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Panel on deaf/hard of hearing students’ options is open to the public

Feb 21, 2019

On Feb. 27 at the Student Center on Flagler College’s campus, representatives from Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (FSDB), the St. Johns County School District and Flagler College, will host a panel to discuss the options available to the community’s students who are deaf or hard of hearing. The event is “Educating as a Team.” It is free and the public is encouraged to attend.

Panelists scheduled to participate include FSDB Administrator of Instructional Services Tracie Snow, Sonia Howley, program specialist for the school district, Flagler College deaf education lab Director Kim Nichols and Flagler College Assistant Professor and Coordinator for the deaf education undergraduate program Dr. Michella Maiorana-Basas.

Flagler student Jessica Peterson grew up with a deaf neighbor and after not being able to communicate with her for years, was finally able to take American Sign Language classes in high school and learn to communicate. Here in St. Augustine, she quickly recognized a need in the community for parents to express frustrations, share advice and ask questions. As Flagler has a Deaf Awareness Club, she got involved and deemed the club as the perfect vehicle in which to propose such an event.

She intends for this panel discussion to serve as a judgement-free zone where the community can ask questions about controversial topics. An example includes residential schooling versus mainstreaming.

“The end goal is to have somewhere to go and ask questions,” said Peterson.

Additionally, the Deaf Awareness Club has made it even easier to ask the tough questions by providing a link to post your question completely anonymously. Please visit here to submit a question to the panelists. Questions are not required to be submitted beforehand.

Sign language interpreters will be present.

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