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Dawn Smith Raymond


Dawn Smith Raymond, a resident of Fort Myers, graduated with honors from Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, with a Master's Degree in Linguistics. She focused her study on American Sign Language and English. She is a nationally certified interpreter by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. The efforts by the Jamaica Association for the Deaf (JAD) to improve education for deaf and hard of hearing children first attracted Ms. Raymond to volunteer for FAVACA in the fall of 2000. In her six missions to Jamaica, she has worked with JAD on a variety of projects, including training teachers in bilingual approaches to the education of deaf and hard of hearing children, and providing language assessments for faculty and staff. Ms. Raymond is currently a Professional Development Trainer at Sorenson Communications, Inc, for the southern region of the U.S.



JAMAICAN SIGN LANGUAGE TEACHERS HONE SKILLS.  Long time FAVACA partner the Jamaica Association for the Deaf's (JAD) goal is to improve deaf education and promote bilingual education for deaf students.  JAD's efforts this year have been to produce a baseline profile of our teachers' language skills (English and Jamaica Sign Language - JSL) in order to formulate individualized development/intervention paths.  Shirley Reid, staff development officer for JAD, requested two consultants to analyze and provide feedback to 25 - 30 teachers on their JSL usage.  Veteran FAVACA volunteers Dawn Raymond and Laura Nordby traveled June 9-22 and June 9-13, 2006, respectively, to work with JSL teachers, capture baseline language skills and identify core areas that require strengthening.  Workshops targeting these areas followed in conjunction with other linguists to cover receptive and expressive skills.  The pair provided a lecture on the fundamentals on Jamaica Sign Language to approximately 75 teachers of the Deaf.  The lecture included ways teachers can produce more accurate JSL through the use of hand shapes, orientation, nouns and verb occurrences, numeral incorporation, classifiers predicates, morphology, and conceptual accuracy.

BILINGUALISM GOAL OF JAMAICAN DEAF ADVOCACY GROUP.  Over the course of several years FAVACA has collaborated with the Jamaica Association for the Deaf (JAD) to improve deaf education and promote bilingual education for deaf students.  Shirley Reid, staff development officer for JAD, requested assistance for a series of workshops to build on this work.  Outstanding volunteer award recipient Stephanie Fenton, Tallahassee, traveled to Kingston May 23-39, 2004.  The first part of the week she assisted with workshops for parents of the deaf, deaf culture facilitators and deaf educators.  She was joined mid-week by veteran volunteer Dawn Raymond, Ft. Myers, for a final two day seminar with administrators to review the strategic focus on educational directions within the JAD system.  Raymond is executive director of the non-profit Deaf Service Center of Southwest Florida in Ft. Myers and traveled May 26-30, 2004.  Fenton is disabilities services coordinator at North Florida Community College in Madison.

JAMAICAN TEACHERS TACKLE LITERACY DEVELOPMENT FOR THE DEAF.  Shirley Reid, staff development officer, Jamaica Association for the Deaf (JAD), requested assistance in working with teachers of deaf and hard of hearing students through literacy development and bilingualism.  Laurene Gallimore,  deaf professor, Gallaudet University, Washington, D.C. delivered a workshop entitled "Teaching English as a Second Language" to 100 teachers and deaf culture facilitators. Volunteers Julie Balassa, assistant interpreter coordinator and co-instructor, Valencia Community College, Orlando, and Dawn Raymond, an independent interpreter from Miami, provided interpreting services at the workshop July 3-13, 2003.  The JAD seeks to improve educational offerings for deaf students.  As such, their teaching staff needs to be better equipped to develop meaningful communication and deliver appropriate instruction.  This workshop was intended to expose more persons to the methodology and to introduce the concept of Deaf Studies.

JAMAICAN TEACHERS OF THE DEAF TACKLE LINGUISTICS TRAINING.  Shirley Reid, staff development officer, Jamaica Association for the Deaf (JAD) requested a team of trainers to assist with presenting linguistics of Jamaican Sign Language (JSL) and/or American Sign Language (ASL) and English.  The JAD has been pursuing the move towards a bilingual and bi-cultural education for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing students in their school system.  They have initiated a phase of re-learning for their teaching staff, orientation to the school system for potential Deaf teaching staff and engaging in experimental pedagogical activities.  One of the major areas of focus is the composition of the native language of the Deaf in Jamaica.  Return volunteer Dawn Raymond, independent interpreter, Miami, presented on linguistic issues while Diana Phillip, independent interpreter, Orlando, and Annica Detthow, coordinator of Interpreter Services, Florida International University, Miami, interpreted for the workshop.  In addition, the volunteers assisted in working directly with the participants and illustrating specific features of signed languages.  This workshop was intended to spark a commitment among JAD staff to use JSL in their instructional practices through increased facility and acceptance of JSL as a language of instruction.  The training took place April 9-18, 2003.

JAMAICA ASSOCIATION FOR THE DEAF RECEIVES LINGUISTIC AND INTERPRETER TRAINING.  Shirley Reid, staff development officer, Jamaica Association for the Deaf (JAD) requested the assistance of a linguist to document the structures of Jamaica Sign Language (JSL) for a JSL training program for teachers of the deaf.  Veteran volunteer Dawn Smith, a freelance interpreter from Miami, conducted the workshop August 18-25, 2002 and James Michaels, freelance interpreter, Sign Language Interpreters, Inc. of South Florida, based in Miami provided the sign language interpreting services and consultations with local JSL interpreters, August 23-30, 2002.  JAD conducted two weeks of workshops on various issues of bilingual education in the classroom.  Participants included administrators, principals, teachers of the deaf, interpreters and deaf persons.  Reid and the participants said the workshops were "a success". 

JAMAICA ASSOCIATION FOR THE DEAF HOLDS NATIONWIDE TEACHER TRAINING.  Shirley Reid, staff development officer for The Jamaica Association for the Deaf (JAD) sponsored volunteer-consultants in site workshops at eight Special Schools for the Deaf throughout Jamaica.  The consultants conducted workshops and demonstrations on the theory and practice of bilingualism in the classroom with deaf students.  JAD has been working extensively on improving educational offerings for deaf students, and this training has enhanced the skill base of teachers. Stephanie Fenton,  coordinator, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, North Florida Community College and Dawn Smith, teacher of the deaf, conducted the workshops in Jamaica November 10-22, 2000.

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