NCHAM WEBINAR: Application of Strategies for Fostering JOY: Suggestions for Professionals and Families

Event Date
Contact Name
Mandy Jay
Email Address
Event Type
Health & Wellness,
Parent Programs,
Professional Development,

Presented by: Amy Szarkowski, Beth Jones and Jennifer Clark


We (heart) Fostering Joy! Parents and professionals continue to collaborate to assist families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing (DHH) to experience joy in their family journey. This presentation, conducted jointly by parents and professionals, will discuss both why it is beneficial for families to focus on joy, and how to support families in finding and cultivating joy in their everday experiences. By highlighting the science of the benefits of positivity, gratitude, and 'living in the moment,' this presentation will lay the groundwork for the importance and relevance of fostering joy, even – or perhaps especially – at a time when life is posing difficult challenges for so many of us. The Fostering Joy movement continues to grow! (Check out the Fostering Joy FaceBook page for families, the Instagram account for families and professionals, and the website, open to all).

During this presentation, we will share a new reflective tool for families. Building on the progress that has been made by parents in this movement, this presentation will spotlight what professionals can do to foster joy among the families with whom they work. Join us as we share a new Tip Sheet for professionals. As we strive to further grow an inclusive and inviting movement for all who are privileged to work with and know children who are DHH and their families, we invite you to become a Joy Ambassador! No application needed, fees required, or job description to fulfill – just a desire to 'be mindful of being joyful' and to 'spread the word' about the importance of fostering joy in whatever way works for you.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe at least two science-based benefits to demonstrating positivity and/or gratitude.
  • Identify two or more strategies that could be readily implemented either as a professional working with families, or as a family member with a child(ren) who is DHH.
  • Generate a self-statement about what it would mean in one's own life to be a "Joy Ambassador."


Amy Szarkowski, Children's Center for Communication/Beverly School for the Deaf

Amy Szarkowski, PhD, is the Director of The Institute at the Children's Center for Communication/Beverly School for the Deaf (CCCBSD), and faculty for LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities), at Boston Children's Hospital. Dr. Szarkowski holds an academic appointment as Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She is also an adjunct instructor for the Infants, Toddlers and Families (ITF) Interdisciplinary program at Gallaudet University.

Beth Jones, Nevada Hands & Voices

Beth Jones is the Guide By Your Side Coordinator for Nevada Hands & Voices, as well as an Educational Advocate for the ASTra Program. Prior to beginning a family, Beth earned her Master's degree in Special Education and worked as an Autism Teacher and Behavior Mentor Teacher. Beth became involved with Hands & Voices when two of her three children were identified as being deaf/hard of hearing, and has been a part of Nevada Hands & Voices since 2012. She serves on many state-wide and national committees, teams, and advisory boards as a parent leader to help advocate and support children who are deaf/hard of hearing.

Jennifer Clark, Hawaii Department of Health Early Intervention

Jennifer Clark received her Bachelor's Degree in Communication Disorders and Deaf Studies: Sign Language Interpreting, from California State University, Fresno and her Master's Degree from Gallaudet University in Deaf Education: Family Centered Early Education. Since 2010, Jennifer has been working with D/HH/DB children (birth-3) as the Early Intervention Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Specialist for the Hawaii Department of Health.

Webinar start times (by time zone)

· 11:00 am - 12:00 pm PT

· 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm MT

· 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm CT

· 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm ET

Where: Adobe Connect- to register click here.

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Live captioning will also be provided.

This webinar will be recorded and posted online at about a week after the webinar. There are no CEU’s offered for the webinar.

If you have questions about this webinar, please contact Mandy Jay . For technical assistance during the webinar, please contact Daniel Ladner.


Updated: June 22, 2021