Community Newsletter

July 13, 2020
Update from PSD In Person Operations

No visitors or volunteers permitted on campus. Activities involving outside groups/individuals are suspended until December 31, 2020  

Extended School Year (ESY)
Our summer school program will continue to be done through online learning from July 6, 2020 to July 31, 2020.

As of now, PSD is scheduled to open in the Fall, with restrictions. More information regarding this will be shared in the upcoming weeks.
CLASS OF 2020!!
PSD is excited that Dr. Laurene E. Simms is selected as our 2020 George W. Nevil Award Recipient and the Class of 2020 graduation speaker. Since 1988, this award is given to recognize those people who have made significant contributions toward the betterment of the lives of Deaf and hard of hearing individuals.
Congratulations on your well-deserved award,
Dr. Simms!
Be sure to check out facebook
for the graduation ceremony, more pictures,
messages and videos!
A Gift to PSD from our Class of 2020
to be added to Alumni Mall!
As PSD continues to proudly celebrate its 200th anniversary, and our 8th year as an Official Anti-Defamation League No Place for Hate school, we are excited to share PSD 200! 200 Years, 200 Expressions of Respect, Affirmations & Kindness. This video is a compilation of images, ASL expressions and written statements by students from preschool to high school! No Place for Hate values are a foundational component of our instructional and behavioral models. Many thanks to all of the students for sharing their positive messages that promote and encourage one another, and recognize that our diversity is one of our strongest bonds as a community, and, many thanks to the awesome PSD staff for assistance with this project. I Can, You Can, We Can, PSD Can! #noplaceforhate
JUNE 27 - JULY 26, 2020

Join Us for 30 days of an EPIC celebration of Disability Pride
The 30th Anniversary of the ADA, and all out fun! We have something for everyone, 72 individual events . Performers like 4 Wheel City, Gooch and the Motion, Black Cat Habitat, and more. Comedy with Maysoon Zayid, Charles Walden, and Comedians with Disabilities Act. Conversations about Microsoft Accessibility, Person Direct Services, Black Disabled Perspective, PA ADAPT, Adaptive Sports Talk, and so much more! We have games, happy hours, and more FUN. We are having the hard conversations about disability policy at a forum with State Rep. Hohenstein and State Rep. Miller. The list goes on and on....

So hear is how to be involved

Join us on Wednesday, July 15 @ 2:00 PM ET for  "Changing the World One Word at a Time,"  a virtual read aloud and conversation with Kwame Alexander,  New York Times  best-selling children's and young adult author of 34 books.

Mr. Alexander will read and discuss  The Undefeated,  a book and poem that is a love letter to Black life in the U.S. The book is about the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the faith and fire of the Civil Rights Movement, and the endurance and spirit of those surviving and thriving in the present.

This read-aloud and conversation will be captioned.

Art-Reach launched an accessible content project in partnership with a few arts organizations. We're trying to pilot what fully accessible digital content in short videos. All of the videos are captioned, and ASL interpreted. In addition all the presenters were trained on how to naturally embed visual description into their presentations. 
The first video launched today with the Museum of the American Revolution. Check out the video at the following link: 
The plan is to post a new video every Tuesday and Thursday
for the next several weeks.
Check out Art-Reach's social media for new videos as they post: @artreachphilly on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. 
Hamilton Relay, contracted service provider for PA Relay, is currently seeking nominations for the 2020 Deaf Community Leader Award. Nominations are due  August 21 st .  Please see the attached nomination letter and questionnaire for more details and feel free to forward this message on to others.

Amy Strawser
Pennsylvania TRS Outreach Coordinator
(412) 944-7424
Training Announcement: support services for people who have a hearing & vision loss.
August 22 - 23, 2020
Radisson Hotel, Harrisburg
Cost $100

  Application Deadline extended to July 24, 2020

Providers needed statewide.
Greater demand in Erie, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh & Scranton

The Center for Independent Living of Central PA administers a program supporting Pennsylvanians who have a hearing & vision loss.

