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Understanding the Plays – Interpreters for Students who are Deaf

A California high school is bringing a new aspect into their sports department.

taft high school

At Taft High School, in Woodlands Hills, sign language interpreters are being provided for the students who are deaf and are participating in football, basketball, cross country and track for the school.

For the students who are deaf, these interpreters have made being part of a team even more special. These interpreters make it easier for the athletes to participate in team sports, communicate with both their coaches and teammates and be more included as a member of the team. The students at the school have been very welcoming for those who are deaf. Some have even picked up on some of the sign language and have started to use it to help communicate with the other team members.

Out of the eight sign language interpreters at the school, three have agreed to work alongside of the student athletes. They stay by the students’ sides during team games, practices and meets. Some students, who are a part of the school’s varsity teams, are a huge addition to the school’s athletics. Their differences are not an obstacle in any way. Being a part of the team shows how dedicated and hard-working they are.

These students have the opportunity to show to all the other students that just because they have a disability, does not mean they can’t do the same things the other students do. They are leaders in the deaf community and truly shine out as star players.

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A Sound Idea – Program for Students with Autism and Hearing Impairments

Many programs are created to give students with special needs a chance at growing and learning at their own pace. Many of them focus on one or many disorders. In Brattleboro, Vermont, they are catering towards two specific disorders.

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In recent years, the number of autistic children has increased. In addition, many of these children also have been classified as deaf. The Vermont Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has decided to start the first deaf-autism program in the country. The program is a better way for these students to communicate with each other, which was more difficult to do in previous years.

The program has a lot of the same approaches and curriculum as it had in the past, but many of the details have been edited to better fit for the deaf students.  The non-profit organization already serves 625 deaf and hard of hearing people in Vermont and southern New Hampshire. Eight students have already enrolled in the deaf-autism program.

With help from several grants, they plan to expand and grow with their program to accommodate more students and open more programs around the country. They want to also make sure the appropriate staff are selected and trained so that the students get the most out of the program.

Since this program addresses the most important needs for these students, they can benefit from the learning experience in a new way. In addition to the learning taking place, there will also be research done to discover more effective learning methods for the autistic students, both hearing and deaf.

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Community Production – Special Needs Performance

For many students, performing in front of a group or a large audience can be something they dread or are not comfortable doing. For others, like the students at Thresholds Theatre in Chicago, it is a way for those with mental disorders and disabilities to share their experiences with others and tell their unique stories.

thresholds

Sharing personal stories and experiences with others is a common therapeutic for those who have mental illness or disorders. In their 7 month program, people from all over the community come together to share their own personal stories. The groups do exercises and games that allow them to bounce around ideas. After a few months of bonding and sharing, when the students are comfortable, they start to build material that will be used in their show.  Participants practice hard for the production, which is held in a live theatre and is put on anywhere from 7 to 12 times.

Threshold, which is Chicago’s largest mental health agency, has many different programs for people with mental disabilities. In the production, personal stories, poems and other works of art are all used. For the first time, they were able to incorporate many deaf participants because of the interpreter on staff that was able to attend all rehearsals.

For those who are participating in the program, it is a great way to share and listen to others who have been through similar situations. Those who attend the performances are able to see not only the stories and experiences from those in the program, but the hard work and dedication each one has put into each performance.

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Summer of Reading – Camp for Deaf Students

For students who cannot hear, sometimes learning to read can pose a challenge. Luckily, a Murray County summer camp is showing students that they don’t have to be sitting in a classroom to learn the skills necessary.

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In Sulphur, Oklahoma, campers who are deaf may have challenges for even some of the simplest tasks like painting or acting. Not being able to hear a sound is the most obvious reason for this. Even a task like reading, which can be hard enough for all students, can be ten times harder for students who are unable to hear the sounds or spoken words.

The Oklahoma School for the Deaf is holding its fifth year as the host of a summer reading camp. The goal of this summer camp is to help those students who may be deaf or hard of hearing improve their reading skills and learn new ones, all while having a fun and memorable summer.

In addition to practicing their reading and literacy skills, students who attend the camp also get the chance to socialize and interact with students who are just like them and have similar challenges or differences. It is a great way for students with these challenges to know that there are others who are just like them and that they are not alone in their differences.

In addition to their improved reading skills, the staff at the camp hopes that students leave with more confidence and self esteem. With a summer full of learning and new friends, there is no reason why they shouldn’t!

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Room for Communication – School for the Deaf

For students with special needs, there is often a specific place for them to go to work with specialists or people that can help them learn and grow. But, for children in other countries, they may not have a place to go at all.

The 10,000 deaf children in Afghanistan have since fallen into this category, with no opportunity for education or learning. Since the deaf community in this country is often treated like the female community, with no respect, education and advancements, people from other countries have taken a stand.

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The nonprofit from Colorado, Mountain2Mountain (M2M), which has already affected the lives of hundreds of men, women and children in Afghanistan, has been working towards giving these children the opportunities they deserve. With no sign language or communication, these children are missing out on the chance of a lifetime.

The Afghan National Association for the Deaf (ANAD) and M2M have recently started building a new school for deaf children in Kabul. The land, donated by the government is the future home to the green and sustainable buildings which will educate children and employ the community.

The school should be complete by the time school starts in the fall. With primary and secondary schools and teachers, about 800 children will learn International Sign Language and a new Afghani sign language. Because of the school’s location, children can also learn about agriculture training, too.

This school is the only chance these children have to get an education and learn how to communicate. This innovative school will provide this chance for so many worthy children.

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