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Monday, December 22, 2014



The Jolly Signers Christmas Carols is canceled tonight. We apologize for the inconvenience. 


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Jolly Signers Christmas Caroling ----TONIGHT 6:30 PM

Tonight is the Night when we go Caroling!
Please join us as the D/HH youth and their friends, and family take the stage at the Lights of the Ozarks! Come and join in the fun and take a picture with Santa as well. Maybe ride the Camel to Bethlehem while you're there.
Weather: Please note if the weather presents hazardous conditions or too much rain before 5:30 pm, I will send a note to cancel the event for tonight. Otherwise, singers and signers must be there by 6pm for the show at 6:30.
The next performance is at the NWA Mall at 6pm and Mall Waiver forms must be signed by participants.
Thanks and hope to see you there tonight!
Let's go Caroling!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

CANCELED PRACTICE this week for Jolly Signers

Singing Practice for Jolly Signers has been canceled this week.

Thursday Dec 4 practice is canceled due to another engagement that evening. Therefore the 6pm-730 practice will be canceled.

Also, Saturday Dec 6 practice from 12-1:30 is cancelled due to family matters.

Practice will resume next Thursday Dec 11 and Saturday Dec 13.

Performance is Thursday Dec 18 and Monday Dec 22.

Jolly Signers Music Leader Kelvin Jackson will produce a video for signers to practice at home.

Please contact me if you have any questions. 
Thanks, Leora Jackson

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

DUO presents "THE MIME" Saturday Dec 6 from 3-6:30pm

It's MIMING Time!!!

Deaf United Organization presents The Mime on
 Saturday, December 6, from 3-8pm

Come and bring the whole family for a fun time together. After the kids visit Santa at the Candy Cane Christmas, bring them to watch some entertainment by the MIME!

Candy Cane Christmas December 6

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Youth in Northwest Arkansas will be in for a treat on Saturday December 6, as Santa Claus comes to town! Please hurry and register before 11/29/14.

Kids will take pictures with Santa, eat snacks and maybe take home some small gifts from Santa.

Other Deaf & Hard of Hearing Organizations are invited to come and help volunteer.  Please contact the person on the flyer for more information on how you can help.

Come on out and have some fun with Santa!

YDHAT Christmas Carols by D/HH Youth December 18, 2014

D/HH Youth in the NWA area are joining together with D/HH Adults from local Deaf Agencies such as Deaf United Organization, Northwest Arkansas Association for the Deaf, Arkansas Hands & Voices and YDHAT to present Christmas Songs during the 2014 Fayetteville Lights of the Ozarks.

(See website for more info

The JOLLY SIGNERS will Sing & Sign Jingle Bells, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Silent Night, Holy Night and We Wish You a Merry Christmas. 

If your child would like to sing a solo or another Christmas song such as "All I want for Christmas, is my Two Front Teeth," I'm Gettin Nuttin for Christmas, or any other song, please let me know ASAP.

Practices for JOLLY SIGNERS will be held at the Springdale Library on Thursdays and Jones Center every Saturday from 12-1:30 pm.

Adult family and friends are welcome to participate as well. It is open for all kids and their friends

Here are the practice dates and times:

1.Thursday, November 13, 2014     6pm-7:30 pm    Springdale Library Kids Area
2. Saturday, November 15, 2014      12 pm-1:30pm   Jones Center Food Court
3. Thursday, November 20, 2014     6pm-7:30 pm    Springdale Library Kids Area
4. Saturday, November 22, 2014      12 pm-1:30pm    Jones Center Food Court
5. Thursday, November 27, 2014     No Practice Happy Thanksgiving
6. Saturday, November 29, 2014      12 pm-1:30pm    Jones Center Food Court
7. Thursday, December 4, 2014        6pm-7:30 pm    Springdale Library Kids Area
8. Saturday, December 6, 2014        12 pm-1:30pm    Jones Center Food Court
9. Thursday, December 11, 2014     6pm-7:30 pm    Springdale Library Kids Area (Mandatory)
10. Saturday, December 13, 2014      12 pm-1:30 pm   Jones Center Food Court (Mandatory)
11. Thursday, December 18, 2014      6:30pm-7pm         Lights of the Ozarks Performance (Wear Red top and Blue jeans or black pants/skirt and Santa hat)

12. Monday, December 22, 2014,   6pm-7:30 pm       NWA Mall Food Court Area
(Wear White top and Blue jeans or black pants/skirt and Santa hat)

Sample of ASL songs on Youtube: Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer
JIngle Bells:
Silent Night, Holy Night:

DUO presents "SLOT" ASL Film 5pm Saturday

Whats Happening This Week???

