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Outreach Resource Center

California School for the Deaf, Riverside serves as a resource center under the coordination of Outreach staff, with a commitment that is shared by all school staff. Thrive! supports education and related services for all Deaf children in California through early intervention, family education, assistance to local education agencies, research collaboration, community education, and assessment services.


The purpose of Thrive! is to support the right of Deaf children to have access to a complete language from birth, and to access a high-quality education in all areas of language, academic, social, and career development. Provision of knowledge and the development of essential skills are fundamental to parents and professionals working together as equal partners in the educational decision-making process.

Laws, Regulations, and Policies for Deaf Children

Thrive! serves to communicate and support the legal expectations for Deaf children's rights to access language and education.

Relevant Educational Policies Concerning Deaf Children

Deaf Child's Bill of Rights

Cogswell-Macy Act for Deaf and/or Blind Students

Language Milestones

Consideration of Special IEP Factors

Free Appropriate Public Education including Least Restrictive Environment

Individualized Education Program Procedural Safeguards

Least Restrictive Environment Considered within the Context of Free and Appropriate Public Education

Celebrating Students in the Hallway

The legal concept of Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) can be complicated, but it ultimately comes down to the question of, 'where does the child have the best access to education'?

When most people see the term Least Restrictive Environment, they imagine a place where the student is most comfortable and able to interact with peers and professionals. From a hearing perspective, this would mean that a Deaf child is able to freely interact with hearing peers. From a Deaf perspective this would more likely mean that a Deaf child has access to a community of people that use the same language, ASL or a combination of ASL and spoken language.

According to the legal expectations of providing a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to the child, state and local education agencies, when developing an IEP for a child who is deaf, shall acknowledge that a fundamental part of FAPE is meeting the unique communication and related needs of a student who is deaf. Therefore, the IEP team takes into consideration such factors as:

  • Communication needs and the child's and family's preferred mode of communication;
  • Linguistic needs;
  • Severity of hearing loss and potential for using residual hearing;
  • Academic level; and
  • Social, emotional, and cultural needs including opportunities for peer interactions and communication.

Any setting, including a regular classroom, that prevents a child who is deaf from receiving an appropriate education that meets his or her needs, including communication, is not the LRE for that individual child. Keeping this in mind, being Deaf is unique and the application of LRE to this population should be different.

To support the rights of Deaf children and their families, the outreach resource center at California School for the Deaf, Riverside supplies or connects you to the following school and community services and resources.

Families of Deaf Children

What do I need to know?

Parents are the key to the development of every skill a child has: social, psychological, academic, and cognitive. All of these skills are shaped by language fluency. Understanding your child’s language needs and learning strategies and skills to communicate with your child is critical for academic success and overall well-being.

The human brain does not discriminate between the hands and the tongue. People discriminate, but not our biological human brain.

Through Your Child's Eyes: American Sign Language

A research-based film that describes the positive developmental and social benefits of learning and using American Sign Language for parents of children who are deaf.

Developmental Milestones

The goal of Thrive! is to support parents in their efforts to provide their Deaf baby with the language and early listening experiences through everyday activities in the natural environment (home/school). Therefore, our program focuses on the parent’s knowledge and understanding to communicate efficiently with their Deaf baby.

  • Parents are ultimate decision-makers and we are here to provide support. Staff and specialists serve as resources for families.
  • Learning through play and exploration is primary within the context of a language rich environment.
  • Thrive! provides students with a strong language foundation to support the acquisition of secondary languages.

Thrive! provides information to families regarding community services; refers families to local support groups, workshops, and advocacy groups; provides opportunities for families to network and share ideas and experiences; and help link "experienced" parents with parents of newly identified children who are deaf. Find an array of recommended family support groups and organizations, ASL learning programs, Deaf Education resources, and other relevant Deaf-related resources.


Erika Thompson with Kids and a Mom

It is an innate human need to think and communicate thoughts. Language acquisition and the ability for a child to communicate with parents, family, peers, and those in their community is critical to their development and academic success. The key is finding a mode of communication that is accessible to the child and the family.

American Sign Language

Parents are the key to the development of every skill a child has: social, psychological, academic, and cognitive. All of these skills are shaped by language fluency. For many Deaf children the primary language is ASL (the secondary language is English). In order to effectively mitigate the development of your child, you need to learn ASL.  The links beloware resources available that can be used to help improve sign language proficiency, storytelling and interactions with your Deaf or hard of hearing child, and more information on Deaf culture and services available to your family.

Thrive! provides information to families regarding community services; refers families to local support groups, workshops, and advocacy groups; provides opportunities for families to network and share ideas and experiences; and help link "experienced" parents with parents of newly identified children who are deaf.

Family Education

Request family tours and receive workshops, resources, including emergency assistance information.

