- Crowley Independent School District
- Deaf Awareness
Deaf Awareness Week is a national week of celebrating deafness. The week focuses on promoting the positive aspects of deafness, encouraging social inclusion, and raising awareness of the organizations that support those who are deaf. In 2022, Deaf Awareness Week runs from Sunday, Sept. 18 through Saturday, Sept. 24.
Take a look back at last year's Deaf Awareness Week by clicking on the following link: 2021 Deaf Awareness Week Home.
2022 Deaf Awareness Week Information
Did You Know?
Did You Know?
• Crowley ISD serves as the Regional Day School Program for the Deaf (RDSPD) for our district as well as six other surrounding school districts and entities. We serve 125 students who range in age from 2 months to 18 years old.
• Crowley ISD RDSPD students who are deaf or hard of hearing advance through the Crowley High School feeder pattern — beginning at Deer Creek Elementary School, then Richard Allie Middle School before moving on to Crowley Ninth Grade and CHS.
• Crowley ISD has 12 interpreters for deaf students. Interpreters provide visual access to spoken language for students, staff and community stakeholders who are deaf or hard of hearing, allowing them an equal opportunity to participate in all school-related activities.
• Crowley High School offers a class called, “Navigating Life for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.” Students in this class learn about hearing health, audiology, assistive technology, available support services and accommodations as well as self-determination, advocacy and Deaf culture.
• Deaf and hard of hearing students in Crowley ISD over the years have participated in many programs and activities, including Talonettes, Basketball, Football, Softball, Cheerleading, Crowley Collegiate Academy as well as Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses such as Culinary, Graphic Design, Cosmetology and Automotive.
Stay tuned this week to meet some of the awesome members of our Crowley ISD deaf and hard of hearing community! #DeafAwarenessWeek #CrowleyPrideUnified
Meet Amy BennettIt’s #DeafAwarenessWeek, and we are excited to spotlight some of our CISD deaf and hard-of-hearing family members! Tonight, meet Crowley High School deaf education teacher Amy Bennett, who has worked in Crowley ISD for four years."Amy Bennett is a teacher with a heart for her students and all those around her,“ Shannon Johnson, Bennett's program coordinator, said. "She has a drive to see that her students receive everything they need, whether it’s educational, a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear. Amy makes you feel like you are special and are important to her, and I couldn’t do my day to day without her."
Learn more about Bennett in the Q&A below:Tell us a fun/interesting fact about yourself.I am a Disney fanatic! I go every year for a weekend in October to celebrate my birthday!What do you teach at Crowley High School and what do you enjoy about it?I teach English 2, English 3, U.S. History and World History as well as Navigating Life for Students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing. What I enjoy most about teaching English is spotlighting Deaf authors, adding Deaf History alongside both history classes and teaching my students how to be successful after high school.How long have you been deaf, what was it like growing up deaf and what challenges has it brought?My parents learned of my hearing loss when I was 6 years old. I have a younger brother who is profoundly deaf and a younger sister who has moderate to severe hearing loss in one ear. My hearing has worsened over the years, and I now have moderate to severe hearing loss in one ear and severe to profound in the other. Growing up, I always sat in the front of the room, near the teacher. I received my first set of hearing aids when I was 8 years old. I did not wear them very long. At the time, my parents were not aware that I would be able to have an interpreter in my classes. I can remember some very embarrassing moments in school of misunderstanding directions or comments because I could not hear or make out sounds correctly.How do you overcome those challenges?My parents were very supportive of my brother and made sure that he had the best education possible for him. They taught me how to advocate for others. My parents were on the front line of many changes in the law in my home state, even fighting for transportation for my brother to attend a residential school for the Deaf.Tell us about your family.My parents were foster parents for many years and even adopted my younger sister when she was 4. I have eight nieces and nephews, four grandchildren and one more on the way. I am a proud Army Mom, and mom to Della, my Husky mix; Iggy and Little Man, our cats, and mom to four rats! My husband