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DPN 25TH Anniversary



Public Input Findings



KDES Heroes



Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center 800 Florida Avenue, NE Suite 3600 Washington, DC 20002-3695

Laurent Clerc

First Teacher of the Deaf in America

Vice President, Clerc Center Ed Bosso Director, Public Relations and Communications Glenn Lockhart Graphic Designer Christopher Kabusk Writer / Photographer Susan Flanigan Production Editor Catherine Valcourt-Pearce Copyright Š 2013 by Gallaudet University Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center. All rights reserved. The Clerc Center includes Kendall Demonstration Elementary School, the Model Secondary School for the Deaf, and units that work with schools and programs throughout the country serving deaf and hard of hearing students. Cover: MSSD students took the space challenge at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Alabama. Pictured is Deanna Phillips. Photo by Mark Tao.

About Us and this Publication The Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center at Gallaudet University is federally funded and provides information, training, and technical assistance for parents and professionals to meet the needs of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. The Clerc Center operates two demonstration schools and works to improve the quality of education afforded to deaf and hard of hearing students from birth to age 21 throughout the United States. The contents of this publication are as follows: Articles on students, teachers, staff, or programs at Kendall Demonstration Elementary School (KDES), a demonstration school of the Clerc Center. KDES is fully accredited and provides a comprehensive day school education to deaf and hard of hearing students from birth through eighth grade who live in the Metropolitan Washington, DC area. Learn more: Follow us: Articles on students, teachers, staff, or programs at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD), a demonstration school of the Clerc Center. MSSD is fully accredited and provides a comprehensive four-year, residential high school program to deaf and hard of hearing students from throughout the country and the U.S. territories. Learn more: Follow us: Articles that provide updates on how the Clerc Center is accomplishing its national mission, which is achieved by creating collaborations with professionals; providing information, strategies, and resources to stakeholders in deaf education; developing and disseminating products; and providing training across the nation. Learn more: Follow us:




Features 4 Passing the DPN Legacy to a New Generation

6 Clerc Center Sets Priorities for 2014-2018

8 Story Signers Hit a Home Run for Literacy

10 MSSD Students Experience

Simulated Astronaut Training

12 Clerc Center Publishes Findings that Identify Major K-12 Barriers


14 MSSD Spring Performances:

Gotta Dance and Willy Wonka


16 Learning from Deaf Heroes, Past and Present

18 Launching On-line Networks for Families and Professionals

19 Interns at Library of Congress Experience Full Inclusion

20 Winter and Spring Sports Recap

22 2013 Odyssey Focuses on Special Education and Services

24 We Believe We Can Fly – The KDES Class of 2013


Fall 2013


25 MSSD Celebrates 42nd

Commencement Exercises

26 Folklore and Fables Go from Page to Stage


Passing the DPN Legacy to a New Generation

DPN’s student leaders—Tim Rarus, Greg Hlibok, Bridgetta Bourne-Firl, and Jerry Covell—addressed MSSD and KDES students at an assembly on March 8 about the amazing week back in 1988 when Gallaudet launched the DPN movement that spread its message of empowerment around the world.

In March of 1988, the Gallaudet University community shut down the campus and demonstrated for a week, which led to the appointment of the university’s first deaf president in its 124-year history. Since then, Deaf President Now (DPN) has become recognized as a historic moment in the civil rights history of deaf and hard of hearing people around the world. As part of celebrating the 25th anniversary of the DPN movement, the Clerc Center invited leaders and


participants from DPN to return to campus to share reflections on the movement with today’s MSSD and KDES students.

Four DPN Student Leaders Visit Campus On March 8, the MSSD community and the middle school students from KDES gathered together to learn firsthand from DPN’s student leaders‒Bridgetta Bourne-Firl, Jerry Covell, Greg Hlibok, and Tim Rarus‒about the historic week back

in 1988 when world-wide media attention was on Gallaudet. The panel, moderated by MSSD social studies teacher Mike Hollywood, gave each DPN student leader the opportunity to reflect on how the experience changed his or her life and the impact DPN had on the world’s recognition of the civil rights of deaf and hard of hearing people. “After DPN, I changed majors and decided I wanted to become a lawyer,” said Hlibok, who is now a branch chief at the Federal Communications Commission.

The panelists then turned the discussion over to the students who lined up to ask the DPN leaders questions, for example, if they felt that the DPN week would have gone differently today with current communications technology and whether they would have done anything differently. The panel concluded with Bourne-Firl leading the full house in a chant of “I Can, You Can, We Can!”

MSSD Alumni Return to Campus On March 15, MSSD student James Trusock III moderated a panel of MSSD alumni and one former dorm staff member who were on campus during DPN. The panelists were Karl Ewan (‘89), Michelle Wynn (‘88), Cindy Officer (‘90), and science teacher Mark Tao (dorm staff in 1988). In preparation for the

event, the MSSD students watched a video on the history of DPN and developed a list of questions to ask. The panelists brought the protest week to life with firsthand recollections and shared that teachers encouraged them to participate in the protest, using the occasion as a teachable moment on civil rights, the concept of peaceful protest, and how to advocate for themselves to members of Congress and the media. Each of the panelists shared the different ways the DPN experience empowered them. They expressed how seeing older deaf role models stepping into leadership roles inspired them. Wynne said that 25 years ago there was a huge sense that deaf people could not be CEOs, but today we have deaf activists, actors, doctors, and dentists and we know

that there are no limits as to how high we can go. The panel was streamed live and can be viewed here: http://webcast.gallaudet. edu/?id=138.

