BC Deaf Scholarship Trust (BCDST)

We are very pleased to announce this year’s winner of the BCDST – Gabriel Kamaev from Burnaby, pictured here with Terry Maloney, the POPDHH Vice-Principal.

Gabriel’s TDHH Danica Cash provided a short bio:
Gabriel has been attending mainstream school in the Burnaby School district from kindergarten through to grade 12. He is Deaf from a Deaf family.
Gabriel has been accepted to the British Columbia Institute for Technology (BCIT) and will start attending in September 2024.
During his years at school, Gabe had to overcome many accessibility obstacles to achieve success.
In grade eight Gabriel taught an ASL class to his peers and teachers.  Many students and staff at his high school were interested in learning more ASL after working with Gabe, and have now continued their ASL studies in formal courses and through his sister’s ASL club.
Gabriel was also a FNDC/DYT camp counsellor where he worked with Deaf youth during summer camp and built connections with his Deaf peers. He has found a way to connect with his Deaf peers online and through community groups. He built connections with the Deaf community that he was not able to experience at school.
Many of the teachers at Gabe’s school are now stronger, more inclusive in their practices after working with him.  They include more visuals, give written copies of notes, and remember to turn on the captioning function when using PowerPoint. Gabe advocated for what he needed in his classes and left a legacy of improved access.

Congratulations, Gabe!
A message from Gabriel

POPDHH Student Events Spring 2024

This spring POPDHH sponsored several regional DHH student events:

April 10th – 12th Camp Elkgrove – Fraser Valley and Sunshine Coast
May 8th -10th – Kootenay Konnection at Blue Lake
June 5th – 7th – Camp Elkcanoe – Okanagan and Central BC

Nearly 100 students and 20 TDHHs/staff attended across 3 camps. Alana and John represented POPDHH.

The students were pleased to enjoy the popular ASL stories with John, s’mores around the campfire, fun activities, light hiking and making meals together.

Some “customer reviews”:

  • The students all loved it and were happy they attended. A few of them mentioned being really impressed with John and his signing and felt proud of themselves for how well they did with the ASL number handshape story. – from a Langley teacher
  • I like that we did fun activities. My favourite was the low ropes, specifically the big wooden see-saw. I made new friends from playing soccer with them. The campfires were really fun because I listened and watched funny stories with my friends. I went to Blue Lake twice and I would really like to go back again!
  • This was my first time at Blue Lake and it was really exciting and I got to meet new people.  I got to flip burgers and learning ASL was fun.  The campfires were quite enjoyable.
  • I like meeting more deaf and hard of hearing people as if you don’t know many, you feel alone.
  • Camp was fun! It was fun to meet new people and the activities were good. The low ropes was my favourite activity. The ASL activities were fun – I remember the sign for ”thank you”, “cat”,  “dog”, and “how are you”. My group cooked burgers and we cleaned up after pancake breakfast. The cereal was my favourite breakfast. The cabins were nice and neat, but they were a little messy by the last day. I want to go back to Blue Lake camp with POPDHH!
  • Camp was very good! I liked making our own food with a little bit of help and we got to go around the lake. There are lots of toys around to play with during free time – I really liked playing soccer with new friends. John and Jeff’s stories were really funny, especially the marshmallow story which was kind of disgusting. I enjoyed learning some ASL and getting to use it a bit. Having the FM connected to everyone got all of our attention quickly! The only thing I would change is the game “Oh, Deer”, and instead have a more active game. I want to go back to camp!

The POPDHH also contributed to several districts’ annual year-end events.

Beach Day in Victoria
– submitted by Megan Jantz, Greater Victoria District TDHH

The Victoria School District hosted their annual Beach Day again this year at Gyro Park and Cadboro Bay Village. The event was attended by 180 people including 100 students from Victoria, Saanich, Sooke, Cowichan and local Independent School along with over 60 staff, parents and community members.
In the morning grade K-5 students participated in an Amazing Race Junior on the field. Groups rotated through 10 different carnival like stations which included fun challenges such as knocking down cans, stuffie tossing and magnet fishing. Meanwhile students in grades 6-12 were competing in an Amazing Race Senior in the village. They had to race to different stores to complete challenges, with the hopes of winning the coveted Amazing Race cup. After the races were over the kids enjoyed an ice cream and then participated in a very competitive tug of war.
It was a memorable day of connecting with each other for the students and their families. We even had representatives from POPDHH, POPDB and PDHHS there to connect with everyone. We are so grateful for all the support from POPDHH that helps fund our day for students and families. We are already excited to do it all again next year!

