“Taking the Lead: Educating Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students at NYC’s J.H.S. 47—Strategies for Excellence, was co-sponsored by the JHS 47 Alumni Association of the Deaf.

“47” Alumni News – Vol. 1 No 1 Winter 1996

 “Taking the Lead: Educating Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students at NYC’s J.H.S. 47—Strategies for Excellence, was co-sponsored by the JHS 47 Alumni Association of the Deaf. 

Sanders holds “47” Roundtable conference on the future of JHS 47

From: Town & Village newspaper – Thursday, December 28, 1995

Assemblyman Steven Sanders, Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Education, co-hosted an unprecedented Roundtable conference on Saturday, December 16, 1995 which planned for the future of JHS 47 School for the Deaf, New York’s only self-contained school for the deaf.  The conference, entitled “Taking the Lead: Educating Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students at NYC’s J.H.S. 47—Strategies for Excellence, was co-sponsored by the “47” Alumni Association of the Deaf.  The Alumni Association’s Dorothy Cohler, a faculty member, was co-host at an event attended mostly by deaf people and facilitated by Dr. Rusty Rosen, himself deaf, coordinator of the master’s program in education of the deaf at Teachers College, Columbia University.  The conference was held at New York University’s David B. Kriser Dental Center, 345 First Avenue, New York City. Over four hundred attendees came to this unprecedented event.

Sanders, a long-time advocate for the deaf, has expressed interest in transforming J.H.S. 47 into the premier self-contained school for the deaf in the country.

“I am confident that the tremendous turnout and excellent presentations at our Roundtable conference, from some of the nation’s most renowned experts, will lead us toward developing a clear vision of the 47 for the future , and of how JHS 47 can prosper and become a shining example of state-of-the-art education for deaf and hard of hearing students, academic excellence, as well as a resource for families as a deaf cultural center, with a range of program, including in the evenings,” said Sanders.

Keynote presentations were given by Dr. Harlan Lane, University professor, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts ; Jay Innes, Associate Professor, Gallaudet University Department of Education and Chair of the Education Committee, National Association of the Deaf; Keith Muller, Executive Director, New York League for the Hard of Hearing; Dr. Martin Florsheim, educational administrator, NYC Board of Education Division of Special Education; Laurene Gallimore, assistant professor, Western Oregon State College; and Marie Jean Philip, bilingual-bicultural coordinator at the Learning Center for Deaf Children, Framingham, Massachusetts.

Other Panelist were Dr. Glenn Anderson, Professor, Research and Training Center on Deafness, University of Arkansas; Dr. Rebecca Cort, Coordinator, New York State Education Department, Office of Special Education Services; Mark Myers, Senior Administrator, New York State Department of VESID; Gail Gilson, Teacher/Chair of the School Based Management/Ste-Based Planning Committee, and Linnette Rodriguez, Parents Representative.

Sanders commended the Alumni Association, especially Dorothy Cohler, Executive Board member and Joel Goldfarb, President for their “tireless” work in planning the Roundtable conference, working over many months with Sanders and his staff.

Awards were presented by the “47” Alumni honoring Sanders for his commitment to the future of the City’s only school for the deaf and to Sanders’ Chief of Staff, Steven Kaufman and special education advisor, William Perkins also received citations.

The Assemblyman commended the activists and leaders of New York’s Deaf community, advocates and providers in the field, and the 13 American Sign Language interpreters who helped make the day such a big success.

Sanders said that ever the next several months, and after receipt of a summary of recommendations to be prepared by Dr. Rosen a master plan for JHS 47 would be developed in conjunction with the deaf and hard of hearing community.

The Assemblyman thanked NYU Dental Center, AT&T, Consolidated Edison, Beth Israel Medical Center, Citibank, and the League of Hard of Hearing for their generous contributions to underwrite cost of the conference.  Other contributors included Coalition of Deaf Educators, Educational Resource Center on Deafness, Empire State Association of the Deaf, Harris Communications, New York City Civic Association of the Deaf, The Food Plaza, Hands On and the “47” Alumni Association of the Deaf.