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Daily Press, Hampton, VA
By Ryan Murphy
June 22, 2016

A potential new direction for the site of a defunct state school for the deaf, blind and multidisabled off of Hampton's Shell Road was met with skepticism and frustration from many local residents at an informational meeting Tuesday evening.

The city of Hampton bought the school property in 2010 from the state in the hopes of redeveloping the site. In 2013, city staff held meetings with the public to get their thoughts on what should go in there, after which the aim was to draw in a mixed-use residential development.

However, Hampton's community development director, Terry O'Neill, said the concept has shifted as the city has failed to attract a mixed-use developer and potential buyers with commercial aspirations have been eyeing the property.

Read more  . . . See Video, . . .School Property



The Frederick News Post
Friday, May 15, 2015 10:00 am

After his long stint on the board, which manages fundraising for the school, Fred Weiner is resigning to focus on his commitments at Gallaudet University, a specialty institution for the deaf and hard of hearing, where he serves as assistant vice president of administration.

Weiner joined the MSD board in 1997 and was appointed president in 1999. His tenure leading the board lasted six or seven years, he said.

“I was honored to be part of the school’s success,” he said.

Gallaudet, where Weiner has worked for 15 years or so, is developing a large mixed-use property that he said will “change the face of campus” and occupies quite of bit of Weiner’s time.

His children graduated from the Maryland School for the Deaf and have attended Gallaudet, with one graduating Friday.

“From a personal standpoint, it made sense for me because I was going up to Frederick quite a bit,” he said.

Board President Denise Phelps lauded Weiner for his service. She said Weiner was instrumental in increasing the endowment of the school to nearly $1.2 million, through the annual golf tournament the school sponsors, and other fundraising opportunities.


Read article  . . .Fred Weiner



Suzanne Carlson
April 11,2015

WEST HARTFORD — Newspapers, coins, and documents buried in a time capsule at the American School for the Deaf saw the light of day for the first time in 95 years Friday.

"I'm speechless, honestly. It represents another historic milestone for the school," said Executive Director Jeffrey Bravin.

Bravin said the faculty who buried the capsule in 1920 had hoped the school would continue for 100 years, and "I hope we'll continue for another 100 years and history will repeat itself."

Bravin and several students removed the items from the metal time capsule in front of a crowd of about 200 staff, students, and alumni at a celebration of the school's Founders' Day. The capsule was buried under a cornerstone of Gallaudet Hall during its construction. The new, cutting-edge Gallaudet-Clerc Education Center was built in 2013 and the aging 170,000-square-foot Gallaudet Hall was torn down in 2014. The capsule was uncovered on March 5.

The first item to emerge was a copy

Read more  . See pictures. . Time Capsule





New Haven Register
By Shahid Abdul-Karim, New Haven Register

NEW HAVEN >> Wilbur Cross High School senior Brianna Rigsbee has never experienced a viewing of a live theater performance.

That’s because she is legally blind.

But on Saturday, Rigsbee, 18, will have her chance to enjoy an audio description performance of “Fiddler on the Roof.”

“Youth with exceptional needs will no longer have feelings of isolation, they can create meaningful connections with their family, friends, and school community,” said Rigsbee’s mother, Angela Russell.

“And for the first time for most, they will able to follow a live performance and enjoy it for themselves,” said Russell.

The high school’s drama class is presenting the play at 7 p.m. from Thursday through Saturday. Tickets are $10 at the door.

Saturday’s performance will have a certified American Sign Language interpreter and audio descriptiopns for those with visual and hearing disabilities.

Creating Kids Connecticut Children’s Museum Director Sandra Malmquist said the inspiration for Saturday’s performance came from Rigsbee.

Read entire Article . . . . Fiddler



KUT News - The Texas Tribune
by Ben Philpott
Feb. 11, 2015

Editor's note: This story is from KUT.

The Texas School for the Deaf sits on 67 acres in between South 1st and South Congress. It looks more like a small college campus than a traditional school building. But then again, says school superintendent Claire Bugen, this isn't a traditional school.

"We serve students from age zero, in our parent/infant program, through home visits. And then when the student is 18 months old, they start to come on campus for part-time services. Now these are local students. All the way through age 22. So our continuum of services is very broad," Bugen says.

And their services extend far beyond the campus and local students.

