Gianna Heaviland 0

Allow Interpreting, Captioning and Note taking Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearingat San Dieguito Academy

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My name is Gianna Heaviland, I'm deaf in the left ear and hard of hearing in the right ear and a senior at San Dieguito Academy in Encinitas, CA. I grew up oral and learned American Sign Language in my sophomore year of high school. I learned my rights from taking this class and it has opened up many opportunities for me. This is the language has allowed me to understand people and be involved in conversations. In the year that I started ASL, I asked for a note taker in English 10 and World History. I have an Individual Education Program (IEP) which gives me access to services that will benefit my needs. I ended up not getting the note taker until my fall semester of senior year. I realized I was missing so much in class when a teacher turned away or I couldn't read their lips or when a teacher mumbled in monotone or when kids were being extremely loud in class. I've missed a lot of information and I want to be able to understand the material I am given. A lot of hearing people take this for granted. When I asked for an interpreter or captioning services in support of the ADA law the San Dieguito Union High School District said they would not give me any services because of my grades and they don't have to give me the best education. The ADA Law states that all deaf and hoh are required to have these services offered to them in any public place. I hired an advanced lawyer who's sister is deaf and this is the first time someone gave her a "no". Just to wrap this up, I care about my education and I want to do well in my classes. My whole life I've depended on filling in the blanks of sentences. This is not about have the "best" education. It's about being on the same playing field. I need the word spread out to different deaf/hoh communities and any hearing people who will support as well. Thank you for you contribution. -Gianna

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