Community Newsletter

October 13, 2020

Peter Bailey,
Head of School
Update from PSD

With the current situation, we have made the decision to start the 2020-2021 School Year with virtual learning until the end of our 1st quarter, which is on Friday, November 13, 2020. We will continue to monitor the situation and make changes to the reopening plans as necessary to follow the guidance of state and federal officials and to protect our students.
PSD Launches the Family Resource Center
We have launched a Family Resource Center at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf to serve as a wellspring of resources to support families with deaf and hard of hearing children. The Family Resource Center will provide online resources, presentations, training/workshops, support groups and family social events. We have many exciting projects planned and we are looking forward to sharing these with you in the near future!  

Lynette Mattiacci, M. Ed. 
Coordinator of Family Resource Center
You are Invited to Join Team PSD 2020
for the VIRTUAL


This year both walks are being held virtually and on the same day.

Now until OCTOBER 18, 2020

In honor of our 200th Anniversary,
lets collectively commit to walk 200 miles!

Registration is FREE for both walks!!
All registered walkers automatically entered in a raffle for cool PSD gifts!!
  1. Register for one or both walks online. Links to fundraising pledge above.
  2. Email with your mile pledge and the # in your group. I will keep track our distance!! I'm pledging 2 people walking 2 miles= 4 miles.....196 more needed!
  3. Conduct your walk as you like (all at once or over time, your choice!) Complete by 10/18.
  4. TAKE PICTURES!!! Send pics of the fun you are having along the way.
  5. Share with friends and post the fun on social media.

Check out the Walk Against Hate participant toolkit 
to make it easy for you to have a great experience!

The fundraising goal for each walk is a minimum of $200. PSD will match our fundraising up to $400!

Contact Karen Leslie-Henry with your mile pledge and the # in your group, or if you have questions at

Thank you for joining in these important advocacy events!
CONGRATULATIONS TO 🏆1st DeafBlind actor now a film festival award winner!
Feeling Through wins 2 awards at the Port Townsend Film Festival...
Best Short Narrative
Directed by Doug Roland

Feeling Through stood out as a beautifully crafted film. It was a simple story very cleverly told. The relationship between the two characters was effortless and we constantly wanted to know where we were being taken. It would have been very easy to over play the parallels of the two men’s lives. But instead writer and director Doug Roland respected his audience and allowed us to piece things together ourselves.
Pennsylvania Voter Resources
Hotlines, Important Dates in Pennsylvania
General Voting Information & Forms
Disability Rights PA, Self Advocacy
and much more

Open Satellite Election Offices On A Rolling Basis

October 14, 21 & 28
Introduction to American Sign Language, 
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM and 1:00–2:00 PM, via Zoom or Videophone from John Lewis. Taught in American Sign Language for Staff and Consumers. Call Igor Khmil VP: 267-507-1178 or

October 16, 23 & 30
Young Adults with Disabilities Club: 11:00-12:30 PM, virtually. The Group has been meeting every Friday, as a way to give/get support during the time away from each other. The meeting includes LRI updates, a Chair Yoga session, and an active discussion based on the topics that the Young Adults are interested in. Past topics have included Productive uses of you Time, Advocacy, Favorite Food, Favorite Sports, etc. Topics are decided week to week, by the group!!! Anyone, ages 14-32 are welcome to attend. Follow the invitation link or the instructions for telephone number to connect, sent via email to the LRI Young Adults Group. If you have any questions reach out to Mary Beth Morgan at or call and leave a message at  215-634-2000 Ext. 335. Stay Healthy and Be Well!
Igor Khmil, Administrative Assistant/Deaf Support
Liberty Resources Inc., 112 N. 8th Street, Suite 600
Philadelphia, PA 19107
VP: 267-507-1178, Voice Phone: 215-634-2000 Ext. 201
Fax: 215-634-6195, Email:
PA ABLE Savings Program!
Learn about the PA ABLE Savings Program!
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.
To help you learn about the important features and benefits of PA ABLE, the Pennsylvania Treasury Department is hosting free webinars.
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.
This semester’s ASL Lecture, co-presented by the Wolf Humanities Center is Dr. Teresa Blankmeyer Burke
Professor of Philosophy, Gallaudet University, will present “Parent Choices, Language Choice, and Deaf Flourishing

Wednesday, October 21, from 5-6 PM. 
The event will be entirely online. Admission is free, but registration is required to receive a link to the presentation. For more information and to register, please see the link here:
This event will be ASL/English interpreted.
Good News: CDC temporary halt in residential evictions
Effective through December 31, 2020, there is a temporary halt against residential evictions of persons earning no more than $99,000 a year to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

SIGN VOTE 2020 is designed to help inform and increase voter engagement among the deaf community throughout the 2020 elections, SignVote is a nonpartisan platform that spotlights and features accessible voter content and resources made available in American Sign Language (ASL).

