Services for Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

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Services for Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing are designed to prevent the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs among deaf and hard of hearing individuals, from kindergarten through 12th grade. Students who are deaf or hard of hearing are naturally at higher risk for drug and alcohol abuse because of their increased difficulties with learning, communicating, isolation, depression and family connection. One out of ten hearing people may become dependent on drugs and alcohol, whereas one out of seven individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may become dependent.


Services for students who are deaf or hard of hearing include:



Alcohol, tobacco, and other Drug Classes

Weekly classes are offered in Davidson County Metro schools classrooms designed for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, K-8 grades.
Classes are taught using American Sign Language and are presented in a visual format so that the students can easily understand the information.
Along with offering information on alcohol, tobacco, and drugs, other topics include: self-esteem, conflict resolution, anger management, and problem solving.

STARS offers in-home services that work one-on-one with the families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Services focus on teaching the families American Sign Language and offer any additional support needed whether it be counseling, resources, or educational support.

Statistics show that eighty percent (80%) of children who are deaf or hard of hearing are born to parents who can hear, and only twenty-three percent (23%) of those parents learn to communicate through American Sign Language.

STARS offers services at two after-school programs:

Bridges-Mary McKinney Youth Center and Brentwood Baptist Deaf Church.

The after-school programs are for students K-12 who are deaf or hard of hearing and offer services such as educational tutoring,  life skills, and constructive recreation.

Camp Rise and Sign: STARS offers services at Bridges ‘Camp Rise and Sign’ that is held every May. This is a three-day camp for youth ages 6-18 who are deaf or hard of hearing and their siblings.

Camp Summer Sign: STARS also offers services at “Camp Summer Sign” at Brentwood Baptist Deaf Church. This camp runs for eight weeks during the summer and is for deaf or hard of hearing children and their siblings ages 6-16.

A weekend retreat focuses on career and job planning as well as college preparedness.

College & Career Readiness Retreat for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

This three-day, all-inclusive retreat is designed to guide students who are deaf and hard of hearing through the college and job application process.

The weekend includes fun activities and informational workshops, including:

•             Interest Testing

•             College Options

•             How to Pay for College

•             Understanding Vocational Rehabilitation Services

•             Understanding Your Rights (as a person who is deaf or HOH)

•             Interview Skills and Best Practices

•             Understanding SSI and the Benefit of Working

Students are introduced to deaf or hard of hearing professionals and college admission counselors who offer programs specifically for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Prevention & Education Meritorious Award

Awarded by NCADD (National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence)

Health Care Provider Award

Awarded to Laura Lekowicz by Mayors Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities

STARS welcomes and will serve individuals with both mental health and substance use disorders. We believe that every door is the right door to gain access to appropriate services in the integrated system of care.

STARS does not discriminate on the grounds of race, religion, creed, color, sex or national origin. No one shall be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any of STARS programs or activities. STARS is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
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