Deaf Autism America aims to increase mutual support, understanding, learning and collaboration among families and professionals in order to enhance the quality of life for Deaf and hard of hearing children with autism. The goal of DAA is to improve education, networking, resources and advocacy services for this special population.
History of Deaf Autism America
Rosangela Jaech and Stefanie Ellis-Gonzales, both deaf mothers of deaf children with autism, co-founded the first Autreat for families of deaf children with autism, which was held at Camp Lakodia, South Dakota in April of 2006.
The Autreat was a valuable and rewarding experience for all families and professionals in attendance. There were a total of 22 parents, 16 children, and 8 speakers that were a part of this groundbreaking event. A wealth of information, ideas, resources, and much more were shared during those few days, which was not possible before.
Over the years, the mothers’ dream of establishing a formal organization for deaf individuals with autism never wavered. Then in the summer of 2011, an
opportunity arose to become affiliated with ASDC. Through this partnership, Deaf Autism America has an outstanding opportunity to truly grow and reach out
to parents and professionals involved with deaf children with autism. Education, advocacy, networking and support are the goals of DAA, which coincides with
ASDC’s mission. Deaf Autism America hopes to be able to support and educate professionals in the field of deaf education and families of deaf children with
autism, and advocate for high quality programs and services for deaf children with autism.
Deaf Autism America strives to create a large referral and information network. We are very interested in recruiting families and professionals involved with deaf children with autism with the goal to form a larger, inclusive group of persons interested in learning and sharing experiences, and participating in future conferences. If you have an interest in deaf autism, and would like to be actively involved in this new organization, we wholeheartedly welcome you!
The artwork, as seen above, was designed by a deaf parent of a deaf child with autism that participated in the Autreat in 2006. The sign that is being made in this picture is the official sign for autism. The hand that is moving inside symbolizes the person with autism’s inclination to retreat within her/his own self, and the cupped hand represents his/her world. The sign also represents “inclusion and involvement” which serves as a reminder of how vital it is to give/receive love and attention, essential to the human spirit.
New Official Logo of Deaf Autism America
Deaf Autism America has an official logo, created and designed in conjunction with Sweetwater Media.
There are many ways to interpret this logo. Each puzzle piece represents the parents/experts and the individual with autism. They are also symbolic of both deaf and autism. The pieces fitting together are representative of the collaborative effort of the team as they work towards connecting with, and supporting, this special population as well as towards unlocking the mystery of autism.