Solano County Office of Education teacher, Katherine Reyes, making a difference for the deaf and hard-of-hearing:

Helping Deaf Students Be Heard

I lost my hearing at a young age. The first school I attended was a public school near my home in Los Angeles. Being the only deaf child at that school didn’t work out, and I was transferred to a special classroom for the deaf out of town. I learned sign language and started to thrive. However, my parents wanted me to listen and speak, so they enrolled me in a private oral school where I had intensive instruction in lip reading and speech for five years before I was mainstreamed into a public middle school.

That’s when things started to fall apart. Even with my oral training, I couldn’t keep up with the rapid auditory pace in the classroom. By the time I got to high school, I had concluded that I could not learn. So I pulled myself out of school and got my GED.

Katherine Reyes
Katherine Reyes


Years later, I got lucky when I met a college counselor who was also deaf and who helped me enroll in community college classes with sign language interpreters. I not only found out that I loved to learn; after I got involved in disability studies, I discovered that it’s common practice to assume people with disabilities including the deafare incapable and hence socially inferior to the rest of the population.

Click here to read the full article.


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