USDB Graduation May 22, 2024

9 grads, head shots in a row with caps and gowns in blue.Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind 

Graduation Event in SLC on Thursday, May 22, 2023, at 11:00 a.m.

 

Salt Lake City, Utah (Thursday, May 22, 2024) – The graduation ceremony is a cherished and time-honored tradition and one that students and parents look forward to from the time the students are young. It is likely the most anticipated day in every high school senior’s life. USDB’s graduation is no different, even though the journey to graduation definitely has its challenges for some of our students. What makes USDB’s graduation unique in comparison to that of other schools is the small size of the graduating class (9) makes for a smaller, more intimate graduation; and each graduating senior gives a speech that gives all in attendance a glimpse into the highlights and challenges they’ve experienced throughout their education. Many of our students attend local school districts and they are served by our traveling teachers who are highly skilled in deaf or blind education. Those students graduate at their mainstream schools.

Utah Schools for the Deaf (USD) offers programs for both American Sign Language, as well as Listening and Spoken Language. Many students are thriving using a collaborative approach that embraces both language modalities and adapts to fit the communication needs of each student individually. USD Students’ educational pathway comes from the Portrait of a Graduate “Illuminated Pathway for D.E.A.F. Success” which focuses on four areas – Deaf Identity, Excellence, Autonomy, and Foundations, and aims to fully prepare students for life beyond the classroom. As juniors and seniors, some have even chosen to participate in Study Abroad trips to countries such as Egypt and India where they have life-changing experiences interacting with Deaf students from those countries, experiencing their different cultures, foods, socio-economics, and history.

Utah Schools for the Blind (USB) also serve as a national model for blind education. USDB teaches the Expanded Core Curriculum for the blind and excels in doing so. In fact, Utah was the first state to offer accreditation for teachers of students with deafblindness. Education associations have asked the USDB staff to share their best practices for STEM learning for the Blind and the Expanded Core Curriculum with other teachers and schools in the country. For some of them, navigating the environment can be a monumental challenge – so when they succeed, it is an achievement to celebrate. Students from the School for the Blind also have opportunities for experiential learning. Some of the students have participated in the Seventy48 boat race, which has been life-changing for them. They learned grit, determination, bravery, and to never give up. Some students have also participated in the Study Abroad program and stateside trips.

MEDIA: 

REPORTERS ARE WELCOME TO ATTEND GRADUATION

Who: Ten students who are deaf, hard of hearing, or blind will graduate. Each student will share a brief but poignant presentation reflecting upon their education and school years.

What: It is a unique event. The graduation is small and very personal.

When: 11:00 a.m. at the USDB Salt Lake campus on Thursday, May 25. Afterward, at 12:15 Graduation Lunch for students and their families. Students, teachers and other school officials are available for one-on-one interviews after the event upon request.

Where: USDB’s Salt Lake Campus in the Openshaw Education Center (OEC) – 1655 E. 3300 S., Salt Lake City, UT 84106

How: This graduation event will take place in English, American Sign Language, and Spanish. Additional languages are added as needed. Interpreters will be available both in person and on the livestream.

Why: USDB celebrates the accomplishments of our students. Graduation is a rite of passage for all students and we honor that experience.

About USDB: Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind (USDB) educate students who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Blind, or Deaf-Blind so they can achieve their full academic, social, and career potential. USDB leads the way as a national model in providing the most responsive, caring, and innovative approach possible to meet the unique educational needs of our students. To learn more visit www.usdb.org

The USDB Education Foundation: As with any school, the Utah legislature provides funding to cover the basics at USDB such as buildings, books, teachers and staff. Sometimes the families of these unique children need a little more help. Based on need, unique technology and learning opportunities can be provided thanks to the USDB Foundation. USDB provides overhead and administrative resources for the Foundation, allowing 100% of donations to go directly to the children. This gives individuals, foundations, and corporations an opportunity to donate and make a real difference in the life of a child. www.usdbfoundation.org

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