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Deafness in Wyoming - Information and Resources

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Updated November 26, 2011

Wyoming is a sparsely populated state (the U.S. Census Bureau estimated just over 500,000 in 2006). Naturally, educational and social opportunities for the deaf community are limited in Wyoming (I could not find a single movie theater accessible to deaf people in Wyoming, for instance). However, Wyoming still has some things to offer people interested in working with deaf people.

Deaf Education

At one time, Wyoming had a state school for the deaf, the Wyoming School for the Deaf. It closed in June 2001; the school does still hold reunions.

The only "school for the deaf" remaining is the residential one for troubled deaf and hard of hearing students at the Cathedral Home for Children. The program integrates deaf and hearing students in cottages and offers mainstreaming opportunities.

The Wyoming Department of Education's Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing unit provides assistance to regular classrooms and childcare centers on educating deaf and hard of hearing children mainstreamed into their classes. In addition, the department offers Wyoming Hearing Impaired Contact, a social and educational opportunity for families with deaf and hard of hearing children.

Parent Organizations

Wyoming has a chapter of the national organization for parents of deaf and hard of hearing children, Hands and Voices.

Relay Services

Wyoming's state relay program is managed by the state department of vocational rehabilitation.

Diagnostic Services

There was a Deaf-Blind Clinic for parents and teachers in Wyoming that has expanded into the Wyoming Diagnostic Clinic. This clinic, held twice a year, makes diagnoses of special needs, including deafness.

Deaf Organizations

The Deaf Association of Wyoming is an affiliate of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD). According to NAD, the president of the Deaf Association of Wyoming is Heather Parsons. No contact information was provided.

Interpreters

Wyoming has the Wyoming Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, a chapter of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. The website offers a newsletter.

Interpreter training is available at Sheridan College in Sheridan, Wyoming. The college has an Educational Interpreting major. At the time I visited the website, the only information on this major was in the college catalog.

Audiologists and Speech Pathologists

The American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) has a chapter in Wyoming, the Wyoming State Speech Language Hearing Association (WSHA), which also distributes a newsletter.

In addition, the University of Wyoming Division of Communication Disorders has a Speech, Language, and Hearing Clinic. This clinic does auditory research and has a sign language lab for practicing sign language. Audiology majors at the University can take beginning and intermediate sign language classes.

Social Opportunities for Signers

As can be expected, social opportunities for signers in Wyoming are few. Some people who hope to establish get-togethers for signers in Wyoming have signed up on Deaf.Meetup.com. A few were registered already under Cheyenne at the time of this article's publication.

On About.com: Wyoming Geography and Maps

Source:

U.S. Census Bureau, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/56000.html.

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