 Are you looking for a movie? Check out the Movie Night with DUO on Sat at 5pm-9pm at the United Way in Lowell, AR.

 Check out or Facebook events for more information; 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Need any PALS? UA Preschool Startup this Fall

See the attached flyer to learn more about the new preschool that will be meeting at the University of Arkansas Speech and Hearing Clinic starting this fall. This preschool is for 3 to 5 year olds. To learn more, please contact Nicole Guenther by email at or call the clinic at 479-575-4917. This is a great opportunity for little ones!

Monday, July 28, 2014


YDHAT, DUO, NWAAD, parents, volunteers, and others are invited to the 2nd Annual Naturals Baseball Game with YDHAT and other Deaf Organizations.

Please see the flyer for more information. If you are interested on attending on Tuesday, August 5, please contact Leora Jackson for more information.

See ya at the Baseball Game!!!

Deaf Awareness Day at Silver Dollar City

Hello. Don't forget the 14th Deaf Awareness Day at Silver Dollar City on Saturday, August 9, from 10-6pm (Disregard the 7pm time on the Flyer below).

Hands & Voices Back to School BASH

Don't Forget to Come to the BASH!

Hands and Voices Back to School Bash is almost Near! Please Hurry and Register by Saturday, August 2, 2014 for the event on Thursday, August 7, from 6-8pm at the Bentonville Jump Zone. For more information, contact

Back to School Fun Day at the Jones Center


Let's have fun together at The Jones Center. The pool will be available for kids and adults! Food and drinks will be provided at the Celebration Station (It's the area near the Food Court Cafeteria). Also, the children will get "Back to School" stuff bag!

For more information about The Jones Center :

Door Prizes.

Admission: $5 per person for Adults. $3 for students. $3 for kids (Age of 15 & under).

**Please be advised that The Jones Center charges $3 per person to use the pool and that will be covered by us after we collect the admission fee from you.**
Please contact DUO or YDHAT for more information. We hope to see you there!!!

Leap & Learn Tuesday July 29th

Don't forge to come to LEAP & LEARN tomorrow, Tuesday, July 29, 2014 from 4:30-6:30.
Bring your family, bring a friend, bring yourself and come out and Learn some sign language with others.

More details about the Fall Leap & Learn will be discussed.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Sources Fun Day Boat Ride this Saturday!

ITS FUNDAY at Sources and YDHAT is INVITED!!!!

We've finished the Train Ride and now it's time for a BOAT Ride!!!

This is FREE event and is sponsored by Sources and other partners. 

Come on out and enjoy Fun, Food, Fellowship at FUNDAY at Beaver Lake on Saturday, June 7 from 11-3pm.

Bring your extra folding chairs, blankets, sunscreen, fishing pole, swimsuit, your water floating tubes and enjoy the lake with Sources and other Disability organizations.

Check out the website for more information;

Leap & Learn Sign Language & More Sign Language

Don't forget to come Tuesday Night June 3, 2014 from 4:30-6:30pm for Leap & Learn Sign Language.

It's Free and Fun for the whole family! Come and meet other families with children with hearing loss and learn sign language at the same time!

Come to the U of A Speech and Hearing Center on 606 N. Razorback Rd, Fayetteville, AR.

Please see the Flyer for more information:

Sources Sign Language on Mondays from 5:30-6:30pm, Wednesdays at 4:00pm and Fridays at 11AM. Sources is located 1918 N. Birch Ave, Fayetteville, AR  72704. Phone (479) 442-5600.

YDHAT Summer Signing Time

Some Parents of D/HH children and Deaf/HH Mentors are wanting to offer Summer Sign Language classes in your neighborhood. Plans are still underway and more information is forthcoming.

If you are interested in having a Sign Language Tutor to assist you, your group or your organization in learning basic sign language, please contact me and I will refer some individuals to you.
Would you like to become an interpreter? Do you think you have the skills? Would you like to test your knowledge?

Testing is available for individuals who are interested in becoming an educational interpreter or community interpreter.  The Quality Assurance Screening Test or the QAST is one such test that is required as well as the EIPA (Educational Interpreter Performance Test).

These 2 test will allow you to work as an interpreter once the required levels are met. Please contact this website for EIPA and
for QAST.

