The Common Ground Project: Joint meetings between CEASD and OPTION Schools
Representatives from CEASD and OPTION (see below) have had 7 meetings since fall of 2013 and another is scheduled for April 20th. What started as exploratory discussions has progressed to increasingly clear identification of not only our differences but our common values and beliefs as well. Our hope is that we will at some point be able to collaborate on behalf of the Child First campaign and the education and whole person development of today and tomorrow’s d/hh infants, children and youth and – in ways we have not in the past. We call this work the Common Ground Project.
Thus far, Rick Hauan, Executive Director of the Washington Center for Childhood Deafness and Hearing Loss (CDHL) which is the parent organization of the Washington School for the Deaf, has served as facilitator of the joint meetings. Jane Mulholland, Joe Finnegan, Ron Stern and Jamie Tucker have represented CEASD with the following people participating on behalf of OPTION: Barbara Hecht, President of OPTION Schools and Director of the Clarke School program in Boston; Maura Berndsen, Past President of OPTION and Educational Director of Listen and Talk in Seattle, WA; Bill Corwin, President of Clarke Schools and Chair of the OPTION Schools Legislation and Policy Committee; and John Porteous, private businessman and chair of an OPTION school in Sacramento, CA, who attended OPTION programs as a young child and was mainstreamed.
At our respective conferences in 2014, the Common Ground Project shared a draft of a vision statement, purpose, goals and shared understandings. After input and additional work this year, the boards for CEASD and OPTION have both unanimously approved this document, which appears on this website under Common Ground Project/ Vision Statement, Purpose, Goals, Shared Understandings.
We look forward to the continued work of the Common Ground Project and to the positive benefits that can occur for deaf and hard of hearing students in our schools and programs.
April 18, 2015