SPARTANBURG, SC – October 31, 2012 – On Thursday, September 20, 2012, The Walker Foundation and the South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind presented American Sign Language (ASL) materials in Charleston and Summerville to each school district and county libraries in the counties of Dorchester, Berekley, and Charleston. This project builds upon The Walker Foundation and South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind’s historical efforts to increase the use of sign language in the state of South Carolina.
Many deaf children feel isolated due to the lack of communication in their homes. We are hoping that the ASL materials provide families and caregivers with resources to learn sign language to communicate with their deaf children. Communicating with deaf children in sign language, will enable them to develop language skills early. When deaf children start school with the ability to communicate, they can immediately start on developing reading skills, says Galena Gaw, librarian at the South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind.
The financial support provided by the Bakker Family Fund through The Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina along with the WPW Foundation made it possible for The Walker Foundation to purchase various materials that will help families and caregivers of deaf children to develop the skills to communicate with their deaf child using American Sign Language. Not only did the funding provide funds to purchase the materials, it also provided funding to train and have an overview of the materials to encourage caregivers of on-going use of the materials to stimulate communication and socialization. This project will support the Foundation’s work in expanding and improving outreach services to the deaf and blind population of South Carolina.
An informational/training session for families and caregivers of individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing is scheduled for November 15, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. at the Downtown Charleston Public Library.
About The Walker Foundation
The Walker Foundation was established more than 32 years ago as a nonprofit organization for the sole purpose of raising public funds to help support the programs and services of the South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind (SCSDB). The Walker Foundation works closely with businesses, corporations, civic groups, individuals and other foundations to promote the abilities of our special students across the state. Through education, we seek to build understanding, acceptance and support for children with a vision and/or hearing impairment. For more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Ann Akerman, please call at 864/577-7582 or e-mail at [email protected]
Pictured from left to right: Galena Gaw (SCSDB Librarian), Kathy Marrah (Reference Librarian), Rebecca S. Westfall (Dorchester County Library Librarian)