Soon, there will be a great demand for interpreters. Therefore, begin learning sign language at one of the local sign language classes.
Deaf & Hard of Hearing Consulting
If you have issues, concerns, questions relating to D/HH employees, co-workers, family, or friends, please contact one of your local groups that specialize in D/HH issues and concerns:

1. Vocational Rehabilitation for D/HH at Arkansas Rehab Services (479) 582-1286 Bonnie O'Boyle
2. Deaf United Organization (DUO)- Aaron Shaw, Kelvin Jackson
3. Sources- Priscilla Scanlan
4. Arkansas School for the Deaf Parent Advisor- Karen Howard-Lange
5. YDHAT-Leora Jackson-
6. SLIN(Sign Language Interpreting Network) Interpreting Service

If you have any questions about any information above, please contact the agency by the links provided or through your internet search engine if contact info isn't provided.

YDHAT Train Ride Survey

The YDHAT Train Ride Survey results are in!!

Thanks to everyone who were able to complete the YDHAT Train Ride Survey.  Over 10 people said the event was very unique to extremely unique, and 83% said it was a great deal of value for the event.

Some open-ended questions were asked and here are the responses.  All answers were anonymous.

What did you like about YDHAT 2014 Train Ride Event?
1.  "A very good experience. My first time on a train."
2. "The ride itself."
3. "Making memories with my family and with other people who have a special needs person in their life. No one pointed or stared because we are all in the same boat (train)."
4. "The snacks, the views, the opportunity to get out and explore the town."
5. "Very relaxing for both kids and adults. A great experience for individuals with and without hearing loss."
6. "The idea of riding on a train and the opportunity to see the beautiful views from a train."
7. "Everything!"
8. "The train ride itself was awesome! We enjoyed the "old time" adventure. The train was comfortable and roomy!"
9. "I liked that the kids were able to have the lights and really light up the train. The snacks were great and I had a great time."
10. "The train was very reasonable in cost."
11. "It was interesting, fun, and relaxing."
What did you dislike about YDHAT 2014 Train Ride Event?
1. "Nothing!"
2. "Nothing. It was wonderful."
3. "No air, generator problems, snacks were good."
4. "More interactions between all kids and parents - this will come once more activities are established and parents and kids get to know each other. Maybe icebreaker can help in which everyone is engaged on the ride in games." (Yes, this is a great idea! We hope to get more ideas from parents and others as we progress regarding activities,  icebreakers, games and more.)
5. "I feel like the YDHAT train ride event should just be available for families of deaf and hard of hearing children. This is a great opportunity for these families to meet and visit. Also, it would be nice to be seated next to someone with similar hearing loss as my child so that we could share information as well." (We would like the train ride to include the majority of families of D/HH youth, but we do include youth with disabilities such as speech, and communication disorders, autism, intellectual disabilities, and to youth and families in the community.Priority is giving to Families of D/HH youth first. However, we do wish to focus on inclusion and sharing culture with others.
6. "Giving deaf/hard of hearing kids whistles on the train. Very loud for hearing people." (Yes, we will not include whistles as a toy item. It was very annoying and bothersome to hearing people)
7. "Van Buren needs to have more shops open...or a park for the kids to play."
8. "I guess there needs to be a better way to collect fees." (Yes, we are looking into a better system for group collection that would be more effective).
9. "I would like to see all the deaf kids sit with each other and for the parents to supervise them." (Yes, this was an issue and we would like to organize and implement a better strategy for this next time.)
Is there anything else you’d like to share about YDHAT 2014 Train Ride?
1. "No, everything was great!"
2. "Thank you for the gifts and making our children feel special. Thank you for your generosity and kindness."
3. "The generator issues was a problem, no air was a bad thing and made us uncomfortable at times."
4. "The ride was amazing and the experience will be remembered forever." 
5.  "Can we have another one later this year?" (YDHAT will ask for a Fall Train Ride in October for Disability Awareness Month. We will let you know of the outcome.)
6. "We would like to see more people go."

