US Denied because they're deaf: Why one school continues unofficial cadet program

12:30  18 february  2020
12:30  18 february  2020 Source:   abcnews.go.com

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The program gives deaf cadets the chance to train despite being barred from traditional military service. Deaf high school football captain is true leader on field. Devin Holmes, a senior at Bloomfield High School in Michigan, has played football for four years and will continue in college.

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From afar, the formation of students in military uniforms saluting their captain looks like any other cadet program around the country. But there’s one giveaway that this program is unique: the commands coming from the captain are in American Sign Language.

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They cofounded what is now the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, CT. Children Of Deaf Adults They have to negotiate between two cultures for their entire lives, ASL is usually their first language If not, why ? No because they don't think there is anything wrong with being deaf .

People who are deaf cannot join the U.S. military. But, that’s not stopping teachers at the Maryland School for the Deaf in Frederick, Maryland, from leading some of their pupils through the rigors of military life through an unofficial cadet corps demonstration program.

Teacher Keith Nolan started the unofficial cadet corps demonstration program to teach deaf and hard-of-hearing students about leadership, using military training and discipline. He is also leading the effort to change the Department of Defense’s policies so that deaf individuals have the chance to join the military.

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Schools where students struggle – because they tend to have fewer resources and bigger Trace Pickering, associate superintendent of the Cedar Rapids Community School District A: Yeah, it looks very different. They ’ re not really writing lessons so much as we have three teachers for 110 students.

Reasons why they called them that because deaf people may talk funny because they can't hear themselves. I may take this too personal but just becareful what you say. If you want to learn about deaf children, you could visit deaf school or volunteer deaf services so you can understand better.

"I want to see a demonstration program so that the DOD can see the skills -- the unique capabilities -- that we have to offer," Nolan told ABC News through an American Sign Language interpreter. "So, I do hope the Department of Defense will review and perhaps revise their policy so that they can take advantage of our skills."

Nolan and his staff had worked for years to lobby for a bill in the House that would fund the demonstration program. But ultimately in 2019, "neither the Senate or House Armed Services Committee were willing to support the demonstration program," he wrote in an email.

Now, a provision titled "reducing barriers to service in U.S. Space Force" in the Senate National Defense Authorization Act Report may bring back some hope. The Department of Defense still needs to define how to reduce those barriers, which includes reviewing certain "restrictions based on physiological conditions."

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“The gravity of the crime was immense because the school official responsible for protecting the students, abused his position and took advantage of the fact that the disabled students were unable They had also been charged for assaulting another student aged 17, who had witnessed the incident.

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"I am really motivated by this -- another great step forward to recruiting the best talent for our military force in addition to the demonstration program that we've been pushing for," Nolan wrote.

Nolan’s drive for this policy change is personal. In 2001, he was denied from joining the military because he couldn’t pass his physical assessment.

"There was this one test that I couldn’t pass, that was the audiology exam," he said. "It was a huge blow."

Student Crosse Harpin said that he wants to follow in his father’s footsteps, who had served in the military.

"I would love to do the same thing that he's done, to serve the country," Harpin told ABC News through an American Sign Language interpreter. "We’re lucky here to have the cadet corp program at our school. And I’m just amazed I’ve built my confidence in this program."

The mother of another cadet agreed.

"The first time we saw him uniform ... it was overwhelming to see him," Jennifer Moose said of her son, cadet Aiden Moose. She also recently retired from the U.S. Air Force.

"Maybe one day he’ll be able to join the military," she added.

Until then, the cadets will keep marching on.

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