Philadelphia School District holds first Deaf and Hard of Hearing Expo

Philadelphia School District Deaf and Hard of Hearing Expo.
Photo credit Mike DeNardo/KYW Newsradio
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Philadelphia School District is making a special effort to connect its hard of hearing students with the help and services available to them.  

The school district has special programs for deaf and hard of hearing students at three of its buildings: Bache-Martin Elementary, and Hancock Elementary and Lincoln High School. There are also teachers who move from building to building, says the district's Dr. Nyshawana Francis-Thompson.

"We have three buildings that have specialized programs. But we also have a model in which we have interpreters and deaf and hard of hearing teachers working across different buildings to support students in their least restrictive environment," Francis-Thompson said.

Students learn about services and college options at @PHLschools’ first Deaf and Hard of Hearing Expo.

— Mike DeNardo (@_MikeDeNardo) March 4, 2020

But on Wednesday, there was more. 

It was the district's first Deaf and Hard of Hearing Expo. Two dozen tables were set up at school headquarters, where students could learn about community services, hearing aids and captioning devices. It was also an opportunity for students to discover help inside and outside school.

District sign language interpreter Thea Tynes says perhaps the most popular table was the one for Gallaudet University.

"But when they came to Gallaudet, the crowd was amazing. People were signing up — 'There's a college! There's a college for me!  There's a college for deaf people!' And every one of them signed that paper," Tynes said. 

There are about 500 deaf or hard of hearing students in Philadelphia schools.