KDES Students Create Artwork of Iconic DPN Scenes KDES students in Emily Blachly’s art class commemorated DPN by learning about the events and then deciding which ones they wanted to represent using handshapes. They created and then painted plaster casts of their hands set in ASL classifiers for “march,” “gate,” and “PAH/finally,” among other words and concepts related to DPN. The artwork was displayed in the KDES science habitat area for other classes, parents, and visitors to view. n

KDES students, together with art teacher Emily Blachly, created and painted plaster casts of their hands set in shapes of ASL classifiers that symbolized events from 1988’s DPN week. In this photo, a pair of hands works like a pair of gates and represents the protestors’ closing of the campus gates.

Fall 2013


Clerc Center Sets Priorities for 2014-2018

From February 4-5, 2013, diverse representatives in deaf education and early intervention that included parents, teachers, service providers, and other professionals participated in a National Priority Setting Meeting to determine the 2014-2018 strategic focus for the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center. The Clerc Center is a federally funded program that works to provide information, training, and technical assistance for parents and professionals to meet the needs of children who are deaf or hard of hearing from birth to 21 years of age. The Clerc Center receives its mandate from the Education of the Deaf Act, which requires it to establish priorities through a process that incorporates public input. The Clerc Center then uses


those priorities to guide the national portion of its strategic plan. Over two days, 23 stakeholders traveled to the Gallaudet University campus, where the Clerc Center is located, and participated in a “Structured Dialogic Design Process” (SDD). The SDD was developed by Dr. Alexander “Aleco” Christakis, who has more than 35 years of experience working in the field of complex change and has been consulting with the Clerc Center to plan this “co-laboratory,” as it is called in the SSD. The stakeholders brought perspectives and values that represented a wide continuum of practices within deaf education. Christakis explained that this played to the strength of the design of

the SDD. “A person’s perspective is just that, an individual opinion. However, with many perspectives you have collective wisdom,” he said. The co-laboratory process is democratic and engages all participants and, as a result, promotes consensus building and results in shared ownership of the priorities identified. Participant Ron Stern, superintendent of the New Mexico School for the Deaf and current president of the Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf, commented, “As diverse as this group is, we do have similar passions: We are all interested in the future of deaf and hard of hearing children. It’s not only about collaboration from people who are

like-minded, but also from people who are across the way.” Judy Harrison, another participant and the director of programs at the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, noted the same. “We’re all looking for the same thing in the end. Maybe not the same way, but we’re all looking for the same results. Through collaboration, perhaps we can move forward,” she said. The two-day meeting was facilitated in American Sign Language by Dr. Susan Jacoby, executive director for Planning, Development, and Dissemination, and Dr. Richard Jeffries, a training specialist with the Clerc Center. By the meeting’s end, all of the participants had developed a shared understanding of challenges that, if addressed by the Clerc Center, would have a positive impact on the success of current and future generations of deaf and hard of hearing children. Based on that shared understanding, the group identified the following areas of focus for the 2014-2018 Clerc Center strategic plan: 1. Creating productive collaborations between all stakeholders involved in the education of deaf and hard of hearing children

2. Providing professional development for professionals serving deaf and hard of hearing children 3. Developing and providing proactive collaborative training for parents and professionals Participant Djenne Amal-Morris, a parent from North Carolina, felt like an equal stakeholder. “Just seeing and hearing the ideas, seeing the passion... but what made the difference for me is the process that we went through, that each person had an opportunity to say what his or her passion was or his or her belief was, give an explanation, and then move on. And you were heard. For me, I felt validated,” she said. “I sincerely appreciate the vision and passion of everyone who participated on behalf of deaf and hard of hearing students across the nation,” said Ed Bosso, vice president of Gallaudet University’s Clerc Center. “I believe this led to a successful outcome for the meeting and that all of the participants left with a powerful sense of contribution and accomplishment. I look forward to the work that lies ahead.” n

The Clerc Center anticipates releasing its strategic plan in the fall of 2013 and would like to thank all the participants of the National Priority Setting Meeting for their investment of time, energy, and wisdom: n Djenne Amal-Morris, parent, Eastern North

Carolina School for the Deaf n Ed Bosso, vice president, Laurent Clerc National

Deaf Education Center n Kimoy Campbell, parent, Laurent Clerc National

Deaf Education Center n Ernest Garrett III, executive director, Missouri

Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing n Steve Gettel, superintendent, Montana School for

the Deaf and Blind n Shira Grabelsky, teacher, California School for the

Deaf, Fremont n Judy Harrison, director of programs, Alexander

Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing n Lisa Herbert, psychologist, Laurent Clerc

National Deaf Education Center n Hendi Kowal, parent, DC Public Schools n Cheryl Lee, interpreting services coordinator,

Montgomery County Public Schools n Dr. Irene Leigh, professor emeritus of psychology,

Gallaudet University n Mary Ann Mieczowski, director, Exceptional

Children Resources, Teaching and Learning Branch, Delaware Department of Education n Susan Morrow, specialist, Christina (Delaware)

School District n Taiyabah Naeem, teacher, Laurent Clerc National

Deaf Education Center n Kevin Nolan, outreach coordinator, Boston

Children’s Hospital n Dr. Khadijat Rashid, professor of business,

Gallaudet University n Charity Rogers, teacher, Saint Paul Public Schools n Dr. Ron Stern, president, Conference of

Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf n Irvine Stewart, social worker, BJC Healthcare n Debbie Trapani, coordinator of inclusion and

differentiation, Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center n Nanette Virnig, athletic specialist, Laurent Clerc