Early Start & Family Organizations

The first places to get information and find people to talk with to help you through your journey.

Learn Sign Language

Learn sign language to foster visual and natural communication, language, learning, and love in addition to all other opportunities.

Transition: Services, Colleges and Careers

Provides technical assistance to and monitoring of local educational agency operated programs serving DHH pupils.

ASL Classes at California School for the Deaf and local Deaf agencies:

ASL classes are offered to the community, with priority given to families with deaf children. Classes generally take place once a week in the evening. Children are welcome, under parents' supervision. Contact Thrive! to sign up and receive the updated schedule. Families and community members residing out of the area may also contact a local Deaf agency about other ASL classes offered by the agency or in the vicinity, or online. Refer to the site of recommended resources.

The single greatest risk faced by deaf people is inadequate exposure to a useable first language.

Research proven approaches, consultations and trainings

Erika Presenting at a Workshop

Thrive! through the expertise of schoolwide staff provides consultations and workshops or webinars to:

  • Increase parental involvement in the special education decision making process
  • Assist families in resolving concerns and making informed decisions regarding their child's education
  • Increase collaborative relationships through information and training
  • Provide training to mainstream teachers working with Deaf students of all ranges of hearing levels at the school site

Workshop/webinar modules include but are not limited to the following:

  • Advocacy Training
  • ASL/English Bilingual Education Pedagogy
  • Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
  • Deaf Children’s Eye Gaze and Attention
  • Deaf Children and Diagnoses on the Autism Spectrum
  • Deaf Children and Mood Disorders
  • Deaf Awareness and Culture Distance Learning at Home
  • How to Assess Deaf Students
  • Effective Behavioral Intervention with Deaf Children
  • Implications of Language Deprivation
  • Importance of STEM Integrating Deaf Students in Your Classroom
  • SB-210 Language Milestones (0-5)
  • The Whole Individual
  • Universal Design for Learning
Kids holding colorful ballons

Assessment and Intervention in Southern California

CSDR receives referrals to do special, in-depth evaluations, free of charge, which provide the district with needed information for program development.

CSD Riverside Curriculum

Curriculum resources that have been carefully screened for Deaf learners by a committee of Deaf Ed teachers, specialists, and parents at California School for the Deaf.

Technolcy Resources for Deaf Learners

Technology resources appropriate for Deaf students, selected under coordination of the educational technology specialist at California School for the Deaf.

Deaf Education Resources and Organizations

Collaboration and networking with other Deaf Education professional organizations and businesses, and use of materials, curriculum, services and online programs.

Work with us, support us and create a lasting legacy

School Tours, Collaboration, and On-Site Events for Community

CSDR Booth Outdoor

Families who are considering enrollment at California School for the Deaf should contact the Family Education Coordinator for campus or virtual tours and questions. Otherwise, please contact Thrive!

The Outreach Resource Center has coordinated and provided tours and interviews for community members including district staff, legislators, professionals from the medical field including audiologists and nurses, ASL students and classes, alumni members, businesses, organizations, and community-at-large in addition to campus or virtual tours for potential families provided by the Family Education Coordinator. Outreach also coordinated as point-of-contact for state and community contract agreements with businesses and organizations to use the campus facilities for outside events, workshops, and opportunities. Outreach also assisted other CSDR departments in development and/or dissemination of opportunities for community. Outreach staff participated as members in different school and community organization committees, including CSDR Community Advisory Committee, Festival Clin d' Oeil, California Association of the Deaf, Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce Business Education Partnership Council and Magnolia Center Chambers of Commerce.

Research with California School for the Deaf

Thrive! promotes IRB-approved research projects on the benefits of full communication at home, ASL/English pedagogy, critical mass of language users, healthy Deaf identities, high academic expectations, and full range of extracurricular opportunities, by connecting researchers with students, staff, and families at school and in the community. Contact Thrive! with your research proposal.

Information Sharing Between School and Community

Contact Thrive! to share your resources for distribution to the CSDR community, or to invite CSDR in community publications, presentations, or information booths or events. Receive updated information and resources from the school by signing up for weekly CSDR e-news and following the school social media sites and PAWSitive Reflections and Resources themed newsletter. The Thrive! Coordinator serves as the school’s Public Information Officer, Social Media specialist, and editor of newsletters and outside publications.


Thrive Logo - Not a Dept. Not a Bldg. Shared Commitment

Thrive Outreach Resource Center was established in 2013 under the former name “California Deaf Education Resource Center,” in collaboration with the California Department of Education, and the northern campus of California School for the Deaf. California School for the Deaf, Riverside serves as a resource to Southern California families, educators, school districts, professionals, and the community, as a schoolwide service under the coordination of Outreach staff.

Volunteer @ CSDR

Volunteer at CSDR

Volunteers are valued, with every effort made to place individuals in the areas requested.

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