Supporting Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students

Students with hearing disabilities face unique challenges inside the classroom. Many common learning modes that people take for granted — lectures, discussion groups and even one-on-one conversations — can be a struggle for those who have any level of hearing difficulty. However, that doesn’t mean a college degree is out of reach. Today’s wide range of tools, devices and systems can help students who are deaf or hard of hearing thrive in an educational setting. This guide focuses on those resources, tech tools and expert tips that students of all ages can use achieve academic success.


Understanding the Differences: Deaf, Deafness and Hard of Hearing

Not all hearing disabilities are equal, and a person’s hearing level dictates how they manage life both inside and outside the classroom. The next few sections explain the different degrees of hearing loss, as well as define the following three commonly used terms: deaf, deafness and hard of hearing.

To learn more: Check out their website at:


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1-800-422-7930 (V/TTY)  360 339-7382 (VP) or Web site:
PO Box 45301 Olympia, WA 98504-5301


Winter Safety- Bad Weather Resources

Good morning, 

The cold weather is upon us. As part of our commitment to communication and sharing resources we would like to share the following winter safety- bad weather information from our DOH partner. 


Here is a compilation of resources in multiple languages and formats to share with your organizations on how to prepare and be safe during the winter. 

Public Health - Seattle & King County has very helpful information on their blog how to stay safe if you are on dialysis, need to pick prescriptions or have medical supplies delivered to your home.

Public Health - Seattle & King County

It’s important to plan ahead when you hear a forecast for possible snow or severe winter weather if you have medical needs.

Things to consider if you depend on:

Oxygen tanks, medication prescriptions, or other medical supplies: Plan with your doctor, pharmacist, or medical service provider about what to do if they can’t be delivered or if you can’t get to the pharmacy. Ask your doctor and/or pharmacist if you can have a 3-day emergency supply.

Medical equipment powered by electricity (beds, breathing equipment or infusion pumps): Check with your medical supply company and get information regarding a back-up power source such as a battery or generator.

Intravenous and feeding tube equipment: Know if your infusion pump has battery back-up, and how long it would last in an emergency. Ask your home care provider about manual infusion techniques in case of a power outage.



  • Make back-up arrangements for transportation, such as asking a friend with an all-wheel drive vehicle to help you get to your dialysis appointment.
  • Get information about other dialysis facilities in your area. Find out if they provide the type of treatment you need.
  • Contact the facility to be sure they can treat you if an emergency occurs and you cannot use your regular facility.
  • Know what diet to follow if your dialysis must be delayed.

Power outage and cold weather

Even if you don’t have these specific medical conditions, everyone should be prepared in case power goes out. Winds are also expected to pick up this week, and that can lead to downed power lines. If you lose heat, don’t try to tough it out. Find a friend who still has heat, or go to a heated public place, like the library or mall. 

Some cities may open warming centers to give people a warm place to go. If you have no electricity, make sure that you avoid carbon monoxide poisoning! 

  • Always use generators outside, away from open windows and vents
  • NEVER use a generator indoors or in a garage
  • NEVER use a charcoal or gas grill indoor

Fur coats aren’t always enough

 Finally, look out for your furry buddies. If your pet depends on medication, keep a 3-day emergency supply, just as you would for yourself. Keep your pets indoors as much as possible and dry them off with a towel or gentle blow dry. Don’t leave your pets (or young children!) in a cold car–it can quickly become a freezer, leading to hypothermia. 





Guide on Access to Outdoor Sites Available from the U.S. Access Board

A new guide on achieving accessible outdoor sites, including trails and camping areas, is now available from the U.S. Access Board. These guidelines provide detailed specifications for accessible trails, picnic and camping areas, viewing areas, beach access routes and other components of outdoor developed areas when newly built or altered. [Read more information]

Where to hit the trail in a wheelchair

View the Seattle Times article online or a PDF printable copy. The article includes location information such as fees, contact phone numbers and websites.


Emergency Preparedness

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Wild Fire Safety Information

Please Note: There is a ban on open fires in Spokane County right now.

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During this time when the wildfire risks are high, citizens are asked to take precautions to help minimize the chance of a wildfire and its damage.  

Click on the links below for more information & tips. 

 Tree Top Info        Defend Your Home        Water Your Lawn

Emergency Shelter Communications

Toolkit Field Manual

This Toolkit provides information to assist potential shelter providers in assessing potential shelter sites, and accommodating and serving people with disabilities in an emergency shelter situation.

If you are interested in a copy of the toolkit, please contact sheltercommunicationstoolkit(at)