California Family Resource Centers | Michael D. Eisner College of Education | Department of Special Education | Deaf Studies Department | National Center on Deafness

Deaf Education And Families Project

DEAF Project is partners with

About Us

the Deaf Education And Families project consists of faculty and staff associated with the Family Focus Resource Center at CSUN, as well as faculty in the Deaf Education Program in the Department of Special Education. We consult with faculty in the Deaf Studies Department and National Center on Deafness.

California State University, Northridge
Michael D. Eisner College of Education
18111 Nordhoff Street, Room ED 109
Northridge, CA 91330-8265
(818) 677-6854 V/VP
(818) 677-5574 Fax

If you a CURRENT CSUN student, we may have volunteer opportunities available working with the Family Focus Resource Center and the Deaf Education And Families Project.

Please contact Rachel Friedman Narr for more information.


  • Empowerment Activities
  • Connections with Local School Districts and Early Start Programs
  • Support Groups for Parents and Families
  • Exposure to Deaf Role Models
  • Collaboration With Community Agencies and Programs
  • Respect For The Cultural, Linguistic, and Socio-Economic Needs of Families and Children.


In May 2007, the Deaf Education And Families Project (DEAF Project) began a unique partnership with the Family Focus Resource and Empowerment Center (FFREC) at CSUN. The FFREC provides resources, information, education, and empowerment activities for families with children who have disabilities in San Fernando, Santa Clarita, and Antelope Valleys. In expanding the services already provided by FFREC, the Deaf Education And Families Project trained FFREC staff to understand the unique needs of families with DHH children, and quickly established a family sign language class and play group for deaf children.

In September 2008, DEAF Project within Family Focus Resource Center was awarded a Parent Links Grant through the California Department of Education for $65,000 per year to mentor families whose children are identified as deaf or hard of hearing through the Newborn Hearing Screening process.

DEAF Project applied for and received a Walmart State Giving Grant in 2010. Additional work hours were dedicated to a variety of activities including outreach and education of professionals who work with DHH children and their families (audiologists, speech-language pathologists, physicians, teachers, etc).

In 2014 and 2015, DEAF Project applied for and received $30,000 from the Sorensen Impact Foundation to develop and implement online classes for families in Southern California to start learning ASL.

How the DEAF Project is Different

An ability and wellness mindset toward- and with- DHH children and their families is unique. From our work during the past year, we see how our work has educated and empowered families and been appreciated by professionals. For example, one parent wrote this in response to one of our workshops: "I wanted to express our gratitude for the invitation to participate in such a valuable meeting. We left emotionally spent, but also satisfied with a better understanding of our children's world. Before this meeting, we were not putting all the pieces together, we were missing the big picture. We have found peace of mind knowing there are many others who have travelled this path."

Overwhelmingly, the majority of information parents receive from medical institutions when they learn that their child is deaf or hard of hearing suggests that these infants are disabled and treatment focuses upon the notion of disability and remediation. Parents are left to navigate the terrain of “what comes next” on their own, or naively accept the medical advice they receive as the only option available.

The DEAF Project fills this gap by working WITH the medical community and families by providing parent-to-parent support, education, and empowerment to build knowledge and create positive experiences for families and their DHH children. There remains a critical need for families to receive information and support at the time of the first hearing screening referral through the diagnostic, referral, and follow-up processes. The information disseminated to families must be specifically designed for the unique needs of infants and toddlers who are DHH. This information is most effective when provided by knowledgeable professionals and parent mentors who have a comprehensive understanding of all possibilities available to DHH children.

The DEAF Project provides families and professionals with an introduction to the vibrant possibilities attainable by deaf/hard-of-hearing children.


REFER yourself or a family

Download our referral form (.doc file) and fax or mail it to us. Referrals require permission from the person being referred. download form submit online

Make a Donation