Community Newsletter

December 18, 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 for Middle School and High School until January 2021. Only Community Preschool, Elementary and all self-contained classes will continue with in-person programming on campus.

We will also continue to monitor the situation and will make changes to the reopening plans as necessary to follow the guidance of state and federal officials and to protect our students.

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.
Go Panthers!!
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! 

(This will be valid until 1/8/21)
Easy as 1, 2, 3!

How to Sign Up:
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
Signing Santa
is Coming to Town!!
Home visits by Signing Santa!

DHCC is sponsoring Santa home visits on Saturday Dec. 12th, Sunday the 13th, Saturday the 19th and Sunday the 20th. Visits take place between 10am and 4pm.

If you would like Signing Santa to come to your house with a gift for your Deaf child or children, please sign up here:

If you are interested in being a Signing Santa, or the Elf that drives the sleigh, please follow this link.

We are looking for diverse Santas!

Sign up here to be a Santa or Elf:

Santas and Elves will have costumes provided by DHCC

Questions about the Signing Santa project? Contact Ken Wesler

Support DHCC at:

Save BIG on our 2021 Online Classes and Packages - December ONLY Pricing
Monthly Packages & more

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.

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.

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.

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.

  • 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 – Internet Essentials is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive broadband adoption program that provides high-speed Internet service to low-income families and has connected more than four million low-income students since its inception. 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. Since taking the unprecedented step of making all of these hotspots available for free, hundreds of thousands of non-Xfinity customers have taken advantage and usage by consumers has skyrocketed. For a map of Xfinity WiFi hotspots, visit
"Kid Friendly" Version

Delaware School for the Deaf
Take a look at the latest 

Philadelphia Police Department Says It’s Improved How It Communicates with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Years after DOJ Settlement Years after the U.S. Department of Justice found the Philadelphia Police Department had discriminated against those who are deaf or hard of hearing, the department says it’s implemented improvements in how it communicates with that population. Read more

Meet Deaf golfer Kevin Hall of Cincinnati featured in CBS Sports' Masters video
Cincinnati native Kevin Hall, who played high school golf at Winton Woods while attending St. Rita School for the Deaf and starred for the Ohio State Buckeyes, is featured in a Masters video shared by CBS Sports that many have found inspirational.

Serving Berks County and surrounding communities since 1989

Keep up with the latest updates from Abilities in Motion.
Join our email list to receive our monthly newsletter and other important updates.

The Salvation Army Christmas Assistance program is available to accept applications for assistance. 

To apply for the general Christmas assistance program, please go to and input your zip code. For families without internet or smartphone access, please call your local Salvation Army.

El programa de Asistencia de Navidad del Ejército de Salvación está disponible para aceptar solicitudes de asistencia. 
Para solicitar el programa general de asistencia navideña, visite e ingrese su código postal. Para las familias que no tienen acceso a Internet o teléfonos inteligentes, llame a su Ejército de Salvación local.
Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency

Francis House is now leasing! There are 33 studio/efficiency units available. Francis House is located in Philadelphia County. There are 6 accessible units and 2 h/v units available.

Francis House 4460 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Philadelphia County, General Occupancy                  
Income limits per person: 30%-$20,300, 50%-$33,850, 60%-$40,620
Rent amount: 30% (AMI) -$507, 50% (AMI) - $846, 60% (AMI) - $1015
Francis House features a fitness room, sunroom, dining room, sitting area, parlor and full size kitchen. There are on-site laundry rooms as well. The application is attached.
If you have any questions, please contact Latesha Saunders, Property Manager. She may be reached at (267) 838-3580 or
HELP Philadelphia Homes
6100 Eastwick Avenue
Philadelphia PA 19142
Philadelphia County
General Occupancy
Good afternoon, there are 3 vacant units available at HELP Philadelphia Homes. HELP Philadelphia Homes is located in Philadelphia County. The 2 accessible/h/v units and townhouse all have 3 bedrooms each. The rent amount is $1,100 to $1,340.
Below is the income limit per person.

  1. $40,620 2. $46,380 3. $52,200 4. $57,960 5. $62,640 6. $67,260

The units include a fridge, stove, dishwasher, in unit washer and dryer, central air and heat. The application is attached here.

If you have any questions, please contact Candra Johnson, Property Manager. She may be reached at or 215-921-8354.
Thank you.
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
  • Philly First Home (this program is currently on hold)
  • 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!
Things to consider
when supporting a
individual during

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).

The National Deaf Center has a wide range of materials that are great for working with the deaf population. Please visit the website:

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

ASL Interpreted Facebook videos | 877-557-2227
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,
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


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.



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

With 2nd  (or is it 3rd) wave of COVID start to really affect our communities even more, wanted to update all on the “newish” resources for those affected by COVID
  1. Info on where to get free testing by address-
  2. Info and great document and app on how to contact your contacts if you are positive  (see attached as well)
  3. Updated info where to find free food throughout Philly by address
  4. Access Center info for FREE K-6th places to learn and be safe
  5. Multiple resources for Eviction Protection
  6. And much more……
Bookmark to have this info at the ready and consider saving to your phones home screen.
Also, please forward this info to friends and colleagues and have them sign up for Cap4Kids email below.

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.