Community Newsletter

January 11, 2021

Peter Bailey,
Head of School
Update from PSD
With the recent increase in the number of cases in the City of Philadelphia and the surrounding counties, we will have virtual learning for the first week of January and then have staff and students return to campus on Monday, January 11, 2021.

Masks in public spaces and when people cannot maintain social distancing are required. PSD will limit access for any nonessential visitors or volunteers, and cancel activities involving external groups or organizations until further notice.

The PSD Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that Dr. Harvey J. Corson (PSD Class of 1959) was nominated and voted unanimously to become an Emeritus Trustee of the Board.

Dr. Corson served as a Trustee of the School for 12 years in various positions on the Board, including the role of the Chair, before his term ended in June 2020. Peggy Steele, the Chair of the Board, stated, "Harvey has bee... See More
With deep regrets, we share this sad news about one of our School Psychologists, Michael P. Ralph, who passed away 12/17/2020. He was with PSD for the total of 18 years until his recent passing. Our deepest condolences and thoughts are with his wife and daughter.

From L to R, Peter Bailey , Michael Ralph’s daughter, and Michael Ralph standing. They took a picture together by a dessert auction winner. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mike's Family.
Sideline store is offering 20% off sale now through January 31st at 11:59 P.M. EST. This promotion is good for 20% off when you spend $85 or more!

Code: JAN21

Our very own PSD staff... The Last Words

Please take the opportunity to watch this recent-released movie,
The Last Words, starring our very own staff and alumnus, Eddie Buck.
This movie is also based on a true story! 

When you shop with AmazonSmile,
Amazon donates!
Easy as 1, 2, 3!

1) Visit
2) Choose your charity: Pennsylvania School for the Deaf
3) Make a purchase! --PSD will automatically receive 0.5% from AmazonSmile for every eligible purchase you make! 

Thank you!
PSD2020 Alumni Reunion Weekend – June 24 – 28, 2020. ALL Registration Money has been RETURNED – Here’s the link for the refund video.

FB – PSD 2020 Alumni Reunion and Website
For more information, please email Questions about registration, please email

Jenny, Marsha and Sara
Happy Monday! A week from now, the 26th annual Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service will be here. Virtual service projects, community conversations surrounding social justice and advocacy, donation drives, clean ups, workshops, and more will be happening. Learn more here.
On January 18th, Girard College will be open on to administer free COVID-19 tests to anyone in need. This event is in partnership with the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium! Tests will be administered to anyone who shows up to Girard College between 9am-12pm. Please pass this information along to your networks. Get Tested for COVID-19 at Girard College

Consider volunteering on/around King Day at
(in-person and virtual opportunities available)
Learn about the PA ABLE Savings Program!
Free webinar for individuals with disabilities, families and professionals.

A PA ABLE Savings Program account gives individuals with qualified disabilities (Eligible Individuals), and their families and friends a tax-free way to save for a wide range of disability-related expenses while maintaining government benefits. The state and federal tax-free investment options are offered to encourage Eligible Individuals and their families to save private funds to support health, independence, and quality of life.

Some of the topics that we will discuss include: eligibility requirements for opening a PA ABLE account, the federal and state tax benefits of PA ABLE, and how PA ABLE account interacts with current benefits.

Registration for Winter ASL Classes is Now Open!
Learn ASL from Deaf Instructors
Classes begin January 25, 2021
CLICK HERE to register!
ASDC Webinar - Deaf Culture 101 
This class is designed to introduce you to the unique aspects of Deaf culture and gain a broader understanding of the diversity within the Deaf community.

Day: Monday, January 25, 2021
Time: 8-10 PM (Eastern Time)
Teacher: Edna Johnston
Platform: Zoom (See sidebar for details)
Cost: $20*

*ASDC members, save $5 on registration!
Email for your discount code.
Not a member? Join ASDC here

Scholarship info for Deaf and/or HOH high school students. If you know anyone the guidelines and application are attached
Eligibility Criteria
1.            Applicant must be a graduating high school senior who is deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or has difficulty speaking.
2.            Applicant must be a resident of one of the following states: CA, DC, GA, ID, IA, KY, LA, MA, MD, MI, MT, NM, PA, UT, VA or WA. 
3.            Applicant must complete and submit application, essay, letter of recommendation and signed talent release form to be eligible.
4.            Scholarship will be awarded to the selected applicant in each state after the Hamilton Relay Scholarship Committee reviews all applications submitted on or before the posted deadline. Click below for guidelines and application.

Application Deadline January 30, 2021

Opened: 12.23.2020 and Closes: 02.18.2021
Awarding $2,000 scholarship for individual already enrolled in college/university
PA Department of Labor & Industry Office of Vocational Rehabilitation
Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation Services


2021 DHH Summer Academy: Now Accepting Applications!

for Deaf/Hard of Hearing & DeafBlind
High School Students

Application deadline April 1st
Parent orientation July 8th
Virtual Academy July 12-22, 2021
Application - click here

For the letter with more information click here

FAQ: COVID-19 Vaccine

For answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
about the vaccine.

Don’t see your question listed? Visit for more FAQs and updates about the vaccine.

The Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management (PhilaOEM) has a text alert system all about COVID-19. Text COVIDPHL to 888-777 to receive updates to your phone. Message and data rates may apply.

