Thursday, January 3

Interpreter Please

I have gone round and round with the school's after school program. They say that they are seperate from the school and will not provide Rebecca with an interpreter. They say that if she can not be in a 17:1 ratio then she will not be able to attend the program. What is wrong with people? Is it so difficult to let an interpreter come in to the program? During school it is not so bad, Rebecca is in the afterschool program for about 2.5 hours. But, during holidays like now she is going all day without an interpreter.

I feel so guilty and bad for taking her there and leaving her where I know that she is going to have to struggle to hear all day. After her days she says that she has fun, but is also asking why can't she have an interpreter. She is never discouraged or looks frustrated after the program, but that is just part of Rebecca.

In a way I think that 2.5 hours is helping her to intergrate into the hearing world, but I can't help but feel guilty-which probably just comes with the territory. She is having to play with hearing kids and I'm sure learning lots of good skills that will make her into who she is. Right now I just want her to be learning more signs and building her vocabulary and I feel like those hours that she is there are wasted hours.

I wish I could stay home with her. I wish that we could afford to give her that. I wish I could give both of my children that - any hopefully someday that will be a reality. Right now I have to work.

Do you know of any daycares that sign? Is there such a thing? What do other parents do? Any suggestions on what else I can do?


mishkazena said...

You may want to investigate whether the school is legally responsible in providing an interpreter. The program is operated by the school, on the school grounds. I would think they are required to make accommodation, due to the public funding.

Dianrez said...

There are few daycares that include sign, usually with a worker that knows some. The most comprehensive program I know of was the preschool center in the Bob Rumball Center for the Deaf in had both hearing and deaf children, usually having deaf parents. Staff there all knew sign.

Interpreters are not normally with us all of our school days or even throughout life. Since most of the time we get by on our own, it may be useful for your daughter to learn to cope in a totally hearing world for long periods of time.

It would be groundbreaking to ask that ASL-competent people be involved in the daycare program, though. It could attract more deaf children and open up Deaf community resources that bit more.

Anonymous said...

You may want to contact the Law and Advocacy Center at the NAD at or the Texas Protection and Advocacy office at to learn more about your rights in this situation. Any chance you can hire an ASL fluent person to provide after school care for one or both of your children, perhaps in your home or their home, perhaps with other children who want an ASL child care environment?