Thursday, May 22, 2014

YDHAT Goes to Van Buren

YDHAT Goes to Van Buren

A Springdale youth was very excited about the Train ride on Saturday, May 10, 2014 carrying 42 passengers, including 23 children, and he wanted to make sure his grandmother really understood that his intent was to “drive the train,” to Vanburen and back, and not just ride in it.
Four-year old Connor Selby wanted to be in the conductor’s seat and had high hopes of getting to the front of the train.
His grandmother Catrina Horton said, “I really enjoyed taking my grandson on the train. He had a great time, even though he said he wanted to “drive the train.” She was able to talk to the staff to allow him to see the front locomotive. He stood in the doorway for a long time, staring and waiting for an opportunity to drive :)
“He had fun and I had fun watching all of them,” Horton said.
Some other families on the train were experiencing their first train ride ever and really thought the YDHAT train ride was a great event for a great fee.
“This was our first train ride and we had so much fun! Everyone was great, and the weather was beautiful,” said Julie Downum.
Candy Jenkins, another parent said, “We were able to take our three boys on their first train ride because of your generosity (YDHAT). We could not have afforded it otherwise.
This particular train ride had Gift Bags that were a little different than the May 4th train ride. Inside the gift bags were small group package toys, tunnel toy lights, glow sticks, candies, but with an addition of Razorback T-shirts, koozies, and razorback writsbands.  (The May 4 Train Ride group will get their additional items at the next YDHAT recreational event this summer).                                                                                                                                                                                          
The YDHAT group had 42 passengers, but there were other people on the train who were not part of our group and they were offered glow sticks to join in with the YDHAT group.   

 The ride was a long one and some children and maybe a few adults took advantage of an opportunity to get a nap.

For more pictures of the YDHAT May 10 train Ride, see:
Stay tune to more YDHAT events such as Camping, Swimming, Baseball, and more. Also, check out Sign Language classes in your area on the blog post next week.                                    

With your help, a total of 99 people were able to attend on both train rides of May 4 & May 10. They were able to receive glow sticks and snacks, and our young people each received a gift bag with toy lights, glow sticks, small party toys, candies and more.
Gold Sponsors: $31-$50
Silver Sponsors: $21-$30
Bronze Sponsors: $10-$20
Photography Sponsors

 YDHAT May 10 Train Ride Testimonials
"We're so glad we were able to come to this train ride with your group. It was awesome and we just hope you guys keep doing it for the enjoyment of others as well. We look forward to do it again. Thanks! Have a nice Day!"-The Villagran Family
"What a wonderful day! We were able to take our there boys on their first train ride because of your generosity. We could not have afforded it otherwise. Thanks you for helping us make memories with our boys that we will always cherish. God Bless you. Thanks again."-The Jenkins Family Bill, Candy, Billy, Andy,  & Bobby
Our family really enjoyed the train ride. The staff on the train were very nice and we enjoyed meeting some new families. The weather was perfect and downtown Van Buren was very nice. We hope to be able to do this again. Thank you for the great time."-Shawn Michaels, Kayla, Kendal, Abbie, & Blake Michaels
Thanks so much! I loved the way the staff would tell us "history" stuff about the train, the "towns" we went through, etc. Exceptionally awesome was the price for the trip. I hope you do it again next year. I want my other half and maybe the grandchildren to come. Thanks again!"-Barbara Teaser
I thought it was great! I thought all the kids had fun. It was cool how we got dropped off in Van Buren. The little town was very pretty and the people were nice. I found good peaceful time to read and watch the pretty sites."-Abbie Michaels
I really enjoyed taking my grandson on the train. He had a great time even though he said he wanted to "drive the train." He had fun with all the kids and I had fun watching all of them."-Catrina Horton
This was our first train ride. We had so much fun! Everyone was great :) Even the weather was beautiful. The ride was very comfortable. We are so glad we had the opportunity to go on the trip!
-Julie Downum and Family.

Friday, May 9, 2014

YDHAT May 4 Train Ride was a Huge Success


A Bentonville Deaf woman couldn't hear the train horn as it beeped carrying 57 passengers of the YDHAT group from Springdale to Winslow, but as the train went through the dark, pitch black tunnel with 25 children waving glow sticks and toy lights, she could hear the laughter and giggles of the children in her heart and felt overjoyed and thrilled that she had a chance to participate with the YDHAT train ride.

Pearl Jones, 93, was deaf from birth and the normal train sounds that others heard, was silent on her ears.

"I had a great time and I was happy to see the kids having fun too," she said.

Jean Hunton, 69, sign language interpreter and a CODA (Child Of Deaf Adult, daughter of Jones) said, "This was a very scenic and relaxing ride and was great for my 93-year old Deaf mother who enjoyed it very much," .

Although the ride was for young D/HH children and their families, YDHAT (Young Deaf & Hard of Hearing Awareness Team) try to focus on inclusion and integration activities for D/HH youth and friends by developing activities for others to join.

The train ride consisted of other adults with hearing loss, families that did not have children with hearing loss, University of Arkansas students, and staff,  school interpreters, and friends.

"We really enjoyed our experience on the train. The best part was watching all the kids having a good time especially in the tunnel with all the glow sticks, said Jason & Shelly Cox, and Kevin & Camille Tietz, school & community interpreters.

