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Rural Arizona School Gives Deaf And Blind Students A Place To Connect With Peers

By Stina Sieg
Published: Tuesday, September 5, 2017 - 7:26am
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(Photo by Stina Sieg - KJZZ)
Logan Fischer, 7, is visually impaired. He's one of 15 children with visual or hearing impairments who learn together at Coyote Springs Elementary School in Prescott Valley.

For years, if you were a student with a visual or hearing disability in rural Arizona, you had two choices: move to Phoenix or Tucson for school, or go to school in your hometown – where you might be the only kid with a disability. Now, a program in Prescott Valley is offering a compromise.

It’s based at Coyote Springs Elementary School, and includes 17 children with sight and hearing impairment. Many switched schools to be there.

A partnership of the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and Blind, or ASDB, the program allows these kids to learn alongside other children with disabilities – as well as typical peers.

Danielle Cummings is a supervising teacher.

“I get to see these kids really coming into their own and kind of feeling more free to be a part of the classroom – not feeling any obstacles in that way,” she said. “And that’s really special to see.”

Cummings said one of her biggest hopes for this program is to help these children feel less alone.