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A partnership for learning helps deaf and blind students attend schools where they have networking and family support available.

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The Arizona School for Deaf and Blind has partnered with the Humboldt Unified School District to provide an inclusive education to 16 students at two schools. Some students take a 90 minute bus ride to attend the program at the schools, which provides inclusion, and specialized services that are not available in rural schools. Other families have relocated so that their children could attend the program.

“Intervention services help out, but if they don’t know another family, they often feel lost. This program provides networking and support for students — and families,”  said Ryan Ducharme, Chief Agency Relations Officer. He said that in rural districts, this is a challenge, and that if the partnership works, it will be implemented in other districts.

One teacher of the visually impaired and one teacher of the deaf/hard of hearing are in each class of eight students, with an interpreter and an instruction assistant. The consolidation saves on district costs, as otherwise students would need six specialized traveling teachers.

“We are thrilled with this partnership as we believe that ASDB is a perfect fit for our vision and core values,” said HUSD Superintendent Dan Streeter.

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