Partner Spotlight: Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind

This Comcast Cares Day, volunteers will join together to improve the learning and living experience of deaf and blind students at the Arizona State Schools for the Deaf and the Blind (ASDB).

ASDB educates over 2,000 children who are blind, visually impaired, deaf, hard-of-hearing, multisensory disabled or deaf-blind from birth to age 22.

Volunteers will have the chance to work side-by-side with school students and staff on a variety of “beautification projects,” on April 21, including painting, gardening and campus cleanup.  

We sat down with Ryan Ducharme, Chief Agency Relations Officer for ASDB, to hear how volunteers will improve quality of life for deaf, hard of hearing and visually impaired students at the school.

Comcast: How will Comcast Cares Day volunteers will impact the students and staff of ASDB?

Ducharme: As a campus that hosts residential students, commuters, staff and partners, we prioritize providing an outstanding educational experience for all of our students, and don’t always have the funds to do all of the aesthetic updates we would like to.

The fact that Comcast is providing the funding and manpower to make that happen is a huge deal for us. Our Tucson campus is home to hundreds of our students. This is where they have friends, community and a sense of security. By helping us paint and upgrade one of our dorms, and helping us improve the gardens, Comcast Cares Day volunteers will be contributing to a warm and welcoming environment for them.

You can’t put a price on that.

Comcast: What will volunteers experience when they’re on the ASDB campus?

Ducharme: Our Tucson campus has been around since Arizona was established as a state, so they’ll be walking onto a historic campus, and that’s something volunteers can take pride in. They’re going to be a part of Arizona history.

In addition, we hope volunteers will come away with a sense of what life is like for our students. By working side-by-side with students who are visually impaired, deaf or hard of hearing, they’ll get a sense for how these individuals access the world. They receive information from the world in a different way than most people, and volunteers will get to understand that unique perspective.

Comcast: In your own words, how can corporate and nonprofit partners work together to influence change?

Ducharme: With partnerships like this, corporate and nonprofit partners have the chance to show what it looks like for a community to come together for a united purpose.

We know Comcast is dedicated to accessibility in its programing, and a key part of our mission is to improve accessibility to educational content for the students we serve. We have a mutual goal and mutual understanding, so our partnership can help address that need from multiple angles.

We want to say a huge thank you to Comcast for its commitment to community service and willingness to improve the quality of life and education for our students.

Knowing that Comcast Cares Day is one of the largest corporate employee service days in the country, we’re honored to be selected as a focus point for Arizona.

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