On January 7th, 2024, Escuela de Educación Especial de San Miguel de Allende (EEESMA) had the privilege of hosting the Signs & Smiles.org Vocational Training Team, featuring Dr. Patrick Graham from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (RIT) in Rochester, NY, Dr. Marie Coppola from the University of Connecticut in Hartford, and sign language interpreters Audrey Ramirez-Loudenback and Kyle Duarte. These esteemed professionals generously volunteered their time and expertise for our project.
Teachers and assistants at the school engaged in six days of intensive workshops. Joining them were 20 individuals, including deaf education professionals and interpreters from various cities in the State of Guanajuato and Queretaro. The workshops showcased the remarkable feat of teaching in Spanish, English, American Sign Language, and Mexican Sign Language simultaneously.
The overarching goal of these workshops and the Teacher Training project is to introduce innovative strategies for instructing Deaf children and young people at the EEESMA School for the Deaf and beyond. The initiative encompasses the development of a digital Mexican Sign Language dictionary, World Around You Storytelling Programs, and various communication apps. These resources will be open source, benefiting deaf educators, students, families, and the broader deaf community.
The VTT project, aimed at training teachers of Deaf students, is made possible through an education grant from Rotary International, in collaboration with several US and Canadian Rotary Clubs and our local Rotary District 4140 in Guanajuato. Heartfelt thanks to Rotary for their tremendous support of EEESMA.
To learn more about EEESMA School for the Deaf and stay connected with the community we serve, please visit our website at www.eeesma.com and sign up for the quarterly newsletter. Your unwavering support fuels our endeavors and empowers our students to reach new heights.