toddlers playing in water
SDSD sign language class
toddlers playing in playhouse
SDSD staff pose for a picture
children smiling
girl participating in hearing screening

Accessibility at SDSD

The South Dakota School for the Deaf (SDSD) is committed to web accessibility for all, regardless of ability or disability. We work continually to improve the accessibility and usability of our digital content, informed by web accessibility standards. Accessibility is an ideal and responsibility that we share with the greater community. We collaborate with our webmaster to make this website and its contents as accessible as possible.

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Tip of the Month

On Thursday, July 8th, NCHAM will be hosting the webinar: “Application of Strategies for Fostering JOY: Suggestions for Professionals and Families”

Presented by: Amy Szarkowski, Beth Jones and Jennifer Clark

Webinar Description:

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 everyday 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 date: July 8, 2021

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

Download the adobeconnect app.

For Windows:

For Mac:

More download information is found at:

Note: If your institution does not permit you to add the above link, you may go to the above URL directly, however, we have been advised that optimal performance is achieved via the app.

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.

Early Hearing Detection & Intervention

The Joint Committee on Infant Hearing and U.S. Public Health Service's Healthy People 2010 health objectives recommend that all newborns be screened for hearing loss by 1 month of age, have diagnostic follow-up by 3 months of age, and receive appropriate intervention services by 6 months of age. Early hearing screening is critical in making the best decision for a child's future.
Check out the above video about early hearing detection and identification. The video was created through the collaborative efforts of South Dakota Department of Health (, University of South Dakota, and South Dakota School for the Deaf.

Contact Us

SDSD - Sioux Falls Office

4101 W 38th St., Suite 101
Sioux Falls, SD 57106

Phone: 605-367-5200
Video Phone: 605-496-9058
Fax: 605-367-5209



SDSD - West River Clinic

2138 Jackson Blvd
Rapid City, SD 57702

Phone: 605-791-7839
Fax: 605-394-2427