and I have six children between us, and we are both very proud of all of them. I'm also working on my Masters in Deaf Education and will graduate in May.What do students learn in the Navigating Life class you teach?Navigating Life for Students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing teaches our students how to navigate life and handle the challenges they will face when they leave high school. We learn how to request accommodation in college, how to request interpreting services for medical appointments and how to advocate for themselves. We also focus on strategies to repair communication breakdowns, how to read and explain our audiograms and explain our hearing loss.Talk about what it means to you to be a part of the deaf community and the pride you feel in that.It wasn’t until I was older that I really began to understand what it means to be a part of the deaf community. I am proud of our history, as dark and as difficult as it was. I live in two worlds, both the hearing and the deaf world. The fact that I can help my students who struggle with living in both worlds, helps me to understand the challenges they face.What do you want people with hearing to know about people who are deaf?Do not underestimate what we can do. There are so many *D/deaf people out there with amazing life stories. Actors, actresses, doctors, lawyers, teachers. We may not be able to hear, but we are as capable as anyone else. We have many successful alumni from CHS who have gone on to become successful business owners, teachers and many other amazing careers.What are some misconceptions you’d like to correct?This biggest misconception I would like to correct is that having a hearing loss can look different for everyone. Some, like myself, are post-lingually deaf, which means I can speak just as well as anyone else, even though I cannot hear. In large groups, I depend on an interpreter; in small one-on-one situations, I do not. Some, like my students, are profoundly deaf, but are just as intelligent as anyone else.What advice do you have for hearing people on how to become more inclusive of people who are deaf?Be open to learning. Have patience. Learn sign - even a few words can make the difference.
*Note: There is a distinction between lowercase d and uppercase D in the deaf community. To read more about these and other deaf terms, visit: National Association of the Deaf Website.
Meet Haeven AbabioIn recognition of #DeafAwarenessWeek, tonight, meet Deer Creek Elementary School fifth-grader Haeven Ababio, an aspiring teacher who loves to dance! "Haeven is a huge helper in the classroom," her teacher Carrie Geoffrion said. “She is very smart, hardworking, and I love that she loves to come to school, not only to be with her friends but to work and learn new things.”
Learn more about Haeven in the Q&A below:I really like science because I like to put things together.What activities or hobbies do you participate in, and what do you enjoy about those?I really like to dance. I like to dance because I want to perform in front of a lot of people and they can watch me dance.What is your favorite book to read and why?Lady and the Tramp. I really like how they eat spaghetti together and then they kiss at the end.What do you want to be when you grow up and why?I want to be a kindergarten teacher, just like my teachers. I like helping other people and kids.What do you like to do when you’re not at school?I like to play on my phone, eat snacks, relax, talk to my family and then go to bed.What do you think about being deaf?Sometimes I feel alone. I don’t like people always asking me why I have this implant on my head. I feel like I have to tell them, even though I don’t want to sometimes.How long have you been deaf, and what challenges has it brought?I was born deaf. It’s hard sometimes because I can’t always hear people talking to me or calling me. At home sometimes I don’t hear my mom calling me, and my brother will come and yell at me, “Mom is trying to call you." One time I left the water running in the sink because I couldn’t hear it. Luckily, it didn’t run over.How do you overcome those challenges? Who or what helps you?My implant helps me and other people tell me things sometimes if I don’t hear them. My teachers and interpreters help me too. I feel happy when my teachers and interpreters help me in class and when others talk to me.What are some of the positive aspects of being deaf that people might not know?I am happy that I have deaf friends. My friends and I like to play outside on the playground and chase each other.*Interviews were conducted through a sign language interpreter.
Meet Kevin BrandHey Crowley ISD family! Let's meet tonight's #DeafAwarenessWeek spotlight - Richard Allie Middle School seventh-grader Kevin Brand, who has attended Crowley ISD schools since Pre-K!
