Deaf kids on stage: Using theater as therapy

No Limits Theater is an organization that encourages deaf children to explore theater and stage acting as a way to build confidence in themselves and their speaking abilities. The theater is not just dedicated to improving language abilities, but in expanding deaf education more broadly. No Limits is currently the only organization that serves hard of hearing children ages 3 to 18 from low-income families specifically.

To learn more about the program, read the full story here.

Sherborn’s live Nativity was a way to connect with a deaf child — decades later it continues

On Dec. 23, residents of Sherborn, MA enjoyed the live nativity pageant hosted by local volunteers. The holiday tradition began as a way for Joan Downing to perform the story of the nativity for her deaf foster child. Since then, the visual rendition of the Christmas story has become an annual event that continues to encourage connection and communication.

Read the full story here.

‘Signing Santa’ makes virtual visit with deaf, hard of hearing students

Signing Santa Fred Fox recently visited deaf and hard of hearing students at Winola Elementary in Illinois. Fox, from Humeston, Iowa, visited the classroom virtually to speak to the kids in ASL. His white hair and beard are all natural, making him a perfect Santa, and he regularly visits deaf children during the holidays at no cost to schools.

Watch video and read the full story here.

OSU first school in state with bachelor’s degree in American Sign Language

Oklahoma State University recently launched an ASL major, making it the first school in the state to offer a bachelor’s degree in the language. Building on the former ASL minor, teachers like Dr. Taylor Woodall-Greene are working to serve the school’s Deaf community. She hopes to launch an additional bachelor’s track for ASL interpreters to help meet the growing demand for nationally certified interpreters.

Read the full story here.

Language not auditory experience is related to parent-reported executive functioning in preschool-aged deaf and hard-of-hearing children

Although hearing parents of deaf babies have often been pressured to pursue cochlear implant surgery for their children to prevent cognitive delays, new research shows it is language, not sound, that ensures normal brain development. This means sign language is just as effective in helping babies develop properly, something that may seem obvious to most, but has been a source of debate in the scientific community. The study helps shift researchers’ understanding of the cause of these delays towards early exposure to language, not deafness.

You can read the full study here.

RIT/NTID project hopes to reduce global deaf literacy gap

The Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) is working on a new project to bring literacy education to deaf and hard of hearing children in the Philippines, Fiji and Papua New Guinea. The grant, sponsored by international organization All Children Reading, will provide students resources for sign languages, early-grade reading materials, visual vocabulary-learning and digital learning assessments. Project team members will work with deaf community leaders in the region to create six sign language rhythm books and related training materials in each sign and written language.

You can read the full story here.

Black Deaf Creators Are Pushing For Inclusivity Through TikTok Videos

Scarlet May, Otis Jones and other Black Deaf TikTok creators are pushing to make the social media platform more inclusive. May’s skits highlight inequitable public practices that alienate members of the Deaf community. Jones uses his platform to teach ASL through short lessons and covers of pop songs. Bree Jones, an ASL interpreter, encourages her audience to engage with resources dedicated to preserving Black ASL, a language used by about 50% of Black Deaf individuals.

For more, read the full story here.

American School for the Deaf launches online learning platform

The American School for the Deaf in West Hartford, CT, one of the oldest schools for deaf and hard of hearing students in the US, announced the launch of their own online learning platform. This platform will be accessible to students worldwide and serve as both a primary and supplementary education source. The platform, intended for students ages 12 to 16, will cover core subjects like English, math, science and social studies. School officials hope to expand the platform’s capabilities as time goes on.

Read the full story here.

Deaf mime brings awareness to Woodland Park students about nonverbal communication

Ricky Smith, an Omaha-based deaf mime, visited Nebraska’s Woodland Park Elementary to teach children about non-verbal communication as part of Deaf Awareness Week. Smith has worked with schools for over 40 years and in 38 states, encouraging students to use their body language, facial expressions and imagination when communicating.

You can read the full story here.

1 2