National Deaf Education Center n Fred Weiner, interim assistant vice president,

Administration and Finance, Gallaudet University

Clerc Center National Priority Setting Meeting participants

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n Dr. Christine Yoshinaga-Itano, professor,

University of Colorado


Story Signers Hit a Home Run for Literacy The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) encourages athletes to do community service. This spring, Janet Weinstock, ASL/English content specialist at the Clerc Center, teamed up with Gallaudet University Bison women’s softball team members to come into classrooms at KDES to share a love of reading that crosses the age divide. It proved to be a win-win season for literacy. Gallaudet softball team coach Joseph Kolcun and assistant coach Jenna Owens, who also teaches at KDES, had approached Weinstock about a possible community service project with KDES students. Weinstock had already coordinated a successful visit in the fall of 2012 during which players on the Gallaudet men’s basketball team came to classrooms to share book readings. Kolcun liked the booksharing idea because it gave his team members the opportunity to serve as deaf adult role models and encourage interest in reading in young students through their interest in sports. Weinstock suggested that she provide training to the team on how to share biographical books about athletes, and as a bonus she thought it would “tie in nicely with the American Hero and biography units that KDES students were studying.” “Janet Weinstock gave us a lesson on how to read a book to children,”



said softball player Chelsea Lee. “She had us translate some lines from a book. It was easier to practice with someone my age, but once we got in front of the kids we had to work really hard to make sure they understood us completely. It was a good learning experience, especially when I had never done something like this.” Weinstock selected books from the KDES library about athletes to whom both the readers and the students could relate as role models, from professional baseball players such as Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Satchel Paige, and Sammy Sosa, to Olympic soccer star Mia Hamm, to boxer Muhammad Ali, among others. Each of the readers followed Weinstock’s story sharing techniques for opening a story, maintaining interest, and finishing with a strong closing. “At the beginning, we want the readers to set a tone, ensure visual access, model enthusiasm, and announce the start of the story itself,” said Weinstock. “During the reading, the story teller maintains the attention of the viewers through expanding the characters and setting, adding biographical information, and responding to questions or comments. They then close with identifying the best part of the story, give a summary, reveal what

is happening now in the life of the athlete, and guess about what the future might bring.” The day arrived for the athletes to put their story sharing skills to the test with a live audience of students at KDES. “I was impressed how the kids at Kendall were very motivated with the storytelling time. The kids were very curious and asked about my and my storytelling partner’s softball playing skills because we told a story about Satchel Paige,” said Lee. “It was nice seeing them smile because when I was younger I always enjoyed guests coming in and doing something different and fun for the class.” Weinstock encouraged the team members to make sure they stressed the importance of reading well as part of preparation for college. “The readers informed our students that they weren’t accepted to Gallaudet because of their athletic skills but because they were able to sign, read, and write well,” she said. “Being a good athlete is a bonus, of course!” Who is on deck for next year? With the successful response to this year’s visits from Gallaudet’s basketball and softball teams, the word is spreading. Weinstock said not only do those teams want to return, but the soccer team wants to participate as well. n

Fall 2013



MSSD Students Experience Simulated Astronaut Training at Space Camp Each year, students from all over the world head to Huntsville, Alabama, for a week-long, hands-on learning experience in math, science, and technology at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. This year, six students from MSSD-Dalton Arnes, Claudia Giordano, Kyle Lauderbaugh, Deanna Phillips, Sierra Saylor, and Nino Taylor-won scholarships to attend the camp accompanied by MSSD science teachers Mark Tao and Emily Schreiner. At space camp, MSSD students teamed up with three students from the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf as the Von Lions mission specialist group. Their program was called “Advanced Space Academy” for students ages 15 to 18 years old. It is the only space camp program that includes underwater astronaut training using scuba equipment. “Our science teacher, Mark Tao, really helped to orient us before space camp by showing us pictures from last year’s camp and describing the activities,” said Saylor. “It’s important to have good science and math skills for space camp. If you love science, space camp is a great experience.” The MSSD students also met other space enthusiasts from around the country, including students from schools for the deaf in Utah, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Iowa. Over the course of the week, students engaged in simulated shuttle missions, simulated flight control scenarios of flying and landing aircraft, scuba training, survival techniques for land operations, rope courses, model

Fall 2013

The six intrepid MSSD students experienced out-of-this-world training at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.

rocket building and launching, introduction to orbiter systems, simulated repairs in space, IMAX movies on such topics as space junk and the Hubble Space Telescope, and team building exercises at the Area 51 Leadership Reaction Course. “One of the things that surprised me was when the multi-axis trainer spins you around. You get dizzy because you don’t spin twice in the same direction, but you don’t get sick because your stomach remains at the center of gravity,” said Phillips. “I also liked learning how to do flight control in space; it’s not easy to abort a mission or stop crashes!” The Von Lions team trained and successfully completed two simulated shuttle missions. On graduation day, Arnes was given the “King of the Hill” award for his team for earning the highest score in the flight pilot competition for which he received a NASA mission patch.

“I enjoyed seeing our MSSD space camp scholarship recipients go through the program and learn through a first-hand space science explorer experience-a real-life experience with specialized trainers and equipment that could not be simulated in our school classrooms,” said Tao. Since the founding of space camp for deaf and hard of hearing students in 1987, over 2,000 students and staff from the United States and other countries have attended. Each student who participates in space camp receives one college credit from the University of Alabama-Huntsville. MSSD students participated in 2009, 2010, 2012, and 2013. For more information, check out the website of the space camp for deaf and hard of hearing students: specialprograms n


Public Input Findings Identify Five Major Barriers Impacting Deaf and Hard of Hearing K-12 Students

(L-to-R) Co-authors Cheryl Shahan, Dr. Lori Lutz, and Dr. Christen Szymanski review findings from public input data collected from constituents across the nation.

