Deaf Students Are Entitled To An Education, But There’s A Shortage Of People Qualified To Teach Them

empty classroom desks/chairs with papers and backpacks lying around.

YAKIMA, Wash. — Sadie VanAllen thought she was giving her kids a shot at a better life when she moved from a two-bedroom apartment to a three-bedroom house on Yakima’s west side. The new place had separate rooms for her two growing children and a fenced yard for play. Conveniently, it was only about a seven-minute drive from Whitney Elementary School, where both of her kids were enrolled in the Yakima School District’s deaf education program.

But the move put VanAllen and her children outside of the Yakima district’s boundaries, and school district officials told her she could no longer keep her children enrolled in its deaf education program. They would have to transfer into the West Valley School District, which does not have an equivalent program and contracts with a third-party company for interpreters.

For weeks, VanAllen tried to figure out a solution with Yakima officials, who agreed to let her children stay for the rest of the school year. But the experience left her and her children shaken and at times uncertain how long they could continue to access the education resources the kids need.

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UConn offers first-ever ‘ASL Community Housing’


STORRS, Conn. — The sixth floor of Watson Hall on the UConn campus is offering a learning opportunity on another level. It’s all new this school year; For the first time there is a dorm floor dedicated to American Sign Language.

Officially it’s called “ASL Community Housing” and it was co-founded by senior and ASL major Lauren Gobler.

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DAD Note: There are other colleges with such ASL dormitory areas outside the well known deaf colleges like RIT, Gallaudet, CSUN, etc.  


Deaf 2023 Super Bowl performers make history signing in ASL and North American Indian Sign Language: ‘Truly lifting every voice’

Troy Kotsur, Justina Miles and Colin Denny perform in American Sign Language and Plains Indian Sign Language at the Super Bowl LVII pregame show at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday. (Photos: NFL)

Country superstar Chris Stapleton, 12-time Grammy winner Babyface and Emmy-winning actress-singer Sheryl Lee Ralph all performed on Sunday at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., ahead of the Super Bowl LVII showdown between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs. But three other performers — Oscar-winning CODA actor Troy Kotsur, deaf Navajo scholar Colin Denny and deaf TikTok sensation Justina Miles — nearly stole the (pre)show with historic appearances that set a new standard for inclusivity at the big game.

On the YouTube TV “Pre-Kick” show, Babyface’s lovely, live and refreshingly un-Auto-Tuned rendition of “America the Beautiful,” played on a star-spangled acoustic guitar “in celebration of our country,” was signed by Denny in both American Sign Language (ASL) and Plains Indian Sign Language (PISL) — one of the most documented regional variations of North American Indian Sign Language and a “lingua franca” used by both deaf and hearing people to communicate between tribes. In a statement to the University of Arizona, Denny, a research assistant at that school’s College of Education, explained: “A lot of people aren’t aware of [North American Indian Sign Language] and that it has always been here, even if we don’t see it. That’s something I feel needs national recognition and revitalization for the community.”

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Real Talk, Good Action: The Indigenous Deaf Community

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When discussing racial tensions, experiences, and events — Indigenous Americans, also known as Native Americans, are often ignored and overlooked. In this webinar, part of the Real Talk, Good Action series presented by the Dismantling Racism Committee, we invite you to meet some Deaf Indigenous folks in our community. Come and learn about their experiences, tribes, how they navigate in the Deaf community and their Indigenous community, and the oppression they face. Learn about their issues and why we need to pay attention to these issues.

Registration for zoom link required, go to

Recording will be made public after event.

McDonald’s Collaborates with the World’s First Sign Language Rap Artist to Promote Inclusivity and Understanding

In conjunction with The International Week of the Deaf, McDonald’s Finland collaborates with the well-known rapper Signmark to translate the restaurant chain’s iconic jingle into a sign language based song. Signmark and McDonald’s hope that the song will help to shed light on the prejudices people with hearing impairments face daily. Agency NORD DDB is behind the initiative.

McDonald’s latest campaign contributes to increased awareness about deafness with its first of a kind sign language jingle called Something bigger (I’m lovin’ it). The song is a part of McDonald’s Togetherness platform which aims to promote equality and inclusivity.

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Staten Islander Andrea Moore (in black) battles Lisa Kilmer of North Carolina Saturday night in the First Responders' boxing event at Community Park. (Photo courtesy of Andrea Moore)

Boxing helped Andrea Moore overcome a lot of obstacles in her life — and that’s why she loves the sweet science.


The 29-year-old fighter, who resides in Rossville, was born deaf and was bullied growing up.


She turned to boxing at the age of 14 as a way to channel her anger from constantly being picked on.


“I had anger problems and my parents saw me hold my own whenever I played rough with the boys so they heard about this gym and brought me there,” explained Moore. “It instantly lit up a soul I didn’t know I had. Letting it all out by hitting the bag.

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