We are helping teachers stay actively involved in the lives of their Deaf students through the use of technology. For Deaf students, meeting in person for school provides the opportunity for daily social interaction with people who share the same language- in this case, Vietnamese Sign Language. Now that students are at home, CDS’ online learning program is allowing students to remain connected with friends and teachers. Technology cannot take the place of face-to-face interaction, but it is a beautiful thing to see these children’s faces light up as their friends pop up on the screen for a Zoom class.

Opening and closing ceremonies for each school year are an important tradition in Vietnamese culture. Though unable to hold the traditional ceremony at this present time, we were able to celebrate the opening of the 2020-2021 school year via Zoom.

Of the many negative things that are associated with this unusual season, we have been greatly encouraged by the increased communication that is happening between students and their families. We have seen students teaching their siblings sign language. And, as parents have had to assume new responsibilities in assisting their kids at home with their work, they have had more time to learn signs and practice communicating.