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Sign Language Helps Crater Students

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CENTRAL POINT, Ore. – Reports show 13% of the American population are deaf or are hard at hearing. One Southern Oregon school is making strides to make sure their students receive equal access in the classroom.

By law in Oregon, if a student is deemed to need or be benefited by an interpreter, the school must provide that service; a resource that is used in the classroom and other events like school assemblies. School officials say Crater High School is unique in that their system acts as a magnet program within their campus.

Senior Sara Manuel is one of ten hard of hearing or deaf students at crater high. She is accompanied by an interpreter during her school day. Erin Jolliffe, a teacher for the deaf and hard of hearing, said that kind of help has contributed to the schools 96% success rate for students that graduate and attend college.

“Kids had academic problems before, or have maybe disciplinary problems, and once that interpreter has been provided it’s just an unbelievable change,” explained Jolliffe.

A number of students from this program will be prepping in the next coming week for a national competition. An academic challenge, sort of like a brain bowl for those with loss of hearing.