The program, DeafBlind Living Well Services (DBLWS) schedules persons (Support Service Providers) to provide the supports.
At the training, participants will learn to:
  • safely guide a person who has a hearing and vision loss.
  • acclimate a person who has a hearing and vision loss to their surroundings.
  • use communication techniques to assist in filling in the communication gap.
For more information, please view the flyer and application!
If you have questions about the training, SSPs, and/or need technical assistance completing the application, please contact DeafBlind Living Well Services.

Click here for training flyer , application and more information.

Sharon Behun, CI &CT
Director of Program Development & Expansion
Supervisor of DeafBlind Living Well Services
Center for Independent Living of Central PA
CILCP | 207 House Avenue, Suite 107, Camp Hill, PA 17011
717-731-1900 ext. 224 | 800-323-6060 | 717-731-8150 fax
717-7255-0069 videophone
CEASD Statement on George Floyd
David Geeslin, CEASD President
The Board of CEASD recognizes the prevalence of racism in the United States and the damage it has inflicted on Black people. The recent murder of George Floyd at the hands of the police is but one example of the many forms of oppression, big and small, entrenched in our country. We stand with those who protest these aggressions. Black lives matter.  
The great American Frederick Douglass said “The life of a nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous.”
All of us must do our part to breathe those words into life. Our schools must be culturally responsive to the diverse communities we serve. We must work to ensure that our students are safe and respected at school and in their communities. We must strive for equity in all we do.   

This summer, we'll be continuing our work to empower Philadelphia residents through Census participation, but we need your help. Our  Summer of Census  plan outlines how we plan to get the word out about the importance of 2020 Census participation, and ensure communities feel safe participating. You can get involved in our Summer of Census plan by  clicking here.
Connect with Tech
Make a difference today!
During this time of social distancing, many Pennsylvanians can’t see or communicate with familiar people, friends, and family. We want to help people be able to handle anxiety and fear at this time. CLICK HERE to request technology OR donate technology .
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)

PA Unemployment Click here for an ASL captioned video UC.

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. The program will expire on December 31, 2020, unless otherwise extended.

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

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

PA Coalition Against Domestic Violence

DIY Face Covering (Mask) Links
Dr. Jerome Adams, U.S. Surgeon General demonstrates how to make a face mask covering in 45 seconds. (captioned) See or for DIY face mask patterns and instructions.

(Youtube video – no sound)

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
Public Statement on George Floyd
Melissa Draganac-Hawk, President, NAD

ASDC: Talking to Your Child About Racial Justice:
ASL & English Resources
As protesters take to the streets after the death of George Floyd, conversations about racial justice are happening in homes across the country. To help you talk to your child about recent events and issues related to race, ethnicity, and racial justice, we’ve put together this list of resources for you.  CLICK HERE for resources in English and videos in ASL.

American Society for Deaf Children - ASL Stories Directory!
Click here to link to the ASL Stories Directory
ASDC FREE MyASL Tech Membership for kids!


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

Liberty Resources, Caring for Friends, and Share Food Program are offering free, weekly food delivery (contact-free) to Philadelphians who are facing food insecurity and cannot leave their homes due to a disability. To request to join this program, call or text (215) 709-9619, email , or fill out this online form . A program representative will call back to discuss the food delivery plan.
City Expands Free Food Access to All Philadelphians
Other Free Food Resources

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.


An Important Message
from DHCC

DHCC - Providing Equal Access at Philadelphia-area
Black Lives Matter Protests
Many people today are fighting for basic human and civil rights. We know there are Deaf, hard of hearing and DeafBlind people who want to add their voice to peaceful protests but don’t have equal access. This changes today. We are committing to coordinating equal access for Deaf individuals who want to participate in peaceful protests by connecting them with volunteer Deaf and/or Hearing ASL interpreters.   Read more....

Due to the stay-at-home order, all of our Summer 2020 ASL classes and private tutoring sessions are being offered online via Zoom. Access to a laptop or desktop computer is required to sign up for online sessions.
Cap4Kids Updates

Helpline and info for questions related to COVID-19.

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.
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

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.