Community Newsletter

April 9, 2020

Peter Bailey, Head of School

All PSD other campus community events are canceled. P lease stay tuned to our website and social media outlets for updated information.
PA Office for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing
COVID-19 Communication Card
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 .  

PA Unemployment
For the current time, the Videophone is staffed with a PA state registered interpreter on Wednesdays and Fridays from 8-4. There is a very high volume of calls right now, not just the video phone calls. We ask for patience as everyone works together to navigate these challenging times. ODHH is here is assist with VP call concerns and guidance.  Click here for an ASL captioned video UC.

Also a reminder that interpreters are independent contractors and are affected by COVID-19. In this unprecedented time, independent contractors will be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance .  Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provides emergency unemployment assistance to workers who are left out of regular state UI or who have exhausted their state UI benefits. Up to 39 weeks of PUA are available to workers who are immediately eligible to receive PUA. The program will expire on December 31, 2020, unless otherwise extended.
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,
DIY Face Covering (Mask) Links
Dr. Jerome Adams, U.S. Surgeon General demonstrates how to make a face mask covering in 45 seconds. (captioned)

Creative mask design for people who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing by a Kentucky college student. Also see or for other DIY face mask patterns and instructions.

(Youtube video – no sound)

(includes videos in ASL on COVID-19 and downloadable/printable Communication Card in English and in Spanish to be used in NJ healthcare facilities)

Kids Stories Collection on Deaf Professional Arts Network - The Sign Language Channel (website and app offering signed and closed captioned news and entertainment videos)
Symptoms of COVID 19 ASL video

10 Things you can do to manage COVID 19 at home ASL Video
The Department of Human Services (DHS)has launched a statewide Support & Referral Helpline staffed by skilled and compassionate staff who will be available 24/7 to assist Pennsylvanians struggling with anxiety and other challenging emotions due to the COVID-19 emergency. The toll-free, round-the-clock support line 1-855-284-2494 is officially operational. For TTY, dial 724-631-5600.

Other resources remain available to Pennsylvanians in need of support, including:
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Nacional de Prevención del Suicidio: 1-888-628-9454
  • Crisis Text Line: Text “PA” to 741-741
  • Veteran Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990
  • Get Help Now Hotline (for substance use disorders): 1-800-662-4357
  • Pennsylvania Sexual Assault Helpline – 1-888-772-7227
  • National Domestic Violence Helpline – 1-800-799-7233


American Society for Deaf Children
ASDC FREE MyASL Tech Membership for kids!


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


City Expands Free Food Access to All Philadelphians
Other Free Food Resources



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.




(in 8 languages)


(last updated March 20, 2020)

This is an ongoing compilation of free resources available online, and this document will be continually updated with new links. New resources will be added to the TOP of the appropriate category for easy visibility. (Resources that cost money will be listed in their own category)

For any questions or concerns regarding this document, contact

COVID-19 / Coronavirus
As the news of the coronavirus spreads, so too are fears and worries about protecting yourself and your loved ones. We have a responsibility to prevent the spread of this virus. We also need to prevent the spread of misinformation, and want to be careful about making sure that the most accurate and most recent information is shared.

During this difficult time when schools and workplaces are closed due to the Coronavirus, access to the internet has never been more important.

Here is some important news about two substantial enhancements we’re making to Internet Essentials to help families deal with this crisis. Please  click here  for the Comcast announcement.
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. 17 th  Street, Philadelphia PA 19103
215.587.3913 phone /267.507.1215 video phone

National Deaf Therapy
Information for families regarding free internet and data options. Here are some links to share:

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.