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Section 2: Guiding Principles

"I Feel Good!": A Guide to Support the Mental Health and Well-Being of Children and Youth Who Are Deaf/deaf and Hard of Hearing in Ontario's Schools (Guide) represents a collaboration between the Canadian Hearing Society and VOICE for Hearing Impaired Children to create a resource for parents, educators and families of children who are Deaf/deaf and hard of hearing, and is funded by the Ministry of Education.

This Guide has been designed to increase awareness and understanding of potential social and emotional issues related to being Deaf/deaf or hard of hearing. Some of these issues are interrelated to language development and ability and its effect on healthy social interaction, however this Guide is not intended to instruct parents and professionals in specific techniques that address language acquisition in children who are Deaf/deaf or hard of hearing. The Guide’s focus is on providing tools, strategies and resources that promote mental health and well-being of students who are Deaf/deaf or hard of hearing.

The Ministry of Education uses the terminology “children who are Deaf/deaf and hard of hearing” to identify children who have a range of hearing losses. Other terms that are used to address this population include “culturally Deaf, deaf, deafened, hard of hearing, hearing impaired, or oral deaf," and this list is not exhaustive. For clarity, in this Guide the terminology “children who are Deaf/deaf or hard of hearing” will be used to refer to a broad range of children who are using either a spoken language, a signed language, or both, and includes both audiological and cultural perspectives.

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