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The Pennsylvania School for the Deaf has been educating children from across the nation since 1820. Since their time in school, some have also lost their sight due to Usher’s Syndrome. The added disability means big changes in their every day lives. 

Kandy Reyes has been signing since birth. She and her two siblings grew up with a deaf mother. As adults they learned she was beginning to lose her sight, meaning they had to learn a new way to communicate.

“For years deaf blind were denied so many things, now there’s a program to give and provide SSP’s and independence and become part of a community,” signs Carol Yuknis. 

An SSP is a support service person. They act as a guide to assist those who are deaf and blind.  20 SSP’s will be needed this summer for the School of the Deaf’s centennial reunion. 

“That person is responsible to tell them whats around, who is doing what so they can participate in the events. And it’s also awareness so that people understand deaf blind people need this help,” signed Jenny Strunk. 

in June, the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf will celebrate 200 years of educating deaf students.The occasion will bring alumni together for a reunion in Phildelphia. 

“We don’t want to exclude them, we want them to enjoy the same benefits we do as alumni. Many of us grew up together,” signs Denise Brown. 

The Deaf and Hard of Hearing Task Force held a Winterfest luncheon to help raise enough money to provide those 20 SSP’s, so their classmates can enjoy their long awaited reunion.

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