The Official Student Voice of Copper Hills High School

The Grizzly Growl

Deaf but not Dumb

ASL students visit schools for the Deaf and Blind

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 A clay tree with hand for a trunk, made by students at Jean Massieu School of the Deaf.

A clay tree with hand for a trunk, made by students at Jean Massieu School of the Deaf.

Hala Louviere

Hala Louviere

A clay tree with hand for a trunk, made by students at Jean Massieu School of the Deaf.

Hala Louviere, News Editor

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Tuesday, Copper Hills ASL 3 students got to visit two Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind. Joined by West Jordan High School’s ASL 3 class, they were given a special tour of C. Mark Openshaw and Jean Massieu Schools of the Deaf. Joel Coleman, one of our Grizzly’s father, is the superintendent for Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind. He said that tours don’t often happen, but Copper Hills has a special ASL program and deserved one.

The C. Mark Openshaw school is for kids ages 2-5, and is built around the architectural standard of Deaf space. This means that nearly every wall is glass, the spaces are very open, and the building overall caters to the needs of Deaf students. A person can stand on one end of the school and sign perfectly to someone on the other end. In addition, there are white lines on the ground, textured walls, and bright lights to help guide the blind students to their classrooms. Though the ASL students had heard about Deaf space before, this school gave them an opportunity to see it in real life.

The next section of the tour took the students to the Jean Massieu School. This building is set up similarly to a public school, but spaces like the front entry and cafeteria are kept open for easier signing. Michelle Tanner, assistant superintendent, led the tour into the newly remodeled auditorium, where the 4th, 5th, and 6th grade Deaf students were waiting. They gave a presentation about ASL, how to communicate with the Deaf, and Deaf culture. A main focus of the presentation was “Deaf can!” The kids gave examples of famous Deaf people to show that the only thing Deaf people can’t do is hear.

The presentation concluded with games and question time, where the ASL students were able to connect with the Deaf children and learn more about them. This presentation was a favorite of many ASL students – “I liked that the kids were the same as hearing kids,” Cassie Hutchings said. Kara Hickenlooper especially enjoyed their jokes. Just before the ASL students left, the school’s vice principal shared some advice. “Deaf people don’t need hearing people to save them; they just need them to be friends.”

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The Official Student Voice of Copper Hills High School
Deaf but not Dumb