Select Page
School for deaf and blind overcome obstacles of remote learning

School for deaf and blind overcome obstacles of remote learning

By Hannah Tiede| August 18, 2020 at 11:40 AM MST – Updated August 18 at 11:40 AM

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) – Schools across Pima County are starting classes remotely, but what if your child cannot hear? Or see? Or both? This adds a whole new set of obstacles to an already challenging school year.

The Arizona State School for the Deaf and Blind in Tucson says it’s not letting anything get in the way of education.

“Unlike other schools in Tucson, we serve students across the state,” said Principal Kelly Creasy. “As far as Tuba City, Yuma, Page.”

On Monday, transportation employees drove across Arizona, delivering school supplies to 116 students.

“Every tote that we are sending out to students is really specifically catered to their needs,” said Creasy. “We have been looking at the Governor’s order, looking at the local health officials and just talking to everyone involved. A lot of our kids have underlying health conditions so that played a role in our decision making.”

Classes will remain online at least until October in accordance with the recommendations from Pima County health officials.

Teachers like Latrina Lewis are already feeling a void in their students’ absence. 

“Oh, tremendously!” Lewis signed. “I miss seeing them in person, yes.”

On Tuesday, August 18th, Lewis will log onto Zoom for the first day of class.

“I will be videotaping myself in sign language, letting them know the instructions, our schedule,” she signed.

Students with hearing impairments were sent a Chromebook.

“[And our blind students] use braille NoteTouches, which is a braille device almost like a laptop,” Creasy said.

The principal says students who are both deaf and blind face additional hurtles with remote learning.

“That’s where it gets a little trickier and that’s where we really count on working with parents,” Creasy said.

She adds it won’t be forever.

“Our goal is to have our students on campus,” said Creasy. “That’s really what we wanted right from the get-go. So, as soon as it’s safe to do so, that’s our plan.”

Braille Challenge 2020

Braille Challenge 2020

Earlier this year our school hosted the Braille Institute’s #BrailleChallenge. Many of our students worked hard in the competition and won awards. Two of our students made it all the way to the Braille Challenge 2020 FINALS!We wanted to congratulate our two finalists from the ASDB Tucson Campus!Ciara Peterson competed in the Junior Varsity category and Joey Parra competed in the Varsity category. We are so proud of you both for all of your hard work!Way to go Sentinels!

Alt-text: attached is an image, it has the braille challenge logo at the top which consists of 6 dots all different colors, and text that reads “Braille Challenge”. the rest of the image reads: Congratulations for making it to the 2020 finals” On the left and right sides of the image are photos of Ciara and Joey during the challenge with their braille writers, wearing blue Braille Challenge face masks. The ASDB logo is at the bottom.