North Shore Picnic
– submitted by North and West Vancouver TDHHs Heather Chiles, Roanne Greiff, Rhena Tevendale and Emily Green

We are delighted to share with you the wonderful success of the recent gathering held at beautiful Princess Park in North Vancouver, organized jointly by the West Vancouver and North Vancouver school districts, for our deaf and hard of hearing students.
The event aimed to foster a sense of community and connection among our students, providing them with a platform to come together, have fun, and build lasting friendships. We are thrilled to report that it exceeded all expectations!
Throughout the day, the atmosphere was filled with joy and excitement as the students engaged in various activities. From spirited games to a collaborative scavenger hunt, every moment was infused with laughter and camaraderie. It was heartwarming to witness our students’ bond over shared experiences and interests.
Not only did the gathering offer our students a chance to have fun, but it also provided them with valuable opportunities for personal growth and development. By interacting with peers who share similar experiences, our students were able to feel understood and supported in a way that is often hard to find elsewhere.
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to POPDHH for supporting this event!

DHH students year end celebration in Chilliwack
– submitted by Rachel Fordham and Cheryl Lacey, District TDHHs

Chilliwack School District was happy to host a year end celebration for kids with hearing differences and their families. We had over 25 kids in attendance from grades1 to 12, and it was great to see them all connecting with each other. Many of the students are the only one at their school who wears hearing aids, and they loved being able to compare colour choices and styles. The students had fun on the trampoline, adventure playground, pool and hot tub, but a big highlight was having Terry and John come and play ASL games. It was a fun way to learn new sign language! Several parents who were not able to attend mentioned that their child brought home some new ASL to teach them.

So glad you could spend the day with us, John and Terry, and their interpreter Barbara! You inspired many of the kids to learn more ASL.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Get-together 2024 Peace River North
– submitted by Sally Birley, District TDHH

Thank you so much, POPDHH, for your continued support in hosting our annual get-together, this year held at the Fort St. John Cultural Center. It was attended by 17 K-6 students and 10 teens. The kids arrived at 9:30 via the school district buses and were welcomed into the main conference room. After a welcome address by Ms. Birley the students from K- 6 watched a 3 part mini-series called El Deafo, and had a discussion about how the show related to their experience at school. Meanwhile, the older kids got to go to the Art Gallery to do an art project called “Express yourself”.
After the movie and teen art project, we enjoyed a pizza lunch and fruit dessert, and then the students took part in the librarian’s arts and crafts activities and a scavenger hunt.
All in all, it was a unique experience. One of the biggest benefits beyond the awareness of how many kids have hearing differences in our district was that many kids had never been to the library or art gallery, so it opened a new avenue of interest for them.

ASL Activities in Abbotsford

Abbotsford, Mission and Fraser Cascades school districts teamed up on May 17th for a day of ASL activities and pizza with John and Lynley.  25 elementary school students spent the morning learning some cool and fun ASL games. Although a pizza lunch always trumps ASL, the students thoroughly enjoyed themselves learning some ASL signs through hands-on (pun intended) methods.

From the Community

Upcoming workshops, information sessions, seminars, career opportunities and more

Current Postings

POPDHH is working in collaboration with districts and provincial partners to use more consistent language for job titles, including for Teachers of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (TDHH).  The Canadian Association of Educators of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (CAEDHH) and the training programs for TDHHs in Canada are recommending that educators use the title of TDHH.  The goal of replacing Hearing Resource Teacher (HRT) or similar in favour of using the preferred title of TDHH is to emphasize that the job is about more than just the hearing piece: for many deaf learners the hearing is a moot point with a focus on accessing language and curriculum using other modalities.  In our work with the Ministry of Education and Child Care, BCPSEA and Make a Future, we have learned that having a consistent name for the title of the job may also be beneficial to the districts and the province in terms of recruitment and data tracking.  Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you have any questions about this initiative!

Community News
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Provincial Outreach Program: Deaf and Hard of Hearing
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