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Organization works to help deaf, hard of hearing students as the start of school nears

Posted at 2:55 PM, Aug 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-03 09:42:31-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - It's back to school for many students across the state, even if it means doing it in front of a computer.

Online learning presents its challenges, and for children who are deaf, hard of hearing or blind, this also holds true.

“It’s not a one size fits all for communication," said Sherri Collins, the Executive Director for the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Collins says there are certain challenges teachers of children who are deaf, hard of hearing or blind are working to overcome.

"When a school is using any video for a part of the classroom instruction then you have to send it off to make sure that information includes interpreting to translate that education material including captioning so you have to plan ahead," said Collins.

Collins added doing prep work, like getting videos captioned, or even getting interpreters has to be done in a timely manner.

“Are they preparing all their instruction material remotely in a timely manner while students are learning at the same time," said Collins.

She added that along with helping some of this prep work get done, her organization is also working on helping distribute even more clear face masks for school districts in need.

“There are so many requests, many are from the school system," said Collins.

While many schools have yet to determine when they'll return to in-person learning, Collins says her organization is there to help families when they need it most.

“We have resources, we have staff who can assist," she said.