Fairfax County school launches program to support deaf and hard of hearing students

Virginia

"They need someone to inspire them and believe that they can do whatever they want to do," said one teacher.

ANNANDALE, Va. (WDVM) — Canterbury Woods Elementary School student, Adam, is just like any other first grader who loves Spiderman. He’s also one of several students at the school who is either deaf or hard of hearing.

School officials said they wanted to do more for their students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

“They need someone to inspire them and believe that they can do whatever they want to do, that they should have goals of being able to get employment or anything that they shouldn’t have any barriers in their life. It’s just their ability to access auditory information and that’s the only limit,” said teacher Erin Green.

Green said the students are learning subjects like math and english in American Sign Language.

There have been a lot of positive responses from many of the parents of the deaf, Green said. Parents have told her they feel like finally, they have someone who understands.

School counselor Becca Wilson said the objective of the program is to help students feel included and safe in the world.

“If one mentor likes board games and a student does as well, we match them up so they can do that together. There’s one mentor who I met who I was like, ‘wow you’re really funny and your personality is going to click with this student’ and we matched them up that way,” said Wilson.

Wilson said teachers say that some of the deaf or hard of hearings students don’t realize that there are other people like them outside of school.

“Our deaf and hard of hearing mentors can really help these students in a way that I or any other hearing person can’t help no matter how badly we want to. There is added support and I think they’re going to make a difference in these kids’ lives,” said Wilson.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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