The Clerc Center is pleased to announce the publication of “Critical Needs of Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: A Public Input Summary,” a groundlevel reference on how people are describing and experiencing the barriers they encounter for the deaf and hard of hearing children in their homes or workplaces. This analysis is taken from 1,400 comments from 775 respondents broad in geographic, affiliation, and linguistic diversity. “Critical Needs of Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: A Public Input Summary” is an 18-page document developed for all audiences, yet provides analysis and statistics that will benefit educators at all levels, academic researchers,


service providers, grant seekers, and policymakers. “This collection of public input provides valuable insight into the wide and diverse range of perspectives regarding the needs of deaf and hard of hearing children, their families, and the professionals who work with them across the nation,” wrote Dr. Christen Szymanski, who is director of Research and Evaluation at the Clerc Center and led the data analysis. Especially significant is that of the 775 respondents, 85 percent reported either having or working with deaf and hard of hearing children from these traditionally underserved groups: those who come from rural areas, who are from non-English speaking

homes, who may have secondary disabilities, who are from racial/ ethnic minority populations, and/or who are struggling academically. The qualitative data collection occurred from spring 2010 through winter 2011 and was coordinated by Dr. Sue Jacoby, executive director of Planning, Development, and Dissemination at the Clerc Center. Speaking to the value of the summary, Dr. Jacoby said, “Common themes emerge regardless of background and context‒this is powerful information for people to consider when planning their programs and services, serving students, identifying priorities and needs, and seeking resources.” The public input summary provides

a demographic breakdown of the 775 respondents, an explanation of the methodology used, and identified 14 barriers that deaf and hard of hearing children encounter in birth through age 21 academic environments throughout the nation. However, from these 14 barriers: n Four themes emerged from nearly two-thirds of the responses: Language and Communication, Resources, Social Concerns, and Qualified Direct Service Personnel n Five overarching barriers were identified: 1) Knowledge and education of caregivers, professionals, and the general public; 2) Collaborative efforts; 3) Qualified professionals and

services; 4) Meeting the needs of the student within the school system; and 5) The child’s selfdevelopment The Clerc Center receives its mandate from the Education of the Deaf Act, which requires it to establish priorities through a process that incorporates public input. “These findings make a powerful contribution to the national conversation on deaf education,” said Ed Bosso, vice president of the Clerc Center at Gallaudet University. “This document gives us a pulse on deaf education, as reported by parents, educators, administrators, and service professionals, all of whom the Clerc Center serves. This will help the Clerc Center identify and design high impact strategies to address them.” n

PDF: documents/Clerc/PublicInputSummary. pdf E-magazine format: clerccenter/docs/publicinputsummary

Celebrating 150 Years of

Visionary Leadership Gallaudet will reach its 150th anniversary in 2014! From the signing of our charter by President Abraham Lincoln in 1864 to the present day, the University has offered visionary leadership in education and cultural understanding. Follow the 150th anniversary events at:

Fall 2013


MSSD Spring Performances: Gotta Dance and Willy Wonka

MSSD dancers performed “Africa: A Freedom Ship to America.”

The MSSD Performance Arts Program brought audiences two memorable productions in the spring, each with a distinctly different flavor. In February, MSSD hosted its 31st Winter Dance Concert, Gotta Dance, bringing talented student dancers and an array of guest companies to the stage of the Theatre Malz. Students worked with professional choreographers and one student choreographer to create eight original new dance numbers. When MSSD launched its first dance concerts in 1981, it was a radical


new idea to bring together amateur and professional dancers and choreographers, deaf and hearing, to showcase dances from classical, to modern, to street dances. At this year’s dance concert, the instructor who started it all, Marcia Freeman, returned to perform with some of her former students. This year’s concert also marked an anniversary in the MSSD dance program: Twenty years ago Freeman and nine MSSD students took a two-week trip to Senegal, West Africa, in 1993--a trip that changed the life of each of the participants.

In commemoration, Freeman, Dr. Carol Penn, Fred Beam, and MSSD alumni Mervin Primeaux and Ronnie Bradley premiered “Human Heart,” during which they showcased photos from that Senegal trip. One of the memorable experiences on the Senegal trip was a visit to Goree Island, where the slave ships departed for America. The current MSSD students honored that experience with the show’s powerful opening number, “Africa: A Freedom Ship to America,” choreographed by Bradley. This year’s alumni participants,

in addition to Primeaux and Bradley, both of who have been dancing professionally, included Ameena Patterson, Wade Green, and Michelle Banks. MSSD student Melanie Hubbard choreographed a piece for the show called “Work It.” She was grateful to Yola Rozynek, artistic director of the winter dance concert, for the opportunity. “I never thought I’d have the chance as a student to do my own choreography for the concert.” In April, MSSD brought to life Roald Dahl’s timeless story of Willy Wonka, a world-famous candy man. The story, adapted from Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, followed five lucky children who visit Willy Wonka’s factory for a chance to inherit his chocolate world.

