Abbey Weaver, Fayetteville Middle School

Abbey Weaver is a middle school teacher in Southern Ohio. She graduated with a Deaf Education degree from Kent State University and received a Master’s degree in Reading from Xavier University. She chose to go into deaf education because she loves learning and teaching, and her family passed on the importance of a sound education.

Abbey’s hearing loss was identified at age 3, and she was educated in a variety of environments and approaches, including oral and total communication. Regardless of the communication approach, her parents always emphasized that spoken language and sign language are equally valuable. Consequently, Abbey is fluent in both English and sign language. She feels this has benefited her linguistically, emotionally, and socially. Abbey’s students and others in the community are sometimes surprised to meet a young deaf woman who can speak, sign, read, and write fluently.

Abbey’s school experiences include a variety of educational placements ranging from self-contained classroom to mainstream. At times, she was the only deaf student in her school. She frequently draws upon these experiences when discussing the pros and cons of various educational approaches with parents and D/HH students.

Standardized tests presented the biggest obstacle as Abbey sought to become a D/HH teacher. The ability to interpret and answer questions correctly was a challenge. Supportive family and friends helped her through this and other typical college obstacles. Conquering these difficulties made her a stronger person.

Abbey feels that teachers can make a great impact. She still remembers the special teachers who shaped her education and outlook on life. One of her goals is to be a hopeful role model.

Abbey loves the challenging field of deaf education. She tries to give students a traditional education following state standards as well as instruction in the life skills necessary for success. This might include conversations with students regarding hypothetical situations or experiences they have had in the community. Sometimes, it simply helps the students to have a teacher that has walked on a similar path.

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