Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Local Mother Leads Crusade for Deaf and Blind Education

Source Link - Local Mother Leads Crusade for Deaf and Blind Education

A local school is trying to get a new program off the ground for next fall geared towards helping the 185 deaf and blind children currently in Kentucky.

Debbie Garvue is a teacher, but six years ago, she also became the mother of a deaf and blind daughter.

Maddy is a student at the Heuser Hearing and Language Academy. She’s only been here for a year, but it's done wonders for her. So now her mom wants to make sure they not only continue to help Maddy, but everyone else like her.

"Since Maddy has been here they have not only given Maddy her voice, they've given me my child back," says Debbie.

Maddy is nearly blind -- only able to see partially by looking down with her head back. She's also deaf but she can hear through a hearing device. But now, after less than a year, she can understand what she's hearing and seeing.

“She likes to roll in her own wheelchair, she likes to do it herself,” says Debbie of her six year old, who is acting like a true six year old. “Everything is me, me me. Now - she's definitely acting her age now that she's figured out what language and communication is."

But Maddy is by far the youngest in her class. Because she is blind and deaf, she needs more time in the program - that has an age limit of five. So her mother is taking classes to extend her own teaching degree. She's piloting a new program... just for children like Maddy who need more.

“I said to her, we have the building, we have the space, we have the commitment to helping these children,” says Mona McCubbin, Executive Director for the Heuser Hearing and Language Academy.” “If you can help us get the money, we'll do it.”

So now Debbie is on a crusade to raise the money. She'll need more than $200,000 to get it up and running by next fall.

“Well, anything's possible,” says McCubbin. “And when you have the passion, compassion for deaf and blind children like Debbie has, it's easy. It can happen."

They are calling this the "Change in Sight" campaign and you can help make it happen.