AG Bell Adopts New Strategic Plan
Advancing Listening and Spoken Language for Individuals Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Think about a world where …
- Infants and young children who are deaf and hard of hearing receive timely diagnosis, access to appropriate technology and qualified services.
- Families raising children who are deaf and hard of hearing receive all of the information, education and support needed to make confident, well-informed decisions throughout their child's educational and life transitions.
- Teens with hearing loss receive peer support and learn to be self-advocates as they transition to adulthood.
- Adults who are deaf and hard of hearing conduct professional and personal lives free of barriers and discrimination.
- The professionals supporting these adults and families are knowledgeable and effective and the Listening and Spoken Language Specialist (LSLS®) certification is the standard of care for all services provided.
- The public understands that people with hearing loss can listen and talk.
This describes AG Bell's envisioned future for the listening and spoken language community that AG Bell serves. In August 2013, the AG Bell board of directors took a bold step toward this envisioned future by adopting a strategic plan that refines the mission of the organization and establishes a set of core values and strategic objectives to guide the way the organization provides services to children and adults with hearing loss, their families and the professionals that support them.
AG Bell has redefined its core purpose and mission to "advance listening and spoken language for individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing." This mission captures the fundamentally unique identity of the association within the marketplace as well as the unique identity of the children and adults it represents. This revised mission focuses attention on the increasing need to advocate for the needs and rights of families who have chosen a listening and spoken language outcome.
"Thanks to feedback and input from our members, AG Bell is embracing a meaningful change to our mission. We have moved beyond simply seeking independence for those who are deaf and hard of hearing. AG Bell now commits to advancing listening and spoken language for individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing. We are engaged in advocating for the needs and rights of families who have chosen this outcome."
-- Donald M. Goldberg, Ph.D., CCC-SLP/A, FAAA, LSLS Cert. AVT
The Board of Directors also has identified a set of timeless guiding principles that characterize the association and form the foundation on which staff and members carry out their work. The following core values represent the AG Bell Association:
Empowering and Respectful. Demonstrated by empowering families to make informed choices, respecting all choices, valuing the contributions of those who are deaf and hard of hearing and advancing leaders who are reflective of the communities we serve.
Forward-Thinking and Innovative. Demonstrated by appreciating AG Bell's heritage while actively anticipating and adapting to the changing environment, promoting access to technology and valuing visionary leadership.
Inclusive and Supportive. Demonstrated by members and supporters dedicated to listening and spoken language and devoted to promoting a supportive, inclusive environment for all who are deaf and hard of hearing.
Dependable and Knowledgeable. Demonstrated by an earned reputation for providing evidence-based, reliable, and accurate information about listening and spoken language.
Serving Our Community
To chart the course toward our envisioned future, the AG Bell board of directors has adopted the following key goals for serving members and the public and will undertake a number of major initiatives over the next several years to achieve these goals. The following are key audiences and priorities:
Families and Children
Families will be provided with a wide array of resources that support them in raising independent and successful children. Children who are deaf and hard of hearing will have timely access to appropriate interventions to achieve their full potential.
Objectives for Families and Children
- Access to services through legislation and regulatory activities
- Access to timely, complete outreach to families with children who are deaf and hard of hearing
- Opportunities for socialization and peer support for youth as they transition to adulthood
- Adoption of the Listening and Spoken Language Specialist(LSLS®) credential and access to certified professionals
Adults Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
Adults who are deaf and hard of hearing will connect and build a community enabling them to work together to advance equal access.
Objectives for Adults Who Are Deaf and Hard of Hearing
- Adults' participation in AG Bell supported vehicles for connection
- Recruitment and retention efforts for teens and adults
- Awareness of consumer technology that benefits individuals whoare deaf and hard of hearing
Professionals will be provided with professional development,credentialing opportunities, awareness and support in the theory and application of listening and spoken language for individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing.
Objectives for Professionals
- Rate of growth of LSLS certified professionals
- Professional membership
- Awareness of LSLS certification
- Opportunities for professional development
The general public will know that people who are deaf and hard of hearing can listen and use spoken language.
Strategy as a Starting Point
"Strategy is not the consequence of planning, but the opposite: its starting point."
-- Henry Mintzberg, academic and author
on business and management
Rather than the traditional approach of establishing a strategic plan that has a beginning and ending date, AG Bell is embracing a new approach for strategy. The association will have an ongoing process for planning strategically. Through this process, the association will increase its value to those it serves by continually reviewing the plan to provide a road map for strategic direction in navigating a changing environment.
The insight of AG Bell members is a valued part of the strategic planning process. Members provided input into the plan by describing the landscape in which the association exists and identifying key issues of concern. A strategic planning survey generated a strong response rate with more than 1,300 responses.Among all participants – parents, adults and professionals – the top issues of concern were: access to quality education and educational advocacy, the cost of hearing technology, and access to early intervention and qualified professionals. Participants also valued the connection to a community that AG Bell offers.
The strategic plan will continue to evolve to reflect the priorities of the association over time. AG Bell member input is a valued part of this process and your comments and feedback are welcomed.