If a school district has a deaf student, and they're trying to figure out how to create an educational program, TSD can help out.

"This school means literally the world," says TSD alum Donna Valverde-Hummel.

"Schools like ours have taken on a role of serving the entire state, families, parents, local school districts, through our outreach services," Bugen says.

She says the school is no longer the asylum it was built to be back in the late 1800s. But even with innovations like online classes, and local districts simply making an effort to accommodate deaf students, the school is home to more than 500 students, with about half of them living on campus.

Read More  . . . Texas
by Kiah Collier
Feb. 9, 2015

Texas Senate budget writers on Monday discussed the possibility of downsizing or selling the 67-acre property south of downtown Austin where the School for the Deaf has operated for more than 150 years in an effort to raise revenue and cut costs.

State Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, launched the discussion by asking school officials whether they could run the operation on a smaller property.

“You’re sitting on some of the most expensive land in Austin,” he said, calling for a study “of the most efficient use of such acreage” in the city.

“For 159 years,” responded School for the Deaf Superintendent Claire Bugen.

Whitmire went on to suggest the state could pay for the campus’ significant deferred maintenance needs if the property was sold or downsized; Bugen said the school probably could operate on less than 46 acres.

State Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston, said selling even a few acres of the property could net “double-digit millions.”

Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, did not object to the discussion but said his colleagues on the Senate Finance Committee should proceed cautiously and expressed concern that any money from the sale of the property stay with the school.

Read Entire Article . . .





By David Lippman

People from around the state are coming to town this weekend to speak up for students who often cannot speak up for themselves.

Deaf children are supposed to have the same opportunities as anyone else, but experts say that is often not the case.

"For instance, maybe they had an interpreter, but they weren't qualified, they weren't a qualified interpreter," mentioned Brynn Millet, program manager at Deaf Focus. "Or they have people, educators that are trying to help them, but they don't have the appropriate education, themselves."

Louisiana was one of the first states to pass a Deaf Child's Bill of Rights, designed to make sure they got the help they need in school.

"That was 22 years ago," Millet stated. "And so, now we see the need to strengthen the bill."

"The language in it is not strong enough to help the deaf children get the services that they really need," added Victoria Flis, a counselor at Deaf Focus.

Louisiana School for the Deaf is equipped with staff and resources to help students with hearing impairments, but some parents would prefer their children go to mainstream schools to get more experience being around hearing people. If those schools do not have teachers or aides able to work with them, even smart children will fall behind.

Read more  & Watch Captioned Video
Alissa Scott
Posted Dec. 11, 2014

This is the first time the Rome school is hosting the competition, though it's been sponsored by Gallaudet University since 1997.

ROME - Kyle Savo has butterflies for the first time in awhile.The 18-year-old student will compete today in the National Academic Bowl at the New York State School for the Deaf in Rome for the first time.

“I’m very nervous,” Savo gestured through American Sign Language. “This is my first year. I have to just stay focused and do what I know.”
This is the first time the Rome school is hosting the competition, though it’s been sponsored by Gallaudet University since 1997.
“This is probably the most prestigious academic event for schools of the deaf and hard of hearing in the nation,” Superintendent David Hubman said. “It brings deaf and hard-of-hearing kids from all over the region.”

Sixteen teams from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island will compete in the Northeast regional competition — a team of four from NYSSD — and the top four teams will advance to Washington, D.C.
School officials said the bowl promotes “academic competition among school teams and fosters academic excellence and achievement among deaf and hard-of-hearing students across the country.”

The Rome team — which has been practicing for at least three months — consists of students Francesca Zegarelli, 17; Miranda Matthews, 17; Snowy Jenner, 18; and Sova. Their coaches are Gloria Broadbent and Kelli Ramer, both teachers at the school.

Read more:




Maryland School for the Deaf welcomes families and professionals to upcoming Open Houses on each campus!

Columbia Campus Fall Open House
8169 Old Montgomery Road & Rt. 108
Ellicott City, MD 21043
Friday, November 14th from 10:00am - 2:00pm

Frederick Campus Fall Open House
101 Clarke Place
Frederick, MD 21701-6529

Friday, November 21st from 10:00am - 2:00pm

Please see the attached flyer for details and how to RSVP.

