CISD Observes Deaf Awareness Week

At the Coppell High School Pep Rally Sept. 10, seniors in Delosha Payne’s American Sign Language class signed the National Anthem for the audience showing the importance of inclusion for the deaf and hard of hearing community. As CISD celebrates Deaf Awareness Week Sept. 20 to Sept. 14, this is one sign of how the district serves, supports and educates its community those who are deaf or hard of hearing. 

Deaf Awareness Week is observed annually throughout the last full week of September. The week focuses on promoting the rights of deaf people, encouraging social inclusion, and raising awareness of the programs, activities, and organizations that support those who are deaf.

Deaf or hard of hearing students in CISD receive one-on-one support from a deaf or hard of hearing teacher, personalized goals and the technology they need to access the learning environment. CISD serves about 25 students who are deaf or hard of hearing. 

“Deaf Awareness Month is an opportunity to learn more about hearing differences and the deaf community and its history,” said Anne McClellan, teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing. 

In addition to serving deaf and hard of hearing students, CISD also offers American Sign Language or ASL as one its Languages other than English or LOTE offerings.  About 10 percent of CISD LOTE students take ASL, which makes the language second only to Spanish in the district’s LOTE program. 

Students and parents have the following to say about CISD’s deaf and hard of hearing students. 

"It's incredibly important to have your child screened for hearing differences. We didn't know our daughter had hearing loss. She was relying mostly on reading lips before being diagnosed." — Parent of Second Grader

"I need to sit close to my teachers in class, so I can hear them better. And also, when someone whispers, they must whisper into my right ear, because when they talk close to my left ear, I can't really hear it. I also have a good sense of taste and smell ." — Fifth Grade Student

“What I would want people to know is just because someone has hearing challenges doesn’t mean they can’t do what others do, it just means they have to do it differently. There are deaf NFL players, musicians, inventors and more.  Hearing loss doesn’t mean you're not as smart as others. Our imperfections are what makes us individually perfect." — Parent of Sophomore