Helping Deaf and Hard of Hearing students ‘feel like they belong’

March 13, 2024

Deaf and Hard of Hearing students from across the District came together this month for a fun day of computer coding at the School Board Office.

The students, who were split into two groups by age, were taught by members of Code Ninjas, a company that introduces young students to the world of computer coding via fun activities and computer programs.

And while the sessions introduced some valuable new skills to the students, the day of learning was about coming together as a group as much as anything else.

“I want them to feel like they belong. I want them to feel like they had an experience with their community where they can go into that group and kind of let their guard down,” said Glen Macdonald, a District teacher for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. “Everybody’s got hearing aids, everybody has experienced the same things that they have.”

“I want them to feel connected and seen, right, and of course I want them to have fun doing some coding and learning some skills,” he continued.

The coding workshop is one of a handful of activities that the students take part in throughout the school year. Periodically, the group – which is made up of students from a number of different schools – will get together for fun learning activities and field trips.

“We’ve done geocaching, we took them to Circus Lab, they’re going to Science World, they’ve got overnight camps, we’ve got all kinds of programming. Because them being together in the same spot sharing life is important in building connections and it should be fun,” Macdonald said.

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