Vision, Hearing-impaired kids get learning experience

Hazard, Ky. (WYMT)- Kids with visual and hearing impairments got a chance for a fire truck demonstration, and a talk from a Kentucky State Trooper Thursday, among other activities.

"Many of these students may see this at school, but they don't fully understand or grasp certain things are happening the way they do," said Verna Howell of the Kentucky School for the Blind. "Either they can't hear all the instructions, or they can't see what they need to do."

One student came for more than the activities.

"I thought this would be a good opportunity to learn, learn how I could get into some colleges or something with my disability," said seventh-grader Jake Sparkman, who has trouble hearing low-pitched womens' voices.

He said without his hearing aids, he could only get by in school with "C" grades.

Kendra Elkins, whose son's eyes cannot move from side to side, said events like this help educate the public as well.

"People can be more educated on the visually and hearing impaired and can help kids do so much more," she said "There's so much more for them to do."

Organizers also hope to help first-responders in working with this population as well.

"Sometimes people aren't ignoring you," said Howell. "That they may not be able to hear you. They may not see you, and that we have to be more vigilant in all of our cultures and communities."

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