Students Celebrate International Week of the Deaf

High school students in Renee Geary's ASL II class at FSDB learned about International Week of the Deaf, an initiative of the World Federation of the Deaf that is celebrated annually by the global deaf community during the last full week of September.

The ASL II class syllabus includes coverage of ASL grammar rules, noun-verb pairs, classifiers, regional and cultural variations, poetry, and storytelling. Lessons also cover the five areas of Communication, Culture, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities as part of Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for world languages.

During the cultural component, students learned about the WFD, International Week of the Deaf, and how the WFD works to promote the human rights of deaf people worldwide. The annual celebration of International Week of the Deaf includes International Day of Sign Languages, celebrated each year on September 23rd. The goal of this second initiative is to raise awareness of and strengthen the status of sign languages used across the globe.

Watch a video explaining both international observances by Josiah Roberson and Kristen Martinez Soriano.

Originally from El Salvador, Kristen Martinez Soriano and her family moved to Ft. Lauderdale when she was eight years old. Previously she went to a deaf school in her home country and used Spanish sign language. When she enrolled as a sixth-grade day student at FSDB, her family relocated to Palm Coast. Now a high school sophomore and residing in the honor dormitory, Kristen loves being at FSDB and is more confident in her use of ASL. She is actively involved in the volleyball, cheerleading, and track teams, and is Class of 2022 Sergeant at Arms.

Josiah Roberson was born in Taipei, Taiwan. He was adopted at five years of age by parents who are fluent in ASL; he lives in Jacksonville with his family. Josiah first enrolled at FSDB as a first-grade student and is now a high school junior, exploring various career areas of interest. He also enjoys being at FSDB and is active in the basketball and cross country teams, and the Dance Troupe. He is also a member of the Academic Bowl team and Junior National Association of the Deaf (Jr. NAD).

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, blind/visually impaired, or deafblind. 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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