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Game Brings Deaf, Hearing Kids Together

February 1, 2007

While playing the game duck-duck-goose, deaf and hearing students learned they have a lot in common.

Deaf students (from left) Yolanda Turner, 8, Demi Bingham, 7, and Nick Himes, 8, respond to questions from Allisonville Elementary second-graders. The students learned about each other as part of an Everybody Counts program.

Students from the Indiana School for the Deaf visited second-grade students at Allisonville Elementary last week as part of the Everybody Counts program. After deaf students introduced themselves by signing their names, they broke the ice by playing duck-duck-goose the deaf way — players tap the head or shoulder once for duck and several times for goose instead of saying the words.

Myra Carleton, 8, learned how to clap in sign language by shaking her hands in the air near her head. Her teacher Nechelle Henderson also has taught students how to sign the alphabet and other sign language.

“Z’s the easiest, and so is Y because it’s like a telephone,” Myra said.

Henderson, who took American Sign Language in college, said the Everybody Counts program shows children how those with disabilities have experiences similar to theirs.

Second-grade student Austin Love, 8, said he’s known sign language since he was a first-grader.

“It’s been pretty cool playing a game like duck-duck-goose because it’s the same except you don’t talk,” said Austin, who also saw a friend from the deaf school during the visit.

Second-graders also learned about technology for the deaf such as phones that light up and vibrating alarm clocks. During a panel discussion, the children asked the deaf students questions.

“It’s really fun because they do things we do and how they communicate with their parents and how they are able to hear if the phone is ringing or dogs barking,” Myra said.

During Everybody Counts, students at every grade level at Allisonville learn about a different disability.

First-graders worked with students from the Indiana School for the Blind for the first time. Third-graders learned about developmental disabilities by putting socks on their hands and trying to pick up pennies or button a shirt. Fourth-graders experienced motor and orthopedic impairment, and fifth-graders studied learning disabilities.

Students also listened to Katie Cortelyou talk about living with Down syndrome, said parent Jennifer Sell. Cortelyou attended Washington Township Schools and now works at Community North Hospital, volunteers at St. Vincent’s Down Syndrome Clinic and counts Maria Shriver as a friend through her involvement in Special Olympics.

  1. July 2, 2007 at 5:00 pm

    I attended this school.

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