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Family Weekend Retreat for Texas Families of D/HH Students

TEXAS SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF PRESS RELEASE
Contact: Keena Miller
Phone: 512-462-5328, cell: 512-658-4444
Email: [email protected]

FOR RELEASE JUNE 9, 2011

DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING STUDENTS BRING TEXAS FAMILIES TOGETHER

Weekend Immersion Helps Families Navigate Hurdles, Advocate for Excellence

FAMILY WEEKEND RETREAT for TEXAS FAMILIES of DEAF and HARD OF HEARING
STUDENTS

Austin, Texas – June 9, 2010 Summer is in full swing at the Texas School
for the Deaf (TSD) as approximately 50 families of deaf and hard of hearing
children arrive for TSD’s Family Weekend Retreat (FWR) today, through
Sunday.

From siblings to extended family, TSD’s Educational Resource Center of
Deafness (ERCOD) holds a full weekend of workshops and activities annually
for all family members at the South Austin campus. With the focus on
understanding, nurturing and supporting the education and development of a
deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH) child, each family leaves TSD’s FWR on Sunday
with regret. But not in a sad way.

Families who’ve attended before will tell you that FWR literally changes
lives. After her first FWR experience, one mother said, “FWR is a highly
successful example of TSD providing information and services to families of
D/HH kids. The format of the program and group activities created strong
bonding opportunities between families, and our family received strong
support in our path.”

TSD’s Parent Liaison, Lisa Crawford, has led the retreat for four years now,
and each time sees the transformation in families by the end of the weekend.
“Every year, when families leave, she says, “they share with me how much
this weekend means to them. As a parent of a daughter who is deaf I know how
important it is to connect with and learn from other families and see the
possibilities for our children”

Not only does FWR help parents understand their child’s rights to an
education in the least restrictive environment and help them with
communication at home, TSD holds workshops for extended and other family
members, plans social and educational activities for children, and hosts a
special Sibshop© for brothers and sisters of D/HH youth. Each group has a
unique schedule of activities throughout the weekend, with meals and time
for fun and social activities spent together.

“One unique opportunity offered by FWR is the chance for parents and
children to meet deaf and hard of hearing (D/HH) adults, Crawford adds.
“Often families have never met a D/HH adult. Many of our guest speakers and
childcare staff are D/HH themselves, and this gives families the opportunity
to ask questions and meet positive role models.”

While TSD educates approximately 550 D/HH students during the school year,
and another 300+ in summer programs in Austin, the ERCOD at TSD focuses on
the estimated 5,000+ D/HH students who attend school across the state in
other public, charter and private schools. FWR is just one ERCOD program
aimed at doing so.

WHAT: Texas School for the Deaf’s (TSD) 2011 Family Weekend Retreat (FWR)
for families of deaf or hard of hearing children

WHEN:
Thursday through Sunday, June 9-12, 2011

Thursday:
Registration & Check-in 6:00 pm
Ice Cream Social & Family Movie Night 7-10:30 pm

Friday:
Presentations & Break-out Sessions 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
“Minute to Win It” Family Fun 8:30-10:30 pm

Saturday:
Presentations & Break-out Sessions 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Family Fun Zone 7-9:00 pm

Sunday:
“Welcome to our World” 9:30 am
Wrap-Up/Closing 10:30 am – noon

WHERE:
Texas School for the Deaf
1102 South Congress
Austin, Texas 78704

MORE: With a strong belief in culture and community at TSD, students form a
unique identity based on their individual strengths and talents, giving all
students at TSD the opportunity to learn, grow, and belong. For more about
TSD, visit http://www.tsd.state.tx.us .

CONTACT:
Keena Miller
[email protected]
Texas School for the Deaf
512-462-5328
c 512-658-4444

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