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Wisconsin School for the Deaf National Honor Society Members Host Community Service Project

Tuesday, December 17, 2019
Students from the Wisconsin School for the Deaf (WSD) National Honor Society recently hosted a community service project to teach American Sign Language to members of the Delavan police and fire departments.
In a press release issued by the Wisconsin School for the Deaf, the focus for this activity was to provide a language learning experience for the officers and firefighters, which will equip them with some knowledge when working with the Deaf community at large.
Because the Wisconsin School for the Deaf has been located in the heart of Delavan for 167 years, Walworth County is home to a large population of individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. These factors sparked a desire to reach out and make a connection between the officers, firefighters, and the Deaf community.
WSD students prepared for this event by gathering lists of words and sentences commonly used in everyday work of area police officers and firefighters. Students created slides with pictures or short video clips of signs from the list in American Sign Language (ASL) and split participants into two rooms based on specific job duties.
students teaching sign language
Delavan PD participants practicing the sign for “license.”

After a warm-up and some initial learning, officers and firefighters were invited to add to the list of words that they wanted to know, participated in role plays, and were tested on their new vocabulary.

WSD students and Delvan police and fire department members
WSD Students pose for a group picture with the Delavan Police and Fire Departments.

WSD-NHS Adviser, Rebecca Epple was quoted in the press release. “This project is very dear to several of our members as they have family working in the services fields of police, fire and EMTs.”

The WSD is the only residential school in Wisconsin for deaf and hard of hearing students ages 3 through 21. It operates under the direction of the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.