Seth Washington, a senior at MSSD, both directed the spring production and played the leading role of the quirky genius who owns the mysterious chocolate factory closed off to visitors and outside workers. “What I really like is the collaboration, the building of an idea together with the individual actors and testing it out,” said Washington. “The most challenging part was motivating students at rehearsals after a long day at school, to get the energy level up and going so the actors focus on the rehearsal and not on all the other things they are involved in.” This was a total Clerc Center production: MSSD librarian Ricardo Lopez held multiple roles in the play while KDES student Calgary

Trapani stepped in as one of the Oompa Loompas. Also participating in the production was MSSD principal Melinda Failing, who took on a small role as one of Charlie’s grandmothers. “I joined the cast so I could interact with the students on a different level. It was a wonderful experience, especially with the students making all the artistic decisions and giving me direction on how to bring my character to life.” Whether it is for a dance concert or a grand performance of a beloved children’s story, Theatre Malz gives MSSD students opportunities for expression and interpretation that are as unique as their personal experiences, and a practice stage for future life performances. n

Willy Wonka muses with his guests at his factory. MSSD senior Seth Washington both played the leading character and directed the production.

Fall 2013


Learning from Deaf Heroes In History, Past and Present Mikaela Gibbs interviewed President Alan T. Hurwitz as part of her class’ Newsreel Heroes Project. She asked him about his childhood, his career, where he traveled, and what he liked about being president of Gallaudet University.

Mikaela Gibbs approached the entrance of College Hall with both nervous excitement and anticipation; after all, it is not everyday that a third grader from KDES gets to interview the president of Gallaudet University. Accompanied by her teacher Jenna Owens, Mikaela journeyed across campus to the office of the president, T. Alan Hurwitz. The president soon emerged from his office with a warm and gracious smile for his young guest and showed her into his office. Mikaela interviewed Dr. Hurwitz about his childhood, his career, where he traveled, and what he liked about being president of the university. “What do you most like about


your work?” Mikaela asked. “I enjoy meeting people, working with groups here to discuss how to improve services for deaf students….I have travelled to many places in the world, to Japan, South Africa, Europe, to make speeches and raise funds… I travel a lot in the US and meet many Gallaudet alumni and prospective students. I hope one day you will be an alumnus,” said Hurwitz. At the conclusion, Mikaela thanked Dr. Hurwitz for his time and pictures were taken. Dr. Hurwitz gave her a stuffed Gallaudet bison (the university mascot) and led her on a tour of his inner and outer offices, showing her some of the historic artifacts on display.

The interview was one of many activities that the KDES students from third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade students participated in throughout the year related to the Heroes Project. The students explored heroes from many different aspects—in the Deaf community, in the sports community, in human rights, and from the Deaf President Now movement. Sometimes the Heroes Project involved mini-field trips. Owens took a group of students on a minifield trip in February to Gallaudet’s Hoy Field named for the famed deaf baseball player William Hoy, who is credited for starting the use of hand signals in the game. Hoy was also known for his ability to throw long distances. The students,

using equipment borrowed from Gallaudet baseball coach Joseph Kolcun, measured how far they could throw compared to the 220 feet that Hoy easily hurled the ball from center field to home plate. Third grader Ari Jno-Baptiste interviewed a modern day baseball hero, Gallaudet University baseball coach Curtis Pride, who was the first deaf person to play on a major league baseball team since 1945.

The Heroes Project Expo: from Past and Present The spring expo held in March, gave the third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade students and their teachers Jenna Owens, Elizabeth Hall, Phyllis Ballenger, and Kristi Ann Nolan an opportunity to show off the Heroes Project work to the students from other KDES classes, teachers, staff, their families, and visitors. Mikaela and Ari showed videos from their interviews with president Hurwitz and Pride, as did Ariella Zfati, who interviewed former Gallaudet president I. King Jordan about himself and the Deaf President Now campaign that launched the events that led him to becoming the first deaf president of Gallaudet University. One class created a kind of living wax museum of heroes who made

Student Destiny Vincent portrays former slave, abolitionist, and women’s rights advocate Harriet Tubman.

Fall 2013

Makya Sinclair brings to life Heather Whitestone, the first deaf Miss America.

contributions to civil rights. Students researched the lives of people like Harriett Tubman, Rosa Parks, Helen Keller, Frederick Douglas, Heather Whitestone, and President Obama. On the day of the expo, they dressed in costumes and stood as “wax works” on display. When the other KDES classes came to visit, the students tapped on the wax models, bringing them to life. The models then described their heroic character and responded to questions from students and other adult visitors. Other students made PowerPoint presentations on heroes such as Andrew Foster, who established schools for the deaf in Africa, deaf actress Michelle Banks, pop star Michael Jackson, deaf boxer James Burke, deaf actor Lou Ferrigno who played the Hulk, and American frontiersman Erastus “Deaf” Smith. The Heroes Project gave students an opportunity to explore role models and practice skills related

to research, interviewing, and presentations, and to share their new knowledge with a wider audience. “The project made a huge impact on the students,” said teacher Elizabeth Hall. “When they saw role models like Curtis Pride, they said, ‘I want to be like that.’ Our students want to follow in the footsteps of the heroes—to become everything from a deaf pilot to the president.” n

Ari Jno-Baptiste interviewed Curtis Pride, the Gallaudet University baseball coach, who is shown holding a photo of himself with President Obama during his nomination to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition in 2010.


