The Kentucky School for the Deaf (KSD) Advisory Board met in Danville on Feb. 22.
The group provides feedback to KSD and Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) leadership to ensure the Deaf community’s specialized education and other needs are met.
Members heard updates on several ongoing efforts at the meeting.
Tony Peavler, director of outreach at KSD, discussed additions to KSD staff, including a consultant assisting Deaf and blind populations and two consultants addressing language deprivation.
Deaf and hard-of-hearing students encounter language deprivation because they do not experience accessible language during their formative years. Early intervention is a key mitigation strategy in addressing language deprivation.
The consultants are “temporary staff with some special COVID funding as a result of the pandemic,” he said.
The funding comes from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund, part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act signed into law in 2021.
The consultants will provide services to students across Kentucky.
“We have 13 districts we’re already working with through the language deprivation program and they’ve been really excited to be a part of that and have that support,” Peavler said.
The focus for the language deprivation consultants is on early language development and intervention. Peavler said the efforts support preschool teachers, nurses, teacher assistants and parents as they learn sign language.
In other business, the board:
- Heard an update about the school’s robotics program and its expansion;
- Learned about campus upgrades; and
- Heard about a new bus the school will receive.
The next meeting will be held May 16.