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Students Celebrate Deaf History Month

Students in various FSDB Deaf Department classes celebrated Deaf History Month, observed during March 13 to April 15 each year. Students researched, created timelines, made posters, and gave presentations about famous Deaf people.

Josiah Roberson presents on stage during Deaf History Month

Deaf High School ASL classes researched and presented on famous Deaf people such as Chuck Baird, Douglas Tilden, and Leroy Colombo. They explained the impact of Alexander Graham Bell on Deaf education and Deaf people. They also explained the founding of Gallaudet College (now University) and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Deaf High School History classes made a timeline of deaf people throughout history such as Calbraith Rogers, George Veditz, Thomas Edison, Paul Hubbard, Derrick Coleman, Ashley Fiolek, and Nyle DiMarco. These individuals are important to us because they made history by being the first deaf person to become a pilot, promoter of sign language, inventor of the light bulb, creator of the football huddle, NFL team player, motocross champion, and America’s Next Top Model.

Deaf High School Algebra students designed models for “Deaf Space” classroom, dormitory, and cafeteria. Students kept in mind how “Deaf friendly” schools would look in the future. Deaf Space concepts have more visual access and promote interactions by deaf and hearing alike.

Deaf High School English classes researched the deaf history of Martha’s Vineyard and famous Deaf poets such as Ella Mae Lentz, Ian Sanborn, Douglas Ridloff, and Vivienne Simmons. They created films explaining their research and shared poems, which were creative and intriguing.

Deaf High School Art students made a variety of handshapes with different colors that were made by the students. Some examples were the “I love you” handshape, claw “5”, “A”, “L”, and “4” handshapes. (See separate story on this subject).

Nutrition and Wellness students made “I love you” cookies and they conducted research and created videos explaining Kurt Ramborger, a famous Deaf chef.

Yasmine Lee, a Deaf High School Digital Media student, made a poster of her hand with an eye on her palm using Photoshop. This visual representation was intended to show that Deaf individuals use their hands and eyes for communication.

First grade Deaf Elementary School students worked closely with ASL students to practice a chant. They were all confident enough to go up on the stage and signed the chant in front of the audience. Deaf Middle School students also participated by creating essays, videos and comic strips to explain how deaf and hearing cultures are the same and different.

We look forward to planning for next year’s Deaf History Month activities and events at FSDB. It was extremely wonderful to see students and staff from the various departments across campus become united during this special time of the year!

By Shanna Cooley, Deaf High School ASL 1 Class

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About FSDB The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind is a tuition-free state public school and outreach center available to eligible Pre-K and K-12 students who are deaf/hard of hearing or blind/visually impaired. At FSDB, students learn how to do more, be more, and achieve more, fulfilling our vision of preparing them for a lifetime of success. FSDB gratefully accepts private donations to support vital programs that directly benefit students and are not paid by state general revenue funds. For a campus tour or to inquire about eligibility for enrollment, contact FSDB Parent Services at 904.827.2212 voice or 904.201.4527 videophone. For more information, visit


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