"Kevin is a happy-go-lucky student who is always ready to work! He is determined to do his best in every task presented to him," deaf education teacher Alexandra Calva said. "I love his willingness to learn new things! He doesn’t let anything stop him from being successful. Nothing can stand in his way!"Learn more about Kevin in the Q&A below:Tell us a fun/interesting fact about yourself.Hmmm, I am hearing impaired!What is your favorite meal?My favorite meal is at Taco Casa. I order the enchiladas!What is your favorite TV Show?Lego Masters. I like that show because I use Legos all the time.What is your favorite subject or favorite part of school?My favorite thing is my CTE class, Gateway to Technology. I enjoy it because there is a 3-D printer!What do you want to be when you grow up and why?I want to be an audiologist like our school audiologist Mrs. Nancy. I want to be an audiologist because I know how to work the mic and the hearing aids.How long have you been deaf, and what challenges has it brought?I was born deaf. There haven’t been any challenges, really. I can do the same things hearing students can do.How do you overcome those challenges? Who or what helps you?My parents are very helpful. My parents teach me that I am just like every other kid — I just can’t hear. They don’t treat me different than other kids. They’ve showed me it’s OK to be deaf.What do you think about being deaf?I think it’s good to deaf because I’m lucky I can take out my hearing aid and hear nothing. Hearing people can’t do that.What do you want people with hearing to know about people who are deaf?That I know sign language and that it’s a cool language!What would you like for people to know about you that they may not know?I want people to know that I was born with one bone in both arms and that deaf people can do anything.*Interviews were conducted through a sign language interpreter.
Meet Savanah SanchezWe have TWO more spotlights for #DeafAwarenessWeek! Tonight, meet Savanah Sanchez, a Crowley 9th Grade student and softball player who is hard of hearing."Savanah is such a ray of sunshine, and I am so happy that she's in my fifth period Biology Pre-AP class," Tracy Abram, CH9 biology teacher, said. "She's not afraid to ask questions if she needs clarification. One thing that I love and appreciate about her is that she's a quiet warrior and works diligently to accomplish her goals. She makes me smile, and I am blessed to have her as a student."
Learn more about Savanah in the Q&A below:What is your favorite subject or favorite part of school and why is it your favorite?My favorite part of school is softball. It is my favorite because I like working hard during practice.What clubs, sports or extracurricular activities are you involved in, and what do you enjoy about those?I am on the softball team for Crowley. I am also taking all Pre-AP Classes. I like how we must work together as a team in softball, and I just like the sport. My grades are important to me, and Pre-AP makes sure I stay on top of my grades.Tell us more about softball. How long have you played the sport, and what’s it like to be hard of hearing and play softball?I have been playing softball since I was 10. When I first started it was hard to learn the positions and where to run. I use hearing aids when I am on the field to help me understand what is going on.How does it work?If I get sweaty, I have to put my hearing aids in a container to make sure that my hearing aids don’t get wet. I also have been working with my coach to learn signs to signal the plays.How long have you been hard of hearing, and what challenges has it brought?I’ve been hard of hearing since I was born. I got my first hearing aids when I was 2. Since I am hard of hearing, I used to have lots of problems with my speech, but now I am better. Masks were a big problem because it made it hard to understand what people were saying.How do you overcome those challenges? Who or what helps you?My mom signed me up for deaf ed in elementary school and it helped! Deaf ed taught me how to sign, it helped me with speech and helped me meet other people with hearing loss.Describe what you can and cannot hear and how there are different levels of hearing loss.Without my hearing aids I would say I have about 70% of my hearing. I would rather not wear my hearing aids because it bothers me. They do help, but sometimes the noise is too much and gives me headaches. I like it when people sign to me in busy places or when it’s hard to understand what’s going on.What do you want people with hearing to know about people who are deaf and hard of hearing? What are some misconceptions you’d like to correct?I would like people to know just because I am hard of hearing does not mean that I cannot hear anything. I also don’t like when I am signing that everyone stares at me. I wish that people knew that hard of hearing doesn’t mean deaf. Being hard of hearing is really different than being deaf. Hard of hearing is like you can hear sometimes but not all the time. You can use a hearing aid to help you hear better.Why is it important that people understand the difference?It is important for people to understand the difference because when I tell them I’m hard of hearing, they will then know I can communicate by myself. If someone is deaf, you might not be able to communicate with them as easily.What are some positive aspects of being deaf?I think a positive thing about being hard of hearing is that I know English and sign language.
