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Rhode Island names deaf man School Counselor of the Year

January 11, 2019 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — In a first for the state, Rhode Island has named a deaf man as the 2018 School Counselor of the Year.

The Providence Journal reports 44-year-old Joseph Batiano is the school counselor at the Rhode Island School for the Deaf.

Batiano says he helps with a student’s academic progress, emotional health and career readiness. He also developed a program to help students who spend school vacations around relatives who don’t understand American Sign Language.


Katherine Kay, a school reading specialist who nominated Batiano, says kids are really benefiting from his service.

As a state winner, Batiano will be considered for the 2020 national title.

A spokeswoman for the American School Counselor Association says Batiano is the first deaf person to be nominated in the organization’s history.


Information from: The Providence Journal,