Erin Rae Buck Skees
Outreach Coordinator
Maryland School for the Deaf
V (301) 360-2054
VP (240) 575-3864

Stay connected with Maryland School for the Deaf!
*Join our Outreach email list by clicking here!
*Like us on Facebook!
*Visit our website!

Download - MSD - Fall Open House flyer



For Immediate Release Sept 20, 2014

The Vermont Association of the Deaf invites you to come to the “VERMONT DEAF RIGHTS, Save Austine School and Services Rally” at the State House on Saturday September 27, 2014 12:30 to 5pm at the Statehouse in Montpelier VT.

We want the State to take over the Austine School property and make it a State School for the Deaf. The Austine School for the Deaf in Brattleboro has provided over 100 years of quality education and prepared students for life after graduation. This past spring the school’s Board of Trustees voted to close its doors. In the past two weeks the Board of Trustees also voted to cease operations of its other programs which are vital to the quality of life for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Vermonters.

Deaf and hard of hearing children in Vermont are now scattered all over Vermont. They are isolated in their public schools, and often are the only student who use sign language or have no access to sign language at all. Learning is severely limited when a student needs to watch an interpreter every day, and has no one to sign to or talk with. The Austine School provides a community of learners where everyone can sign and speak to each other. Teaching and learning at Austine is language rich, barrier-free, and unfiltered. The Austine School and its Outreach program provided consultation to public school districts across the state to ensure that their students were receiving appropriate access to education. That service is gone. Those Deaf children are left behind. This will have a negative impact on education and employment opportunities and general well-being of Deaf Vermonters and come at an additional cost to the state.

The State of Vermont needs to step up to the plate and ensure that those children and families get the support they deserve by establishing an independent agency within the state that operates the Austine School and its services to Deaf and hard of hearing babies and students.

This event coincides with the International Deaf Awareness Day. Come and celebrate our rights to equal communication, education and opportunities.


Download VermontSOS PDF Flyer
Yell Inverso, Au.D., PhD., CCC-A
Article Source

Today's guest blogger is Yell Inverso, Au.D., PhD., CCC-A a pediatric audiologist at Nemours/Alfred I duPont Hospital for Children.

Elementary school classroom are virtually unrecognizable these days compared to what most of us can recall. Gone are the neat rows of desks with children sitting forward-facing, alphabetically organized by last name. Modern classrooms now include pods of desks that foster student interaction, play and flexibility.

Sounds great, right? But what about a child who has hearing loss, an attention problem, or a learning disability? How do you recommend preferential seating when there is no longer a “front row”?  As a pediatric audiologist, I have to be more specific now with my academic recommendations. Teachers no longer stand and write on the blackboard, so we have to ensure that, regardless of where they are teaching in the room, a child has access to their voice no matter where they are sitting.

Classroom FM (Frequency Modulated) systems are a great place to start. These systems have different configurations and can help all children in the classroom, not just those with hearing loss. A child wearing hearing aids or a cochlear implant connects to the system via a small receiver, where the teacher’s voice transmits directly from a body-worn microphone. Additionally, FM systems can deliver the teacher’s voice to the child’s ear without being connected to a hearing aid. Speakers placed around the room can ensure that the teacher’s voice is reaching all children loud-and-clear no matter where they are sitting.





schoolsound9_13School Sounds Tour


From National Institute for Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Returning to school can be an exciting time for children as they reconnect with friends, meet their new teachers, and explore new subjects. As your children settle back into the school day routine, help them become aware of noise levels in their school environment.Talk with your children about noise levels at school and the importance of quiet spaces. Ask them to identify the noisiest and quietest spots they’ve noticed during their school day. Give them examples of places that might be loud (gym, crowded hallways, cafeteria) and quiet (classroom during reading time, art class, library).

With teacher and principal approval, your children can take a decibel meter to school to measure noisy and quiet spaces and share what they find with friends. Discuss the findings with your children and explain the dangers of prolonged or repeated exposure to any noise at or above 85 decibels. Sound meters can be purchased from an electronics store or through websites. Downloadable sound meter apps are also available for most smartphones.

For more information on teaching your tweens about noise levels, go to the Noisy Planet website to read Teachable Moments About Healthy Hearing, and take a look at our Interactive Sound Ruler. You can also post your children’s experiences on our Noisy Planet Facebook page.


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