My students need items to lower ambient sound levels such as chair socks, materials to teach sign language like sign language flashcards, DVDs like Signing Time, dictionaries and sign language labels, and clip art to create additional labels to assist in increasing understanding and vocabulary.
Our classroom serves 9-12 students ages 14-22 with multiple special needs. The students are hard working and bright and from a variety of ethnic, economic, and family backgrounds. They are bussed in from many surrounding cities and towns in two different states because local programs could not provide for their unique combinations of special needs. Although our host school has only 12% of students in the free lunch program, 50% of our class qualifies. Most of the students are wheelchair users, many are visually impaired and all have some level of communication impairment. Four of our students have a hearing impairment and hearing aids, so FM listening systems and sign language are a part of our daily lives.
Students who have hearing impairments need multiple accommodations. They need extra background noise limited, they need staff to be sure that they are "face to face, eye to eye" when speaking and they need staff to know sign language if verbal communication with visual cues like lip reading are not working.
We need materials to help decrease extra noise in the classroom, like chair socks (which stop those noises chairs make when you push them in and out) and to help both our students and our paraprofessional staff better learn sign language, like DVDs (the Signing Time Series), dictionaries (Sign with Me and the American Sign Language Dictionary), labels and flashcards. Our paraprofessional staff are very dedicated and willing to put in the effort to do what ever is needed for the students, but the resources just aren't there.
The students in our classroom face so many challenges, not being able to understand what is going on should not be one of them. Your donation can give us materials to increase the chances that they CAN hear what is happening and give us the tools to use sign language when they cannot. Thanks so much!
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