Community Newsletter

February 7, 2021

Peter Bailey,
Head of School
Update from PSD

Masks in public spaces and when people cannot maintain social distancing are required. PSD will limit access for any nonessential visitors or volunteers, and cancel activities involving external groups or organizations until further notice.
We honor and celebrate our alumni, not just this month, but every day! This month, in recognition of Black History Month, we take the opportunity to spotlight our Black PSD alumni!
Alycia is a transition teacher at PSD. She shares: “ During my time, PSD did not have a high school so I stayed there my entire school career until read more......
Sharee is currently a preschool teacher at PSD. She shares: “My favorite memory of PSD was read more...
Domonic is an Employment Specialist at Easter Seals. He shares: “The first two years of high school. Read more...
Check out our facebook page
all month for more Alumni Spotlights!
 PSD Athletics sideline store for all special sales!
Warren “Wawa” Snipe
Performing at Super Bowl LV!
February 7, 2021
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is proud to announce Warren “Wawa” Snipe will perform in ASL the National Anthem and America the Beautiful as part of the Super Bowl LV pregame at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on Sunday, February 7, 2021! Read more. 
CBS Sports has announced its online feed for WAWA's performance during Super Bowl today (Sunday) at 6:15pm ET and it will be shown on: — there will be a link to Wawa’s performance from that page. Enjoy!
  • Date: Monday, February 8, 2021
  • Time: 8-9:30 pm EST
  • Instructor: Richard Rose
  • Cost: $20 (ASDC members save $5)
  • Register

For more information contact:
PA Relay/PA Captioned Telephone webinars.
All are welcome!
PA Relay Webinar:
A Focus on Speech & Captioning Services February 2021



Friday, February 12, 2021
Time: 6:30-8:30PM


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Learn about the PA ABLE Savings Program
Free webinar for individuals with disabilities, families and professionals.
A PA ABLE Savings Program account gives individuals with qualified disabilities (Eligible Individuals), and their families and friends a tax-free way to save for a wide range of disability-related expenses while maintaining government benefits. The state and federal tax-free investment options are offered to encourage Eligible Individuals and their families to save private funds to support health, independence, and quality of life.

To help you learn about the important features and benefits of PA ABLE, the Pennsylvania Treasury Department is hosting free webinars.

Some of the topics that we will discuss include: eligibility requirements for opening a PA ABLE account, the federal and state tax benefits of PA ABLE, and how PA ABLE account interacts with current benefits.

with ASL interpreter

Opened: 12.23.2020 and Closes: 02.18.2021
Awarding $2,000 scholarship for individual already enrolled in college/university
PA Department of Labor & Industry Office of Vocational Rehabilitation
Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation Services


2021 DHH Summer Academy: Now Accepting Applications!

for Deaf/Hard of Hearing & DeafBlind
High School Students

Application deadline April 1st
Parent orientation July 8th
Virtual Academy July 12-22, 2021
Application - click here

For the letter with more information click here

COVID-19 Vaccine Sign-up by Regional Counties

Here is more information on where to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine by county from our friends at The Alliance of Community Service Providers.

Click the county below for more information.
*ALL COUNTIES: Note, Rite Aid has run out of vaccines for time being in our area. Check back daily. Rite Aid
PA Department of Labor & Industry
Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing

NEW Informational Videos:

"Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine" Video in American Sign Language, including audio.

"After Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine"

PA Department of Human Services
Emergency Assistance Program
Has your family lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic?
Apply for emergency assistance at

Contact ODHH
Telephone: 717-783-4912 (v/tty)
Videophone: 717-831-1928 (videophone)

Melissa A. Hawkins MS, MHR | Director
PA Department of Labor & Industry | Office for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing
1521 North 6th Street | Harrisburg, PA 17102
Phone & TTY: 800-233-3008 (PA only) | Phone & TTY: 717.783.4912
Fax: 717.783.4913,
Need assistance during COVID-19? Need help paying for groceries? Call today to see if you’re eligible for public benefits!

BenePhilly Hotline (844) 848-4376
FAQ: COVID-19 Vaccine

For answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
about the vaccine.

Don’t see your question listed? Visit for more FAQs and updates about the vaccine.

The Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management (PhilaOEM) has a text alert system all about COVID-19. Text COVIDPHL to 888-777 to receive updates to your phone. Message and data rates may apply.


