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Dallas ISD gives hearing impaired students more options with deaf ed inclusion program

DALLAS – The Dallas Independent School District is making sure it has options for families of students who are hearing impaired.

Oral Education classes are available at Sudie Williams Elementary School. It is a change from traditional sign language-focused programs. Staff at Sudie Williams says the program is working.

They call it the ‘Little School with Big Heart.’ At Sudie Willaims Elementary School, assisting children with hearing challenges is what is making the campus body whole.

Principal Michael Jackson says the campus is focusing on oral deaf education by including all hearing impaired students into general education classes.

“Our students do not sign,” Jackson explained. ‘However, they use different hearing apparatus to make up for the challenges that they have auditorily.”

Jackson says the oral deaf education inclusion program is unique, because it is the only one of its kind in Dallas ISD, and gives families options because other campuses offer sign language programs.

Each classroom has two instructors – one general education and one skilled in deaf education.

Dallas ISD is also provide the technology to help make the learning environment level for those students with cochlear and other hearing devices.

Deaf Ed teacher Abby Park wears a radio and synchs it to the student’s hearing device. The technology cuts out much of the background noise, giving hearing impaired students a greater chance at picking up the voice of their teacher.

“I think it is a game changer,” Park said. “It definitely benefits all the kids. There’s different learning styles that are going on. So, we are able to pinpoint all of the learning styles that kids have. And with the different learning styles, they are able to learn from each other.”

Administrators say most of the students at Sudie Williams are traveling in from surrounding communities and suburbs just to get access to the oral deaf education inclusion classes.

Jackson said, “Our kids, they learn to understand diversity, and inclusion, acceptance. They also learn that how success is a universal language that everybody can understand…and hear.”