Deaf Students with Disabilities Network: Building Resources and Connecting Stakeholders

The Clerc Center is pleased to announce the launch of the Deaf Students with Disabilities Network. This free, interactive website provides families and professionals with 140 different resources related to deaf and hard of hearing students with any of 13 disabilities identified in the Individual with Disabilities Education Act. “This site is designed to break down the barriers between information resource sites, so that for the first time in one centralized location, families and professionals can find in-depth information related to deaf and hard of hearing students with disabilities,” said Leslie Page, a project manager for the Clerc Center. Members have access to an “Ask the Expert” section, on-line discussion forums, and blogs. “Our site moderator, Karen Ewing, is ready to assist network members with their questions and link them to additional resources,” said Page.

Karen M. Ewing Karen M. Ewing, Ph.D., is an educational consultant who


specializes in deaf and hard of hearing students with disabilities. Dr. Ewing is a former adjunct professor and faculty member of the Department of Education at Gallaudet University. She holds a B.S.E. degree in elementary education and special education. Dr. Ewing earned her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Gallaudet University in deaf education specializing in multiple disabilities. Her prior teaching experience includes teaching deaf-blind students in a residential school for the deaf and students with multiple disabilities in both public and private school settings. Dr. Ewing has worked with schools and families across the U.S. in the field of deaf students with disabilities, autism, ADD/ADHD, and behavior. She has authored several articles and chapters on deaf students with disabilities. Her research interests include deaf students with disabilities, autism, online learning, and families. Dr. Ewing has two children. She is a mother of a child who was diagnosed with autism at the age of two, and has worked with numerous families on parenting a child with a disability.

Join the Network To join the Deaf Students with Disabilities Network, visit the website You will be asked to share some basic demographic information during registration, and afterwards you will have full access to the 140 resources and be able to participate in interactive discussions. n

National Outreach Resources Network Members of this network for outreach providers serving deaf and hard of hearing children share strategies and resources, use discussion forums to ask colleagues for ideas and suggestions, and set up subgroups to create networks around topic areas.

This on-line community, sponsored by the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center, is designed for outreach providers actively involved in the education of deaf and hard of hearing children birth through 21. It was created as an interactive networking site for outreach providers to share resources and information with each other. As a member of this group, you will be able to: n Add resource links that you have found helpful in your work. n Use the discussion forums to ask colleagues for ideas or suggestions. n Join or create a subgroup to network around topic areas. Join us now as we build our network of outreach providers. n

MSSD Students Interning at the Library of Congress Experience Full Inclusion Research shows that high school students with on-the-job experience during their school years have a distinct advantage in securing jobs.

serve as a docent for visitors. Brooks and Teklemariam-Carter, along with other deaf employees meet with the current MSSD interns over informal lunches to check in with them, encourage them, and offer advice.

MSSD interns in Spring 2013

After cross-referencing if a title is in the system, intern Maria Guzman affixes a bar code for tracking the new title before shelving and circulation.

MSSD places students in a wide range of work sites, and one of the most successful and long-standing collaborations is with the Library of Congress. The Library employs 15 deaf staff, including two MSSD alumni, Marta Teklemariam-Carter, a digital conservation specialist in Library Services, and Eric Brooks, a library aide in the Law Library, who interned while seniors at MSSD. During their internships, Teklemariam-Carter and Brooks had the opportunity to pick up on the communication strategies and job skills needed to work in the world’s largest library. “The Library offers so many possible career fields,” said Teklemariam-Carter. She enjoys her work in digitizing newspapers, historic maps, and photographs in a variety of different sections on a rotational basis. She also trained to

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At the beginning of each fall or spring internship, MSSD students meet with transition coordinators Allen Talbert and Tyese Wright to discuss work placements. Students interested in the Library go through an orientation and a brief interview with prospective supervisors. This past spring, three MSSD students interned at the Library. Maria Guzman and Anthony Rivera worked in the Germanic and Slavic Division to help catalog 8,000 titles recently donated to the German collection. Serena Dorch worked in the Science, Technology, and Medicine section. “My work focuses on checking to see what titles from the donated books are already in the Library of Congress system. If they are not in the system, I log them in, affix bar codes, and label the books for shelving,” said Guzman. The Library’s Gary Thomas, Library Technician, who is deaf and a graduate of both MSSD and Gallaudet University, trained the students. The students had to learn some German and to recognize the different characters in the German alphabet. “These MSSD

students are handling collegelevel intern responsibilities. They have given us valuable help with processing a backlog of cataloging, using analytical skills that require attention to detail and visual matching capabilities,” said Thomas. “The achievements of the MSSD students have been phenomenal during the 12 years that the internship program has been in operation,” said Eric Eldritch, EEO Specialist/ADA Coordinator, who along with Toby French, Library Technician and vice president of the Library of Congress Deaf Association, supervises the Model Internship Program (MIP) for MSSD students at the Library of Congress. “The Library Services unit has been a great home for this program along with other service units including the Law Library and the U.S. Office of Copyright with deaf employees serving as mentors. It’s a pleasure to see employees like Marta and Eric come full circle, starting at the Library as interns and now as full-time employees themselves mentoring today’s MSSD’s students.” n

Library of Congress employees Marta TeklemariamCarter and Eric Brooks are MSSD alumni who interned at the Library in their senior years.


The Wildcats and Eagles Show School Pride in Winter and Spring Sports

The KDES Wildcats and the MSSD Eagles competed in a variety of sports, winning recognition both as individuals and teams throughout the winter and spring seasons.

KDES Wildcats Play Hoops and Bring Back Volleyball In February, the KDES Wildcats basketball teams participated in


the 10th Annual Tri-State Middle School Basketball Tournament Championship in Mountain Lakes, New Jersey. The girls team repeated as champions for the fifth consecutive year while the boys team won the sportsmanship award. Eliyas Assefa, Chanice Coles, and Jennida Willoughby, were named to the all-tournament team.