*Interview conducted through a sign language interpreter.
Meet Roman AlvarezFor our final #DeafAwarenessWeek spotlight, we are so excited for you to meet Roman Alvarez — the first deaf/hard-of-hearing student to attend Crowley Collegiate Academy!
"I have had the privilege of being Roman’s teacher for the past two years," CCA teacher Christina Rothardt said. "I can always speak highly of his incredible work ethic and his commitment to his studies; but it is willingness to help others and his sense of humor that I admire and appreciate most as his teacher. He brings a true sense of honesty and genuineness to the classroom."
Learn more about Roman in the Q&A below:What’s a fun/interesting fact about yourself?I’m the first deaf/hard-of-hearing (DHH) student attending Crowley Collegiate Academy. I’m the only DHH person in my family, and I love teaching my family about my DHH culture. Another interesting fact about myself, I’m trilingual and speak English, Spanish and American Sign Language.What is your favorite subject or favorite part of the school, and why?My favorite subject in school is mathematics, especially Calculus. Calculus is very interesting to me. I’m learning so many materials and tools from the most extraordinary math teacher, Mrs. Rothardt.What extracurricular activities are you involved in, and what’s cool about those?I’m currently in CCA Spanish Club and was previously involved in soccer as the varsity soccer team’s soccer manager. I joined CCA Spanish Club this year because I want to try something new and create a different routine.What do you plan on doing after graduation?I’m planning to go to a four-year college, the University of North Texas, for my bachelor’s and master’s degrees and Gallaudet University (a university for DHH) to obtain my doctorate degree in Audiology.How long have you had a hearing loss and what kinds of challenges do you face with a hearing loss?My hearing loss began at the age of 2 when I was prescribed my first hearing aid for my right ear. By the time I was 4 years old, my hearing on my right ear was completely gone and that’s when I was prescribed my cochlear implant from the Med-El company, and a hearing aid was prescribed for my left ear as well. Challenges I’ve faced are communication, understanding phrases and instructions and learning how to pronounce, which in turn have affected most aspects of my educational process.How do you overcome the challenges of having a hearing loss?I overcame the challenges of having a hearing loss by letting people know that I’m DHH at school and work. Having accommodations (interpreting services, Note-Taking Express, CART, get presentations and documents before class and FM system) has been a great help. I also advocate for myself when needed, and educate non-DHH people about hearing loss, cochlear implant and hearing aids and DHH culture.You are the first DHH student to attend CCA — how does that make you feel?I feel great because I saw it as a new challenge. I decided to take this opportunity of being the first DHH student to attend CCA to demonstrate to others and to my fellow DHH students that with hard work we too have the capability to complete this CCA program. I’m ready to graduate with my high school diploma and Associate of Arts degree.What kinds of things are different about being at CCA than at the regular high school?Crowley Collegiate Academy is more focused. It requires students to be mature and has more responsibilities than high school. It exposes you to an accelerated learning environment. This program will help you graduate from high school better prepared for college and able to successfully complete a college degree. It teaches you to set goals and assists you in reaching these goals. The CCA helps prepare you to strengthen your leadership and career readiness skills.Why did you choose CCA rather than attend Crowley High School?When I first heard about Crowley Collegiate Academy, I felt like this could be a great opportunity for my future. Also, I chose to attend CCA because it was an opportunity to push myself. When I heard there were no other DHH students participating in CCA, I wanted to become the first DHH student to attend CCA because I want to show people that being DHH does not limit us.What do you want people to know about having a hearing loss? What are some misconceptions you want to correct?Having a hearing loss means hearing loss. Hearing loss does not mean illiterate (unable to read and write). Hearing loss does not mean mute (unable to speak). Hearing loss does not mean blind. For instance, I can read and write, speak and see, but the only difference is I don’t hear exactly what a person without hearing loss hears. Even though I have enhanced hearing from my hearing aid and cochlear implant, I still miss some words. That’s why I have my accommodations from Crowley ISD and Tarrant College County District.