Kat Reading

Kat Reading

Monday, February 14, 2011

Oral school workshop

So, on Saturday we attended a conference at Miss Kat's oral school. It was a great opportunity to meet other parents as well as get some good information from the professionals, and find out what resources are available in this area.

There were classes on:
  • Social Skills
  • Self Advocacy
  • Special Education Law
  • Mainstreaming
  • Reading with your child
as well as several panels talking about local resources including a Deaf teen club and "support groups" (it is actually just getting together and having activities) for families of children with CIs.

It was a lot of good information. One thing I noticed at the end of the day....no one ever said a word about WHICH language these things should be in. There was ZERO dogma. It was simply about information for families. None of the speakers mentioned spoken language vs. ASL. One of the panel members used an interpreter (which the school provided) but spoke for herself.

It was so nice to NOT have people putting down other people's choices!

***I also wanted to address a comment made, this workshop was at the oral school, but it was not only for families that attend our school. There were families from other schools, including families who sign. In fact, there were children that were voice-off, kids that SIM COM and others that were oral only. This was a diverse group and no one ever said that THEIR way was the right way.***

Saturday, February 12, 2011

USDB appears to be safe...for now

I don't know what to think of this situation. I have received some very conflicting reports about what is happening out there.

The oral advocates tell me that this whole situation happened because the Deaf community has been continuously fighting against the superintendent, claiming he is biased and saying that USDB is broken, so the Board finally agreed! They said that if USDB is so bad, let's just close it down and be done! You can finally have what you want!


My Deaf community friends say that this entire thing was a stunt orchestrated by the superintendent to further his oral agenda and put the fear into the Deaf community. They say that it is another example of his partisan politics and disrespect for the bi-bi school. The say that it shows his irresponsibility and that he should be removed immediately.

I am sooooooooo sick of this garbage. I am sick of everyone taking sides. Why is it always "MY way is right and your's is wrong"? Why do we have to try to build up one method by tearing the other down? Why can't we just respect each other's choices whether or not they are the same as ours? Successful kids come from EVERYWHERE.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Another Deaf school closing???

I received an email today from Miss Kat's former principal (from the bi-bi school). She said she had received notice that the Utah State Board of Education had voted to close down Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind, and have ALL the children be served by their local school districts.

Wow....I am just dumbfounded. That is incredibly inappropriate. The only thing that closing USDB would do is guarantee a huge portion of the deaf and blind student in Utah will miss out on their educations. The bi-bi school allows for free communication between an ASL using student and their teachers and peers. What will happen to these students? There are so many student that (I personally know!) that would be completely unable to function in the mainstream with an interpreter! Either they are still language learners (and we all know you can't learn language from an interpreter!) or come from homes with many challenges, or maybe they just don't have an outgoing personality and would feel isolated in the mainstream.

And that is just the signing kids! What about the oral kids too? How would you provide an appropriate eduction for a child who is in 6th grade but their language is not age appropriate? How do you help them fill their language gaps but still make sure they have access to the curriculum WITHOUT a small, self contained option with a teacher of the deaf?

This is truly an outrage. MAINSTREAMING ISN'T ALWAYS THE ANSWER!!! And inclusion is WAY more than just geography! Just because you place a deaf child with typical peers does not give them access to the curriculum or access to direct communication with ANYONE!

I really hope this isn't the case. I hope that the legislature sees that this would be a profound mistake. Our deaf kids deserve options. Just because a local school district placement may work for some oral kids, it certainly WON'T work for all. And while their are some kids who do wonderfully with interpreters in a hearing setting, it is NOT the place for all of them...

(Oh, and that is just the beginning....what about the preschoolers.....how will they ever learn language without immersion in a language rich environment???)