School Board hosting Deaf and Hard of Hearing Resource Night March 27

Published 12:00 pm Friday, March 24, 2023

By Emily Burleigh

American Press

The Calcasieu Parish School Board will be hosting a Deaf and Hard of Hearing Resource Night 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Monday, March 27 in the cafeteria at Barbe High School.

This informational session is open to parents and students that are deaf or hard of hearing. In the Calcasieu Parish school district, there are approximately 94 students that have a deaf or hard of hearing exceptionality, said Christa Foolkes, CPSB Department of Special Services.

CPSB aims to host information events for the deaf and hard of hearing at least once a year, not only to provide this population with helpful resources but to also build community. “No one is alone, and by having events such as the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Resource Night, families can gather and network with one another,” she said. “It is also important for families to meet other families with similar stories and backgrounds.”

Highlighting agencies and resources that provide services is vital, as many students that are deaf or hard of hearing face difficulties in the classroom, such as a lack of language access from not seeing the teacher’s mouth or interpreter’s signs, not having access to closed captioning and not hearing peer’s conversations due to lack of appropriate amplification, she said.

Vanessa Magnon with the Louisiana Commission for the Deaf will be at the event to give a presentation on how to access free resources.

Currently, the LCD offers services through four programs: Telecommunications Equipment Program, Hearing Aid Program, Interpreting Program and Support Service Provider Program.

In addition to the presentation, there will be several local organizations present to offer materials and resources to participants. “Families need to know that there are numerous organizations readily available at their disposal,” Foolkes said.

She cited the Southwest Louisiana Independence Center (SLIC), Louisiana Hands and Voices, Families Helping Families of Southwest Louisiana, Louisiana Rehabilitation Services and Calcasieu Parish School System’s Direct and Related Services Department.

SLIC is a Lake Charles non-profit agency that provides services for people living with a variety of disabilities. For those with a deaf or hard of hearing exceptionality, SLIC provides visual devices, such as visual alarm clocks, and interpreting services.

Louisiana Hands and Voices specifically supports families with children that are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as health professionals by providing family peer support.

Families Helping Families of SWLA – based in Lake Charles – also provides peer-to-peer support and parent training to families.

Louisiana Rehabilitation Services provides career development programs for individuals with disabilities and the Calcasieu Parish School System’s Direct and Related Services Department provides families of students with deafness or hard of hearing with appropriate accommodation and tools based on the student’s individual needs.

“All of these agencies are just a few of the many we have in our area,” said Foolkes.

Parents and students who are not able to attend the event can contact for additional resources at 337.217.4300 ext. 3614.