Download the COVID Alert PA App
The COVID Alert PA app notifies you if you have had a potential exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. The more Pennsylvanians that download the app, the more successful we will be in stopping the spread of the virus.
Make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area. Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.

Things to consider when supporting a Deaf-Blind individual during COVID-19

Melissa Draganac-Hawk, President, NAD

NEW! COVID-19: Video-Based Telehealth Accessibility for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Patients

COVID 19 Resources for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Families

PA Department of Human Services
Emergency Assistance Program
Has your family lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
Apply for emergency assistance at


We’ve created a COVID-19 Unmet Needs survey for any of our Liberty affiliated consumers to complete (or a staff member/attendant to complete on behalf of consumer). We are not guaranteeing these items to be available/delivered but will try our hardest to match needs and deliver items.  Please take the survey HERE.

Whether you love someone who is deaf, are deaf yourself, or just want to learn ASL language, this program is for you. We’ve tailored our lesson plans to fit your specific needs. To learn more, click on the categories at the website that best fits your situation.
  • Comcast Extends COVID Support with 60 Days of Free Internet for Low-Income Customers and Free Access to the Nation's Largest Public WiFi Network through June 30, 2021

  • Free 60 Days of Internet Essentials and School Programs – New customers who sign up before June 30, 2021, will receive 60 days of complimentary service. Comcast will also continue to waive the requirement that customers not have back debt due so more families can apply. For more information, visit We are working with hundreds of public school districts in cities like Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Sacramento to provide free Internet service directly to students in need.

  • Xfinity WiFi Free for Everyone – More than 1.5 million Xfinity WiFi hotspots in business and outdoor locations – the largest public WiFi network in the country and three times larger than any other provider’s – are available to anyone who needs them for free, including non-Xfinity Internet subscribers. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit
The National Deaf Center has a wide range of materials that are great for working with the deaf population. Please visit the website:

Cap4Kids Updated Link to the website for services and resources including food, housing, utility, self care, etc.

Happy New Year, good bye 2020.
The federal ban on evictions is ending on Jan 31st and disproportionately affects persons, especially single mothers, of color.

On the resource, under the COVID-19 page (click to find info on how to advocate for families facing this horrific trauma by clicking here
How to trace your COVID contacts

And much more….
To sign up for Cap4Kids emails, click here 
All content can be translated into over 30 languages by clicking at the top of the page’s drop down and Cap4Kids is mobile friendly. Just download to your homepage.

Serving Berks County and surrounding communities since 1989

Keep up with the latest updates from Abilities in Motion.
The City's Department of Planning and Development (DPD) supports programs and services for residents across Philadelphia.
DPD's Housing Helper Benefit Tool is here to let you know what programs and services you may be qualified for! By answering a few short questions, you can learn how we may be able to help you as a homeowner or resident.
Housing Helper features:
  • Basic System Repair Program (BSRP)
  • Heater Hotline
  • Adaptive Modification Program (AMP)
  • UESF and ECA Utility assistance programs
  • Restore, Repair, Renew Home Improvement Loan
  • Housing Counseling
  • Tangled Title
  • Mortgage Foreclosure Assistance
Once you answer the questions, you will receive a list of programs. For most of the programs that you are eligible for someone will contact you. There are a few programs where you will have to contact the agency directly. All results provided will include a name, number and website to begin the application process. A link to the tool can be also found on the PHDC homepage
Check it out today, and tell a friend!
The holidays and relationships go together. Catch up with your friends and family with the fun of BuzzStickers, now with 10 new stickers for even more fun! However you communicate, Sorenson is there for you because relationships are everything. To get started, check out this tip on how to download BuzzStickers!

You may be eligible for no-cost telephone captioning from CaptionCall.

ASL Interpreted Facebook videos | 877-557-2227
NFL: Add Closed Captioning to all NFL Videos
Please sign this petition so I can present it to the NFL and provide my family, along with countless other deaf football fans, the benefit of enjoying the same content that I and millions of other football fans enjoy on a daily basis. Read more....
PA Office for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing
Melissa A. Hawkins MS, MHR | Director
PA Department of Labor & Industry | Office for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing
1521 North 6th Street | Harrisburg, PA 17102
Phone & TTY: 800-233-3008 (PA only) | Phone & TTY: 717.783.4912
Fax: 717.783.4913,

Catholic Deaf Philly
Our Daily Hope – Vlog Reflection

Sr. Kathleen Schipani, IHM
Director, Office for Persons with Disabilities & Deaf Apostolate
Archdiocese of Philadelphia
222 N. 17th Street, Philadelphia PA 19103
215.587.3913 phone /267.507.1215 video phone

Consider a gift today to help PSD continue the important work we do for our Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing students.

United Way #737
Combined Federal Campaign #87714
or click below.

We thank you for your support!

Please forward comments and announcements for posting considerations to:
Karen Leslie-Henry, Community Relations Coordinator:
Content Disclaimer
The information contained in the e-newsletter is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by Pennsylvania School for the Deaf and while we endeavor to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the newsletter or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the e-newsletter for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of this e-newsletter. Through this e-newsletter you are able to link to other websites that are not under the control of PSD. We have no control over the nature, content and availability of those sites. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.