With Spring Break just weeks away and summer right around the corner, you are probably looking forward to a few days of rest and relaxation. But here at ERCOD, we’re gearing up for one of our biggest summers ever, and we want to make sure you, your students, and their families don’t miss out! 

Amidst all this planning, we’ve still had a busy month—training new mentors for the Texas Deaf/Hard of Hearing Mentor Program, helping students learn how to code self-driving cars, adding to our classroom resources, and helping to host Vex IQ, the first nationwide robotics competition for deaf and hard of hearing students. Our ASL lead storyteller was even featured on the Abilene news during her visit with Madison Middle School!

Make sure you check out all the news and upcoming deadlines below!
Middle school students guide their robot through the platform at the first nationwide robotics competition for deaf and hard of hearing students. The competition was hosted by TSD in collaboration with VEX IQ, NTID Regional Stem Center and ERCOD, Feb 8, 2020.
Google Apps for Educators Training Available
Want to dive in to Google Apps for Educators but don't know where to start? The Online Resources Team has you covered! Our new course will walk you through the process from getting around Google Drive to using Docs, Slides, Sheets, and Forms.

Texas Health and Human Services will host three Texas Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (TEHDI) Regional Learning Community Summits in March. Primary healthcare providers, pediatric audiologists, early intervention providers, public/private school employees who serve infants who are deaf or hard of hearing, and families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing are all invited to attend. The summits provide a venue for the local community to engage healthcare professionals, early intervention/education professionals and families in dialogue to develop and foster collaborative partnerships. For more information and to register for one of the summits, click here .
ASL Storyteller Headlines in Abilene

ASL Storyteller Lisa Cochran was featured on KTAB News in Abilene this month when she traveled to Madison Middle School to meet with students in the deaf and hard of hearing program. Lisa normally meets with the students weekly through videoconferencing, but this time they were excited to meet their favorite storyteller in person! The ASL Storytelling Program works with a variety of schools across the state of Texas. 
Bringing the Future Into Focus
SWCED is for Families Too!
Families with deaf and hard of hearing children, join us for a vacation at the beach and learn something new while you’re there! Statewide Conference for Education of the Deaf (SWCED) is a conference for families, teachers, interpreters and professionals. 

The conference occurs every two years and this year is being held in Corpus Christi, July 14-16, 2020 . Discounted hotel rates can be had at the Omni Hotel Corpus Christi (use promo code “TAPED”)
Meet up with other families and the ERCOD Family Services team! Families enjoy:
  • Discounted registration
  • Childcare for deaf, hard of hearing children and their hearing siblings 6 months - 4 years
  • Kids Camp for deaf, hard of hearing children and their hearing siblings ages 5-13
  • Free conference registration for high school students (ages 14-18)
  • A fun beach party (more details to come)

Click here for more information and to register. Hope to see you there!
Summer Camps and Programs Deadline Nearing
Know a student who has the potential to be an astronaut? Or maybe you know a student who wants to go to college but needs a great program to provide them with the right set of resources to become a self-reliant college student? These two AMAZING programs are perfect: I Can Explore STEM and I Can Gear Up for College!
And don't forget, registration for Summer Camps & Programs closes March 20! Contact Rachella Moore , Summer Camps & Programs Coordinator, for more information or register at https://register-sp-en.tsd.state.tx.us/ .
Mentor Program Growing
The Texas Deaf/Hard of Hearing Mentor Program has added four new Deaf mentors, bringing our number to six mentors serving 12 families across Texas. We currently have one role model as well. We hope to host a second round of training in 2020 to increase our number of mentors and role models across the state.
Our program focuses on providing families with children birth through age five weekly contact with a Deaf mentor. This serves several purposes, including exposure to a Deaf individual and support in the family’s ASL acquisition. Our role models serve as a point of support for families who are not using ASL. They contact families regularly to offer resources and share life experiences as a deaf individual. 
Discovery Retreat Students Experience Self-Driving Cars
ERCOD hosted its February Discovery Retreat in Kileen, TX, introducing students to self-driving cars with curriculum and miniature cars provided by AutoAuto AI.
Students learned to code cars to recognize road lines and pedestrians. They even participated in a Pedestrian Minefield game, where they had to drive through an area without hitting any of the miniature pedestrians. 
Dr. David Coco was on hand to talk about his past involvement in the University of Texas GPS project and how GPS is helping shape the landscape of self-driving cars.  At the end of the weekend, students left with a better understanding of career possibilities in the computer science field.
Save the Date!

June 5-7, 2020
Austin, TX  
Texas School for the Deaf
$75.00/family of 4
($10 for each add’l family member)
Registration now open!
(SWCED)
July 14-16, 2020
$50.00/first parent registration
$25.00/additional parent
(not including hotel costs) 
Free childcare (until full)

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