With the holidays upon us, we have a lot to be thankful for in being able to serve our deaf and hard of hearing children, families, and professionals across the state of Texas. We are very proud to release a lesson plan on Deaflympics, which coincides with the 2019 Winter Deaflympics taking place this month. Created by our Online Resources Team, the lesson plan provides students with the opportunity to learn about the history of Deaflympics as well as the competing teams, countries, and events. We hope students will not only learn from this lesson, but will also be inspired to one day participate in Deaflympics themselves!
A Discovery Retreat camper researches the capabilities of self-driving cars. Over 20 juniors and seniors joined us for the November weekend in Killeen.
Our recent Discovery Retreat in Killeen was a big hit! Twenty-three juniors and seniors attended the event, where the theme was Self-Driving Cars.  The 9 th  and 10 th  grade Discovery Retreat—which will occur the weekend of January 31, 2020—will follow the same theme, and campers will be able to test the self-driving design capabilities of current vehicles on the road such as Tesla, Audi, Mercedes and more. 

As 2020 approaches, registration has opened for Summer Camps and Programs. We have an array of experiences for your children—from the Tiny Tots camp which focuses on experiential learning, social skills, and language comprehension to college-bound students ready to hit their next phase of education. We truly provide a whole “spectrum” of opportunities. Make sure you visit our website to learn more about the 20 sessions being offered this summer, as well as our Family Weekend Retreat and Communication Skills Workshops.
Deaflympics Lesson Plan
Just in time for the 2019 Winter Deaflympics, the ERCOD Distance Learning Team has created a free lesson plan filled with activities and ASL videos geared for upper elementary through high school.
Training to Identify Mental Health & Substance Abuse
Dr. Debra Guthmann, founding director of the Minnesota Chemical Dependency Program for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals, will conduct a training to provide professionals with information related to identifying the barriers to prevention, treatment, and aftercare for deaf and hard of hearing youth and young adults. 

Participants will become familiar with a variety of approaches and/or options that might be available when working with youth in a school setting. They will also become familiar with the specialized tobacco prevention curriculum developed for work with deaf and hard of hearing youth. 
The Minnesota Substance Use Disorder Treatment Program for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Individuals is an intensive chemical dependency program and has been providing services nationally since 1989.
The training will be held January 24, 2020, from 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and January 25, 2020, from 9 a.m. to12:00 p.m. at the Deaf Smith Center located on the Texas School for the Deaf campus, 1102 S. Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78704.
2020 Summer Camps and Programs Registration
Campers interact during a 2019 Summer Camps and Programs activity
Registration for Summer Camps & Programs is now LIVE! If you are thinking about signing up your child for one of the many camps and programs we are offering this summer, now is the time to do so. Registration will be open from November 15, 2019 to March 20, 2020. 

This year offers a wide variety of camps and programs aimed at increasing our campers’ personal and academic growth. Take a look at the link to see what camps/programs will fit your child. See you this summer!  
Discovery Retreat Campers
Program Self-Driving Cars
A Discovery Retreat camper checks out the technology behind his miniature self-driving car.
Over 20 Texas juniors and seniors attended the annual Fall Discovery Retreat in Killeen, TX, in November. Joyce Rigelo from AutoAuto, a local STEM education company, led activities to teach campers the basics of self-driving technology. Campers learned by programming small self-driving cars. We also had a Tesla Model 3 onsite for campers to view. Campers came away with a better understanding of how self-driving cars will change the future.  

The 9 th  and 10 th  grade Discovery Retreat on January 31-February 2, 2020 will follow the same theme. Nominations are currently open.   
Discovery Retreat provides opportunities for exploring self-identity and career options through learning activities with adult role models.
Discovery Retreat Plans Conservation Event
On Saturday, February 29, 2020, Discovery Retreat will host a 1-day event in San Antonio to focus on conservation. We will partner with the National Park Service (NPS) and American Youthworks (AYW) to provide students an opportunity to learn about conservation and how it benefits our nation. This event will be a precursor for our upcoming Summer Program of the same theme--I Can Work! Outdoor Education. More information will be coming. 
Texas Guide By Your Side
Texas Hands & Voices Guide By Your Side ™ is a free program for families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing ages birth - 21. Guides are parents of deaf or hard of hearing children who are trained to provide support to families in an unbiased manner. 
Guides and support staff during their 2-day
annual training in November.
Guides are located throughout Texas and provide support as well as plan and organize events/activities for families around the state. There are Spanish speaking guides as well as Deaf/Hard of Hearing guides ready to serve families.

If you are interested in requesting a Guide or learning more about the program, click the link below.
Save the Date!

June 5-7, 2020
Austin, TX  
Texas School for the Deaf
$75.00/family of 4
($10 for each add’l family member)
Registration opens February, 2020
July 14-16, 2020
$50.00/first parent registration
$25.00/additional parent
(not including hotel costs) 
Free childcare (until full)
More information coming soon