This year, Kendall revived its volleyball team under the leadership of coach Lisa Hower and assistant coach Virginia Keeler.

MSSD Eagles Fly Across the Country for Winter Tournaments In January, the basketball teams participated in the Clerc Classic in Riverside, California. The boys

team finished third while the girls team lost in the consolation game. Our cheerleading squad had a strong performance. Dalton Arnes (boys basketball), Katryna Baldiviez (cheerleading), and Lori Eldred (girls basketball) earned all-tournament honors. The wrestling team captured the Duals Championship for the second year in a row at the Willigan Tournament in Austin, Texas. Ten of our wrestlers also earned an individual medal—five gold, three silver, and two bronze.

MSSD Winter League Play

the girls team finished 7-15. Earl Edwards, Idy Fass, and Belva Wolcott earned MISAL All-League Honorable Mentions. Dalton Arnes was named to the MISAL First Team. For their recognition, these players were selected to play in the MISAL all-star game.

In February, both the basketball teams finished strong in league play, with the boys team taking the MISAL Capitol Division championship. The boys team finished with a 15-7 record while

The wrestling team finished with a 13-1 dual record, winning the MAWL championship for the second year in a row and placing third out of 12 teams in the DC City Championships.

The wrestling team was named “National Deaf Prep Team of the Year” by the National Deaf Interscholastic Athletic Association.

MSSD Spring Sports The baseball and softball teams competed in the Hoy Tournament XII in Frederick, Maryland. The softball team placed second in the league with an 11-6 record. A young baseball team finished their season with a 3-10-1 record. The track and field team saw good performance, with most of the tracksters having improved their time and/or marks. The young rugby team went 0-8 for the season. The highlight was hosting the Royal New Zealand Air Force Rugby team and the Perry Street Prep Charter School Pride rugby team on May 21. The New Zealand team demonstrated and taught the MSSD and Pride teams about Maori culture and showed them how to perform the HAKA war chant! n

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2013 Odyssey Issue Focuses on Special Education and Related Services

The 2013 issue of Odyssey, the Clerc Center’s magazine for educators and families, is now available. This year’s issue, the largest produced in the history of the publication, includes 20 articles by a total of 26 authors on topics related to accessing appropriate special education and related services for deaf and hard of hearing students. “The educational landscape is changing rapidly...The tsunamilike wave of advances in early identification, medicine, and technology and in educational practice, policy, and accountability create both opportunity and risk for the students we serve,” said Ed Bosso, vice president of the


Clerc Center, in his introductory letter to the issue. “The stories in this issue of Odyssey illustrate the complexities and challenges faced in obtaining and providing appropriate services for deaf and hard of hearing students. ...It is my hope that these articles are a catalyst for dialogue and necessary change.” The 2013 Odyssey contributors address these issues and more in the following articles: n Letter from the Vice President by Edward Bosso n It’s the Law! A Review of the Laws That Provide Americans with Access for All by Barbara Raimondo

n Generation to Generation: The Fight for Language Access Continues by Travis Zellner n A Rural School Educator Builds Student Learners Through Access to Curriculum, SelfAdvocacy, and Connections to the Deaf Community by Megan Mathisen n When the Least Restrictive Environment is Residential: Meeting the Needs of Our Son by Djenne-Amal Morris n The Great Self-Advocacy Wave! Mom Teaches Most Important Lesson: “Explain!” by Joey Lynn Resciniti

n Connecting Schoolwork to Life Work: Students Practice Setting Their Own Educational Goals by Theresa Johnson, John A. Serrano, and Daniel Veit n Individualizing Deaf Education Services: More Important Than Ever Before by Janet DesGeorges n Fostering Skills in SelfAdvocacy: A Key to Access in School and Beyond by John L. Luckner and Sharon J. Becker n Advocating for Children and Their Families Within the School System: Reflections of a Long-Time Special Education Advocate by Ruth C. Heitin n Minnesota Brings Together Stakeholders to Develop a Plan for Children Who are Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing by Mary Hartnett

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n Essential in Ensuring Access to Services: A Teacher of the Deaf by Heather Stinson n Beyond the Clinic: Providing Services, Supports, and Connections to Help Children and Their Families Thrive by Kevin J. Nolan, Jr. n Creating Community: Balancing the Personal and Professional by Connie Stevens n Transition Specialists Partner with Students to Turn Dreams into Reality by Ann Flannery n Educational Interpreters: Meeting the Communication Needs of Children with Cochlear Implants by Julie Melton and Renée Higbee

n Standing Up for Our Children by Christine Griffin n To Save a Son by Sherri Zummo n Child First: A Belief, an Attitude, and a Path to Change by Jane Mulholland n For Parents and Children Access is Key—To Curriculum, to Services, and to Each Other by Jodee S. Crace, Jennifer Ronco, and Tami Hossler n The Back Page: The Parent and the Advocate Within by T. Alan Hurwitz Odyssey is available at no cost. E-mail to subscribe today. n

n Section 504—The 1973 Law Still Makes a Difference by Beth Ann Dobson


We Believe We Can Fly – The KDES Class of 2013 farewell speech entitled, “I Believe I Can Fly.” She started as a shy three-year-old at KDES and became friends with classmate Jason Cruz, who became her best friend for 10 years. Coles admitted to being silly and a bit of a troublemaker until the eighth grade, when she learned to focus, work hard, and reach her goal of “making my mom and my family proud of me.”

