What’s POPDHH Been Up To?

McQueen Lake Regional Event

On May 15 – 17, 2019, ten Okanagan districts and independent schools had an opportunity to attend the annual McQueen DHH camp, sponsored in part by POPDHH. 10 TDHHs and 21 students participated in the event, which started with a group hike and exploring the surroundings.

The participants enjoyed ASL lessons and storytelling presented by our very own John Warren, the POPDHH ASL Specialist. We also had the pleasure of welcoming Jessica and Hart from CHAA-BC, who talked about their experiences with varied hearing levels, and brought some cool videos and games to share with the crowd. Erin from PDHHS provided a youth transition presentation and showed us how the students’ hearing experiences are much like Harry Potter’s magic.

Of course, there were some free time activities, so the students had a chance to relax, socialize, get to know their peers and make wonderful lasting friendships.

Here are a couple of quotes from the attendees:

“My kids all had so much fun and can’t wait until next year. They were thrilled to just be together, without the pressure of being the only kid with hearing loss in the group!”

“Regional get togethers such as this are invaluable as we can support and learn from those in several areas across the region. Deaf and hard of hearing students are low incidence throughout the province and thus need to network and connect. TDHHs are the framework that support this necessity and we are lucky to have found an amazing and natural environment to do it”.

“The McQueen Lake Camp for DHH students is a fabulous event that gives Okanagan DHH students opportunities to connect with peers and mentors they identify with who they rarely see and meet in there schools and communities. This camp is perfect for our students for their healthy social/ emotional development. The countless extra volunteer hours our POPDHH staff, mentors, and Okanagan Teachers of the DHH contribute to this event demonstrates their belief in the value it has for these students. I hope we can make it an annual event.”

Greater Victoria Annual DHH Beach Day

On May 27th, five Greater Victoria districts (Victoria, Sooke, Saanich, Cowichan and the Gulf Islands) attended the annual DHH Beach Day, with five TDHHs and 56 students in attendance!  Many support staff and parents came to help or stop in to say hello.

The DHH Beach Day event has been running now for about 29 years and has grown immensely. It’s been held at various locations over the years, but the favourite spot is Cadboro Bay/Gyro Park as the site lends itself well to accommodate a multi-age group of students. While the older students were dashing through Cadboro Bay Village to solve the clues for the Amazing Race, the younger students were preoccupied in a scavenger hunt. Both activities required teamwork and proved to be a great tool to build on the students’ social skills, while meeting new and old friends from around the Island. It was wonderful to see the students of various ages interact and talk about what the new crowd would experience that day. They were sharing stories about past events and challenges they might experience.

Tamara Lister, the POPDHH SLP and Educational Consultant on the Vancouver Island, helped the participants connect with the preschool kids so they could join the picnic.

The students’ feedback ranged from “that was amazing, when is the next one?”, to ” I meet another student who have the same hearing aid as I do. I haven’t seen someone else with one before, that was so cool”.

One TDHH said: “It was a great day overall! It was great to have the support from all the districts and POPDHH in helping make this day amazing for everyone”.

TDHH Mentorship May 29 – 31, 2019

Our 2018 – 2020 TDHH Mentorship Cohort met in Burnaby for the semi-annual district meeting in Burnaby. The topic of the three-day workshop was “Social-Emotional Development”.

Our guest presenters included Kristen Pranzl and Kathryn Jones from the Deaf Well-Being Program. They connected our teachers with information about their services and presented on anxiety in Deaf and Hard of Hearing students. Our teachers worked collaboratively to share resources that address the social-emotional needs of our students and compiled a list of assessments for their TDHH toolbox.

We were also pleased to have Kathleen Evans from EASE (Everyday Anxiety Strategies for Educators) present a full day workshop for on the topic of anxiety in the classrooms and strategies for coping.

After hard work in the workshop. we had a team building exercise in the form of indoor kart racing. The group brought out their competitive personas and demonstrated exemplary team spirit. In this competition, we were all winners!

A Couple of Reminders

POPDHH Lending Library and Technology Loans –  The school year end is approaching fast. If you have any library or technology items on loan, kindly return them at your earliest convenience, on or by June 21st. Thank you for being our patrons!

British Columbia Deaf Scholarship Trust – Applications are due on June 14th. click on the link to download the BCDST 2019 Application Package. This form is fillable electronically. Click to download the BCDST poster.
For info in ASL, watch the video: BC Deaf Scholarship Trust. You can also visit www.bcdst.ca for additional details.
From the Community
Exciting News: Bill C-81 – Accessible Canada Act
Bill C-81

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Provincial Outreach Program: Deaf and Hard of Hearing
4446 Watling Street Burnaby, BC V5J 5H3
Voice: 604-296-9062 Fax: 604-296-9063
Text: 778-889-5663 Email: office@popdhh.ca
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