Meet Ku Hal: A Beattie student who uses American Sign Language to succeed

Navigating the classroom can be challenging for some students who are deaf or hard of hearing. 

“It’s a little scary because I don’t understand,” Ku Hal said.

Ku Hal is a fifth-grade student at Beattie Elementary from Myanmar. She is deaf and started learning American Sign Language (ASL)  around seven years old after her parents came to the U.S. It’s her primary form of communication. 

Lincoln Public Schools works to knock down barriers and foster inclusive, equitable learning environments for all students. LPS educators work diligently to partner with our students with disabilities and their families to evaluate their needs and develop the best plans for academic success. 

“LPS believes ‘All means All’. By functioning with this core value we accept all students, no matter their needs, and work to provide the best educational experience possible,” Special Education Supervisor Melissa Weber-Arnold said.   

This looks different for each student. LPS offers a wide range of learning tools for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Supplemental and unique instruction from a teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing, audiology services, speech and language pathology services, interpreters and hearing assistive technology are some resources students can use.  

Ku Hal uses tools like a microphone with her cochlear implants for sound awareness, and an interpreter to do her best in class. 

“The interpreter interprets in sign language so I can understand,” Ku Hal said. 

“We make sure to look at all supports needed for students to make sure they have appropriate access to their environment as well as teaching them the skills they need to advocate for themselves. We give each student what they need to be successful,”Teacher Lindsey Flori-Plummer said.  She is a specially trained teacher for the deaf and hard of hearing and works at Beattie. Flori-Plummer works closely with students like Ku Hal. 

During Deaf Awareness Week, Ku Hal’s homeroom teacher invited her to lead a sign language lesson in front of the class. Ku Hal taught her peers how to sign their birthdays with her friend Faith. The class followed along as Ku Hal and Faith showed the signs for the months and days of the week. 

“The other students don't see them as different or shy away from them,” Flori-Plummer said. 

“Awareness of disabilities and how that impacts a student is a must to ensure we are able to support all students,” Weber-Arnold said. 

Look at the photo gallery and video below to get a glimpse at how Ku Hal navigates her school day.


Published: September 29, 2022, Updated: September 29, 2022

Beattie 5th Grader Ku Hal using American Sign Language to communicate with her interpreter at school.