KDES 2013 honorees: Anisha Calhoun, Jason Cruz, Azahri Rilley, Chanice Coles, and Elizaveta Shanuarina cut their celebration cake following the Honorees Recognition Day ceremony held on June 5.

The KDES community celebrated five honorees at a promotion ceremony. The honorees for this year were: Anisha Calhoun, Chanice Coles, Jason Cruz, Azahri Rilley, and Elizaveta Shanuarina. The theme of their celebration was, “We Believe We Can Fly.” The honorees chose Susan Schatz, who this past year led the transitional administrative team at KDES and is coordinator of


Instructional Support, as their guest speaker. Schatz presented a video called “Continuing Your Story,” in which she read a book on the accomplishments of the honorees so far. The video ended with Schatz staring at the final page, which was marked “High School,” and she said she was looking forward to reading more and having each of the honorees continue their story. Honoree Chanice Coles gave a

Jason Cruz presented the class gift, an original piece of ASL handshape artwork created by the students with inspiration from the artist Jasper Johns. It was titled “ASL Rocks” and is a superimposition of the outlines of the handshapes for “A,” “S,” “L,” and “rock-n-roll.”

Other performances included an interpretation of the national anthem, a dance called “We are Strong,” an ASL number story, and two song performances of “Without You” and “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday.” Vice president Ed Bosso and Schatz presented the students with their graduation certificates. Family and friends gathered afterwards for a reception in the school cafeteria. n

MSSD Celebrates 42nd Commencement Exercises with her throughout high school. She made a point of explaining that when people do something nice for others, sometimes they forget about it immediately but it often is remembered and deeply appreciated by those who receive the gesture. She shared this quote from an unknown person, “Love what you have. Need what you want. Accept what you receive. Give what you can. Always remember, what goes around, comes around.” Valedictorian Rebecca Hoffman addressed the graduating class and talked about seizing opportunities at MSSD and throughout life.

The rain poured down, but the MSSD Class of 2013 kept up their Eagle spirit throughout their graduation ceremonies held on June 7 in Gallaudet University’s Elstad Auditorium. Valedictorian Rebecca Hoffman, from Chicago, and salutatorian Amberlin Hines, from Silver Spring, Maryland, gave remarks at the ceremony. Hoffman focused on life as a path through the forest with many choices. When she came to MSSD as a junior, she decided to immerse herself in school activities, taking on the lead role in the fall play two years in a row, playing on the basketball and softball teams, and serving as the Student Body Government vice president. “YOLO. You only live once!” she told the crowd, and said transferring to MSSD was the best decision she ever made. Hines recalled acts of kindness she received at the start of her freshman year and how those gestures stuck

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The commencement speaker was Matthew Lockhart, an alumnus who shared his experiences as a MSSD student during the history-making Deaf President Now (DPN) week in 1988 and how that influenced his career. Lockhart is director of the Policy and Oversight Division at the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He received his bachelor’s degree in math from Gallaudet University and his master’s degree in business administration from the University

of Maryland. Lockhart shared how, if not for his years at MSSD and the civil rights impact of DPN, he doubted he would have the career he does today. It was at MSSD where he seriously pursued math and many other interests, and it was during DPN when he realized there were no limits to ambition. Student performances were given, including a performance called, “If You Want It, Fight for It!” by Kristen Lavallee. Classmates and roommates Adele Fass and Mariola Kimmel performed “One Crazy Ride,” a madcap and poignant duet ASL poem that touched on the events of their past four years with sometimes converging and sometimes diverging perspectives. Congratulations to all our 37 senior graduates and their families! We wish you well in your future and look forward to your return for MSSD alumni events. You are now part of an alumni network that numbers more than 2,000 members! n

A long-standing tradition continues: The decorating of graduation caps and gowns.


Folklore and Fables Go From Page to Stage The moral of “Cheetah Mocks Tiger” was not to mock people.

First and second graders at KDES transformed classic folklore and fables from the printed page to a stage performance for family, friends, and the school community as the culminating project for their third quarter unit. The students selected folktales that reflected themes of fairness and friendship. The students created the fables as part of their writer’s workshop lessons. Teachers Heidi Burns and Katrina Aristy read many folktales and fables with students to give them a sense of the story structure typical of that genre. Afterwards, each student worked on creating a main character, then chose a moral and developed a story. As part of the story writing, each student researched information


about the animal he or she selected as his or her title character. The students wanted to bring their stories to life as a stage performance. To create visuals for their show, the students worked with art teacher Emily Blachly to make animal masks, costumes, and stage scenery. Blachly added another element to the project by showing the students how they could incorporate “found” or recycled materials into their designs. On February 8, family, friends, and KDES students, teachers, and staff gathered in the KDES auditorium for the performance. The stage design was a scene that could be adapted to look like the jungle or the ocean. The show began with a

rendition of the classic fairy tale, “The Three Little Pigs.” The next part of the show featured video clips of the students presenting their animal research, followed by live performances of the fables. The main fable characters included: an elephant, a cheetah, a tiger, a dolphin, a seal, and a toucan. The morals included messages of being understanding, not mocking people, standing up to bullies, being a true friend, and asking for help. Following the show, the student cast invited their family members to a special reception. At the reception held in the open piazza area, family members viewed displays of the children’s story books, animal research projects, and performance masks. n

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Get news on KDES, MSSD, and our national mission work.

@ClercCenter - Fall 2013  

Get news on KDES, MSSD, and our national mission work.