentor will collaborate to promote communication and language and language development in your young deaf or hard of hearing child. Together you will plan and develop a language-rich environment for your child in your home and in your community.
Director of Early Intervention & Involvement Division
(505) 275-5433 (Voice)
(505) 435-9167 (VP)