Before the train ride, Kendree Kilsch, mother of 3-year old hard of hearing child said, "I wish Kylee knew more children her age with hearing aids. I am looking forward to connecting with other parents on the train ride."

There were eight children with hearing loss on board the train ranging in ages 1 to 12 years old.

Leron Jackson, a 5-year old hard of hearing preschooler said, "I like the train ride when we go through the tunnel."

"I like the train and the food. When it gets dark, we light up the glow sticks and it makes everything light up, said Xailyn, age 6.

Although, it was somewhat difficult for most parents to connect and talk on the train, the children manage to make new friends.

I tried to organize it in a way that parents of D/HH kids can sit together, but it didn't work out that way.

Plus, I didn't anticipate the correct budget that is required in order to sponsor all the children. It wouldn't be fair to sponsor a few children and not all of them. I was able to raise $345 total, but $595 was needed to sponsor all 48 kids (25x$10 and 23x$15), plus extra was needed for the tunnel toy lights, glow sticks and snacks. The toy lights on average were $4.50 each and for 48 kids, that would be $216 by itself.

Furthermore, we had a BIG INCREASE from last year. In 2013, our Winslow ride had 16 people compared to 57 people this year. And the Vanburen ride in 2013 had only 6 people compared to 42 people this year.
 (Check out the 2013 Train Ride Blog here: )

That says a lot!!! We were able to reach more families and children with not only hearing loss, but other disabilities as well.
Maybe, next year, we can plan better and have a big budget prepared ahead of time for a larger group of kids.

Overall, everyone had a great time and mainly the kids. I appreciate all the sponsors for helping with snacks, party toys, glow sticks and toy lights for the kids.
 The children will take the toy lights back home as a keepsake. I couldn't afford all this on my own. Thanks to all those that helped.

The kids had fun and that's all that matters. And the parents, too :)

Another parent Stacy Harper said, "I am the Founder and Creative Director for XTreme Achievers  "The Children's Mobile Exercise Program."  The experience was wonderful and so much fun. Honestly I think I had more fun than the kids. It was a joy to see so many children smiling and laughing I admire Leora for her passion she has for helping children and exposing them to new adventures."

I have already completed another train ride last Saturday, May 10 from 8am-5pm as YDHAT departed to Vanburen.

Stay tuned to another YDHAT update regarding the May 10 Train Ride!

Woo! Woo!!

Here is a link below to the train ride photos on Sunday May 4, 2014.
All sponsors who assisted with the May 4 and May 10 train rides are listed below and will also be listed on the next May 10, 2014 updated article.

With your help, a total of 99 people were able to attend on both train rides of May 4 & May 10. They were able to receive glow sticks and snacks, and our young people each received a gift bag with toy lights, glow sticks, small party toys, candies and more.
Gold Sponsors: $31-$50
Silver Sponsors: $21-$30
Bronze Sponsors: $10-$20
Photography Sponsors
YDHAT Train Ride Quotes
"I really enjoyed the train excursion. The children that came on the trip really enjoyed the trip. I think Leora did a fantastic job with getting the trip plans together."- Dahlia Ashford
"What a fun experience! Laney and I have had so much fun riding the train with YDHAT! It was such a well organized outing with glow sticks & light up toys galore to make the tunnel and ride such a memorable experience. So glad we got to be part of it."-Jennie Van Es
"Our First train ride is an absolute fun! Our most favorite part is going under the tunnel. We can't wait for our next train ride next year. Thank you Ms. Leora for organizing this."-The Renfro Family
"My first time and I really enjoyed it. My grandson love it so I guess I will do it again. Thank you, Ms. Jackson." -R. Lopez
"This was our first time and we had a blast. Melanie, 4 and Travies, 5 were glowing when they laid eyes on the train. Very relaxing for adults too. Thanks, Ms. Leora."-Omeshia Clark
"I loved the train ride! The conductors were very entertaining. I would like to do this again real soon. Thanks again for a very nice experience."-Shirlene Orr
"This was a unique experience. I had a lot of fun! I'm 46 years old and had never ridden a train before. We enjoyed the conductors too :) Thanks for a great ride!"-Mike Selby
"It feels good! I've never been on a train ride like this. I like the tunnel best of all. It was Awesome!"-Trinity, 6
"I liked watching the beautiful dogwood trees. It was a different perspective. I enjoyed the rocking back and forth on the train. I didn't like the train smell very much."-Anonymous
"It went very well! I like it a lot!"-Tiara, 10