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September 20, 2018

Deaf/HH Club Travels the Road to Independence


The road to independence is different for everyone. For members of the Oswego County BOCES Deaf and Hard of Hearing Club this road travels through a world that is not catered to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Kelley Cooper, the Director of Deaf Services at Aurora of Central New York shared information about the services and resources available to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing at a recent Oswego County BOCES Deaf and Hard of Hearing Club meeting. Cooper shared her own personal journey with the student and parent club members at the meeting including how spinal meningitis caused her to lose her hearing at a very young age and her road to independence following high school.

Kelley Cooper, the Director of Deaf Services at Aurora of Central New York shared information about the services and resources available to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing at a recent Oswego County BOCES Deaf and Hard of Hearing Club meeting. Cooper shared her own personal journey with the student and parent club members at the meeting including how spinal meningitis caused her to lose her hearing at a very young age and her road to independence following high school.

To empower student club members navigate this challenging road and reach their full potential, club officials invited representatives from Aurora of Central New York to speak at a recent meeting.

Representatives shared information about what the students can expect after high school as well as pre-vocational, vocational, social work and interpreter referral services available to people in the CNY community that are deaf or hard of hearing.

Additionally, the parents and high school club members learned about valuable resources available to them including connecting with successful deaf individuals in the community to serve as role models and help the young adults prepare for the transition from school to the college and workforce as well as guide them through the interview and hiring process for a potential job.

The Deaf and/or Hard of Hearing Club is in its third year at OCB. OCB staff members consisting of teachers of the deaf, interpreters, speech/language therapists, counselors, and audiologists provide professional support during club meetings and special guests, such as the representatives from Aurora, are invited to share essential resources and information to support the growth and independence of youth who are deaf or hearing impaired.

The club provides student-members with an opportunity to socialize with their peers, organize outreach projects that benefit their local communities, and participate in fun and educational-based learning activities.

For parent-members, the club gives them an opportunity to engage in open conversations about the joys, successes, and challenges of raising a child who is deaf and/or hard of hearing.

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