Northwest School for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children

Spotlight on 2021 COVID-19 Emergency Response Microgrant Awardees

Serving Diverse Student Populations from Over 20 Districts

For over 40 years, Northwest School for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children (NWSDHH) has provided educational services to deaf and hard-of-hearing (D/HH) children from birth through age eighteen, serving more than twenty districts across the Puget Sound region. Located in Shoreline, WA, NWSDHH has become a hub for both children and their families from diverse backgrounds.

In the NWSDHH Preschool-8th grade program, approximately two-thirds of students are from low to moderate income households, and the majority are children of color, including one-third who are Latino/a/x and primarily speak Spanish at home. Many of these students face multiple layers of barriers in pursuit of educational equity, and these barriers have only grown due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-Specific Challenges for D/HH Latinx Communities

COVID-19 has exacerbated the inequities in accessing healthcare, education, and other public services. D/HH children and their families faced barriers to accessing inclusive, supportive educational opportunities, particularly as learning shifted to remote platforms.

For multiply marginalized communities, the hardships are even greater. Across the US, Latino/a/x and Hispanic populations have been disproportionally impacted by COVID-19 infection. Additionally, public health information and resources are not always readily available for Spanish-speakers.

“COVID-19 has imposed significant challenges for D/HH children and their families in accessing day-to-day education,” said Avi Haimowitz, the CSD Director of Development. “We applaud Northwest School for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children’s efforts to ensure full accessibility for Spanish-speaking families, and envision a future when schools across the country are inclusive of all languages and disabilities.”

Spanish-language Resources at NWSDHH

Spanish-speaking D/HH children are the fastest growing population at Northwest School for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children, and the school plans to use their microgrant award to expand high-quality educational and engagement opportunities, and reduce language barriers for students and their families.  

“The Foundation’s funding of this programming, created specifically for our Spanish-speaking families, is a powerful way to support families and their children in accessing language and communication,” said Sara Reyerson, the school’s Chief Operating Officer. 

Points of focus include enhancing literacy skill development for Spanish-speaking students and their families, as well as making sure that the entire family is engaged in supporting their child’s educational success. To facilitate ease of access for all families as they build a more inclusive environment, the school will be growing their Spanish-language interpreter and translation services.  

More Microgrant Awardees

Want to learn more about the awardee cohort? Check out 5 other organizations who received COVID-19 Emergency Response microgrant funding here, or stay up to date with Foundation news by subscribing to our newsletter.

NWSDHH is an organization dedicated to serving a diverse D/HH student population across the Puget Sound. When you donate to CSD Unites Community Foundation, you’re helping us dedicate funds and resources to multiple nonprofits like NWSDHH, so they’re better equipped to sustain or grow the critical services they provide for our deaf communities. Make a one-time or monthly contribution to the CSD Unites Community Foundation here!

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