DCU for Kids has awarded The Learning Center for the Deaf (TLC) $20,000 in support of its Badavas Parent Infant Program (PIP).
PIP is an Early Intervention specialty service for deaf and hard of hearing children from birth to age 3 and their families. PIP provides family playgroups, bilingual (ASL/English) language development, access to speech/language pathology, family advocacy and social activities with the Deaf community.
“We are so grateful for DCU’s partnership and their continued generosity of our Parent Infant Program,” said Milmaglyn Morales, Director of TLC’s Early Childhood Center. “Our mission is to create a solid foundation for families to communicate, advocate and empower. We deeply appreciate DCU for Kid’s support in helping us build that bridge.”
New parents of deaf children are often presented with critical decisions, including the best options for language access and communication. PIP provides information and support to families as they encounter a new world to navigate. As an Early Intervention (EI) program, PIP provides stimulating social and language development services for deaf children, ages birth to 3 years old.
PIP is the only EI program in Massachusetts that is qualified to use the Standardized Visual Communication and Sign Language (VCSL) checklist to assess children’s language development in ASL, important for understanding children’s language and developmental milestones.
The program has many goals for the upcoming year, including facilitating communication and providing a strong foundation for learning in the home; supporting parents in becoming informed advocates for their children; encouraging families to engage in Deaf cultural activities by planning field trips for the group, and engaging children and families in social/emotional, culturally-responsive learning.
Since 1979, PIP has been providing supportive EI services by creating an environment that affirms and celebrates deaf and hard of hearing children and parental choice; one key to the program’s success is that PIP is led by deaf staff.
PIP is housed in TLC’s Early Childhood Center in Framingham. In-person playgroups are resuming this fall, after several months of virtual meetings and activities due to COVID-19. The program also accepts new families year-round.
DCU for Kids is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit charitable foundation founded in 2005 by DCU - better known as Digital Federal Credit Union. To date, DCU for Kids has made charitable donations that total more than $20.2 million. DCU for Kids has generously awarded TLC’s Parent Infant Program in 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2020.