Melissa Draganac-Hawk, President, NAD

NEW! COVID-19: Video-Based Telehealth Accessibility for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Patients
COVID 19 Resources for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Families
Download the
COVID Alert PA App

The COVID Alert PA app notifies you if you have had a potential exposure to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
The more Pennsylvanians that download the app, the more successful we will be in stopping the spread of the virus.
Make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area. Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated.
We Prepare Everyday (Video with open captions, ASL and audio description)
Biden White House Enlists
ASL Interpreters for
The White House on Monday announced that its regular press briefings will now include an American Sign Language interpreter. White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that the move was "part of this administration's accessibility and inclusion efforts." The interpreted briefing can be viewed on the White House's social media accounts.
Black American Sign Language (BASL): Black Deaf Canadians Seek More Research,
Support for Community
With nearly 400,000 followers on TikTok, 22-year-old Nakia Smith is teaching her online audiences a hidden treasure: Black American Sign Language (BASL).

The influencer, also known by her sign name — a name members of the Deaf community are given or make themselves — Charmay, she creates educational content celebrating BASL that sometimes features her five-generation family, all of whom are deaf. Read more. 
World Federation of the Deaf News
We have launched this special 70th Anniversary logo to commemorate our 70 years of work for sign languages and deaf people's human rights.

Launched at the 1999 World's Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf, the color blue in the ribbon is based on the WFD's official colors. Read more
“Life and Deaf” Life and Deaf Brings Disability Inclusion to the Sitcom World Life and Deaf is a Disney+ series in the works that’s already drawing interest and anticipation from subscribers. The comedy series will star Marlee Matlin, known for The West Wing, Switched at Birth, and The L Word. Matlin is also the only deaf actress to win an Academy Award for her role in Children of a Lesser God. Read more
Pennsylvania Relay is excited to announce the launch of our desktop Real-Time Text Trial!

We are looking for testers in Pennsylvania to participate in a free trial that meet the following criteria:
  • Deaf or combined Deaf & Low Vision
  • Have high speed internet
  • Willing to complete online surveys sharing your experience
  • Willing to use the device for 90 days
This trial will test first-of-its-kind technology that brings Real-Time Text (RTT) capabilities to a digital desktop phone. RTT phones may be a replacement for TTY machines and an enhancement to Video Relay Service. RTT allows both parties to communicate with both voice and text at the same time which allows for a smoother, more real-time experience.

Contact us to participate: or 800-618-4781.
Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF) will launch a one-year pilot program offering no-interest, no-fee financial loans between $100 and $7,000 to Pennsylvanians with disabilities and older adults for the purchase of needed assistive technology devices and services that help them remain independent, safe, healthy, and connected during the pandemic. Read the official press release here. See links below.

We’ve created a COVID-19 Unmet Needs survey for any of our Liberty affiliated consumers to complete (or a staff member/attendant to complete on behalf of consumer). We are not guaranteeing these items to be available/delivered but will try our hardest to match needs and deliver items.  Please take the survey HERE.

Whether you love someone who is deaf, are deaf yourself, or just want to learn ASL language, this program is for you. We’ve tailored our lesson plans to fit your specific needs. To learn more, click on the categories at the website that best fits your situation.
The National Deaf Center has a wide range of materials that are great for working with the deaf population. Please visit the website:

Cap4Kids Updated Link to the website for services and resources including food, housing, utility, self care, etc.

FREE Food sites 
To sign up for Cap4Kids emails, click here 
All content can be translated into over 30 languages by clicking at the top of the page’s drop down and Cap4Kids is mobile friendly. Just download to your homepage.
Serving Berks County and surrounding communities since 1989

Keep up with the latest updates from Abilities in Motion.
You may be eligible for no-cost telephone captioning from CaptionCall.

ASL Interpreted Facebook videos | 877-557-2227

Catholic Deaf Philly
Our Daily Hope – Vlog Reflection

Year of St. Joseph
Beginning February 14th, we will be using the book, Consecration to St. Joseph for a daily vlog to reflect on St. Joseph and prepare for the prayer of consecration to St. Joseph on March 19, 2021. Read more....

Sr. Kathleen Schipani, IHM
Director, Office for Persons with Disabilities & Deaf Apostolate
Archdiocese of Philadelphia
222 N. 17th Street, Philadelphia PA 19103
215.587.3913 phone /267.507.1215 video phone
Consider a gift today to help PSD continue the important work we do for our Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing students.

United Way #737
Combined Federal Campaign #87714
or click below.

We thank you for your support!

Please forward comments and announcements for posting considerations to:
Karen Leslie-Henry, Community Relations Coordinator:
Content Disclaimer
The information contained in the e-newsletter is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by Pennsylvania School for the Deaf and while we endeavor to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the newsletter or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the e-newsletter for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of this e-newsletter. Through this e-newsletter you are able to link to other websites that are not under the control of PSD. We have no control over the nature, content and availability of those sites. The inclusion of any links does not necessarily imply a recommendation or endorse the views expressed within them.