SignVote provides a critical solution, offering the deaf community an extensive and centralized resource of accessible content, including:
  • Dedicated SignVote website
  • Social media integration with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Youtube
  • A central video library continually updated throughout the election cycle
  • Voter registration materials and information – how and where to register
  • Voter Toolkit on general voting and electoral issues (What’s on the ballot? Who are my candidates? It’s election day, now what?)
  • ASL Voter Hotline from the National Association for the Deaf
or call 301-818-VOTE (301-818-8683)

The City of Philadelphia’s FREE, quality pre-k program
is now enrolling for the 2020-2021 school year, at over 130 locations throughout the city!

All children who live in Philadelphia and will be 3 or 4 years old on September 1 are eligible. There are no income requirements for participation in this pre-K program.

Enrolling is as easy as 1-2-3:
  1. Visit or call 844-PHL-PREK to find a program near you
  2. Contact the program of your preference
  3. Provide proof of age and residency, and complete the PHLpreK application
  • Please note: All childcare and pre-K providers are following new safety and cleaning protocols, in compliance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. These include: Mask requirements, Social distancing and limited class sizes, ew cleaning protocols

The safety of PHLpreK students, families, and staff is our top priority. Learn more about our COVID-19 safety plan at
The National Deaf Center has a wide range of materials that are great for working with the deaf population. Please visit the website:

The Free Library continues to follow federal, state, health, and local guidelines to help manage the spread of COVID-19. This means that we still cannot welcome patrons into our buildings for regular visits. However, we are happy to share a few important updates with you:  
  • Some Free Library locations are now offering limited services, including returns, material pickups, and phone reference. Visit our new Limited Services page to see what’s available at your neighborhood library. (This page is updated daily, so please check it regularly.)
  • You can now place new holds with the Free Library! Sign in to with your library card number and PIN to place a hold online, or call your neighborhood library to place a hold over the phone. Once your materials are ready, we’ll contact you to schedule a pickup appointment. 
  • Check out our newest remote resource: a Free Library call center. Patrons can call five days a week to speak with our expert staff, who will provide information, technology help, Library updates, and more. Calling is free! Give us a dial at 1-833-TALK FLP (1-833-825-5357). We’re here Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 10:00 a.m.–3 p.m., and Wednesday, 2:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
Many Free Library programs continue to proceed virtually, and we continue to offer ebooks, audiobooks, movies, TV, music, over 100 databases, and the New York Times online.
Hamilton Relay is available at no cost, 24 hours a day, every day – making it possible for individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or have difficulty speaking to communicate over the telephone.
PA Relay Friendly Business Training (October 2020) 

Sudan N. Bradley | Hamilton Relay
Apply for a no-cost captioning phone

What does CaptionCall do?
Our phone displays big, easy-to-read text that automatically captions your
conversations. It dials, rings, and works just like a regular phone.
• Easy to use
• Captions turn on or off as needed
• Captioned voice messages included
• No cost if you have hearing loss and need captions to use the phone efficiently

Do you have trouble hearing on the phone? Do you keep
asking people to repeat themselves? If so, you may be eligible
for no-cost telephone captioning from CaptionCall.
Better phone calls now

ASL Interpreted Facebook videos | 877-557-2227
PA Office for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing
We have created a helpful Communications card in the event that you or someone you love needs health care assistance related to COVID-19. You can access the PDF here. 

(multiple ASL videos)

Call Center Guide when handling calls from individuals with hearing loss.

Do you have hearing loss-related questions or are you looking for info on assistive technology, sign language interpreters or equal access?
Are you in need of advocacy assistance for services you deserve or need help with the referral process for deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing services? We are HERE FOR YOU. ...See More
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,
PA Department of Human Services
Emergency Assistance Program
Has your family lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
Apply for emergency assistance at

Kids Stories Collection on Deaf Professional Arts Network - The Sign Language Channel (website and app offering signed and closed captioned news and entertainment videos)

National Association of the Deaf
Melissa Draganac-Hawk, President, NAD


ASL Stories Directory!
Click here to link to the ASL Stories Directory
ASDC FREE MyASLTech Membership for kids!


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


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.


Fall ASL Class Registration Now Open!
 Class Registration for all fall ASL classes is now open! Click HERE to register!
Returning student? We have amazing news! Save $25 off your next class! Email Us for details! To Register as a new student:
 To Contact us about the special returning student discount:
Email Tanya Sturgis:
Cap4Kids Updated Link to the website for services and resources including food, housing, utility, self care, etc.

On the website, under the COVID-19 section, you will find resources to help with several of these extremely stressful issues including where to get free food; rental assistance; unemployment; where to get tested; FREE baby supplies and the recently developed Access Centers for families with K-6th grade students whose parents work outside the home. Registration is required but this may help many families in need. See description below or click here.  

Fill out the Access Center registration interest form online, or call (215) 709-5366 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Locations click here

As always, to sign up for Cap4Kids emails, click here:
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.