Friday 19. July 2024

2021 FCEI International Webinar Series


2021 FCEI International Webinar Series

FCEI Principles in Perspective - Exploring the Issues from Multiple Angles is the FCEI virtual-learning series. Running from February to October 2021 these live, sign-language interpreted, interactive webinars will be free to participants. Each webinar will address a topic from the point-of-view of professionals, Deaf and Hard of Hearing adults, and parents in a facilitated discussion. Q&A opportunities will be an important interactive feature of each webinar, so register early to reserve your spot!

Session 5: Fostering Joy: A Movement to Celebrate the Magic of Raising Children who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing

Fostering Joy is a collaborative effort among family members/parent leaders and professionals, aimed at supporting families in finding, focusing on, and celebrating the joy of raising a child who is deaf or hard of hearing (DHH), including children who are deaf with disabilities (DWD) or “DHH Plus.” Raising a child who is DHH can be challenging; yet, even in the midst of challenging times, it is possible to find joy. Relishing in the joyful moments of family-child interactions and recognizing the amazing growth of children as they learn and develop new skills can be intentional acts of fostering joy within families. Professionals, too, can improve their ability to focus on the positives in the work they do with children who are DHH and in the support they provide family members. While still recognizing the impact that being DHH or DWD/DHH Plus can have on a child and the family, the Fostering Joy movement aims to shift the focus from what the DHH child lacks to what they innately offer by reinforcing joyful interactions within families in terms of building and encouraging love and supportive interactions. The panelists, all members of the Fostering Joy Core Team, will share how Fostering Joy has influenced them, provide tips and resources for families and professionals, and offer thoughts for those interested in joining the Fostering Joy movement or setting up similar programs around the globe.

LIVE: 6 December 2021

London: 7pm (6 December)
Vienna: 8pm (6 December)
Johannesburg: 9pm (6 December)
New York: 2pm (6 December)
Denver: 12pm (6 December)
*Sydney: 6am (7 December)
*Auckland: 8am (7 December)

Register here:

These webinars are free to attend, and there is an option to make a donation towards the access costs. The webinars will be recorded and available on the FCEI website after each event.

The events will be provided in spoken English, American Sign Language, International Sign Language, Auslan and English live captions.

The National Deaf Children’s Charity is pleased to support the FCEI webinar by providing funding for British Sign Language interpreters, so that the webinar is accessible to and can be enjoyed by all.

Presentation Team:

Karen Putz - Panel Moderator

Karen Putz is the Co-Director of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Infusion and Director of Social Media at Hands & Voices. She is the author of multiple books, including “The Parenting Journey, Raising Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children.” Karen is a mom to three Deaf young adults and teaches at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York.


Amy Szarkowski - Professional

Amy Szarkowski, PhD, is a founding member of Fostering Joy and is proud to lead the Fostering Joy - Professionals arm of the family/professional collaboration. Dr. Szarkowski is also the Director of The Institute, and Director of The Clinic, at the Children’s Center for Communication/Beverly School for the Deaf (CCCBSD). She serves on the faculty in the LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities) program at Boston Children’s Hospital, and holds a faculty appointment (part-time) as Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.


Cora Sahid - Parent

Cora Shahid and her husband Naseer live in San Diego, California where they are proud parents to Christina (30), Zain (17) and Ibrahim (11), both boys are Deaf/Hard of Hearing. Cora enjoys encouraging families to recognize and celebrate the joy in raising their deaf and hard of hearing children and she believes that all children have a right to grow up feeling safe with a strong sense of belonging supported by peers, family and their community. Cora is the Executive Director for the California Hands & Voices chapter, a member of the Fostering Joy Core Team and she is a Mentor for the Hands & Voices Leadership-to-Leadership Program (L2L).


Stephanie Olson - DHH Leader

Stephanie Olson, B.A., is the Family Consultant for the Bill Daniels Centre for Children’s Hearing at Children’s Hospital, Colorado. Stephanie serves as a liaison between families and the health care system. Stephanie works for Hands & Voices Headquarters as the Deaf/HH Infusion Co-director. She has worked with families and children from birth to three through the Colorado Home Intervention and currently serves on the Colorado Hands & Voices board. Stephanie has participated in FCEI in Austria in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018. In October 2015 and April 2016, she participated in U.S. and Russian cultural exchange in St. Petersburg, Russia to increase the understanding and impact of deaf and hard of hearing individuals on the parenting journey and professionals who work with those families. Stephanie was identified with a hearing loss at the age of three and works to increase the understanding and impact of deaf and hard of hearing individuals on the parenting journey and professionals who work with those families.


Candace Lindow-Davies - Chat Monitor

Candace Lindow-Davies is the mother of an adult son who is deaf plus other health concerns. For 16+ years, she developed and directed parent support services for Minnesota Hands & Voices. In May 2017, she became the Director of Outreach for Hands & Voices HQ and is on the core management team of the “Family Leadership in Language and Learning” (FL3) Cooperative Agreement. She has developed materials for and provided technical assistance/training to family-based organizations in the US, US territories and China. Candace is a mentor for the Hands & Voices Leadership program (L2L) and is a Core Member of the Fostering Joy project.