Services for Students Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
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:
In-school 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 (www.hearingbridges.org)
Brentwood Baptist Deaf Church (www. brentwooddeaf.org)
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 at camp Marymount. This is a three-day camp for youth ages 6-18 who are deaf or hard of hearing and their siblings. www.hearingbridges.org
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. www.brentwooddeaf.org
Post-Secondary Education Focus
STARS, in collaboration with the Library Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (www.tndeaflibrary.nashville.gov) and Bridges, in collaboration with the Tennessee Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, hosts an annual Career Day event. This event takes place every March at the Downtown Library and is open for all middle through high school students who are deaf or hard of heraing. Students, teachers, and parents travel from as far as Kentucky and East Tennessee to participate in the event.
Career Day focuses on exposing and educating students who are deaf or hard of hearing about college and careers goals. Professionals who are deaf or hard of hearing from all over the country come to speak with the students about their current careers and steps they took to accomplish their goals.
Every year STARS takes eight high school students on a trip to visit a college that offers services for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. During the trip, students are allowed the opportunity to tour the campus, meet with academic advisors, attend a student panel discussion, participate in college classes, and establish a full career plan. Students also have the opportunity to visit professionals who are deaf or hard of hearing at their place of work for exposure to different career options.
Colleges visited in the past include: Galladuet Universtiy in Washington DC, National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID at RIT) in Rochester, NY, California State University Northridge-National Center on Deafness (CSUN) in Northridge California, Jackson State University (JSU) in Jackson, Alabama, and Utah Valley State College.
Award winning program
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
Brentwood Baptist Deaf Church www.brentwooddeaf.org
Bridges-Serving the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Hearing Communities www.hearingbridges.org
Library Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing www.tndeaflibrary.nashville.gov
Tennessee Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing www.tn.org