How HSDC and the Gramer Family Work Together
[image description: The Gramer Family smiling for a photo in a restaurant. Clockwise from the top: Brendan Gramer (middle-aged man with light skin, glasses, short gray hair, and a black suit), Brett Gramer (young boy with light skin, brown hair, hearing aids, and a blue suit), Luke Gramer (young boy with light skin, blond hair, hearing aids, and a blue suit), and Laura Gramer (middle-aged woman with light skin, light brown hair, and a white dress).]
The Gramers represent everything that makes HSDC special. They are a thriving Deaf family that models communication access in the home and advocates for access in the community. Brendan works long days at Amazon. You can usually find Laura at a school district meeting or community event, advocating on behalf of the Deaf and hard of hearing. In fact, she does that every month for us as a member of HSDC’s board of directors.
When you see Laura walk through the door, there’s a good chance she’ll be followed by two boys with big smiles on their faces. Both Brett (age 8) and Luke (age 5) are graduates of HSDC’s Rosen Family Preschool, which has a bilingual curriculum that features American Sign Language (ASL) and English.
Laura and Brendan chose Rosen Preschool for their sons because they knew that language learning was crucial from birth, and they wanted Brett and Luke to have a strong language foundation to prepare them for kindergarten. “We also wanted them to be in an environment that would be 100% accessible for them,” Laura says. “We cannot accept anything less. Rosen is the only ASL-English preschool in Seattle.” Brett remembers visiting different preschools with his mom and loving Rosen because it fit his communication style.
Brett and Luke blossomed in the Rosen classroom. According to Pamela Grossman, the Director of Rosen Preschool, “The Gramer family has been a cornerstone of the Rosen Family Preschool program since our relaunch in 2015. Brett was in our first cohort of students; we have seen him grow from an impish preschooler with a sparkle in his eye into a self-confident community leader and friend. Lucas is an equally charming member of the family who enriched our program with his native signing skills and willingness to be an inclusive friend and classroom leader.”
Brett certainly has fond memories of his time at Rosen, saying that “Nathan and Pamela are still my favorite teachers in the world!” Says Luke: “Rosen was fun but now I’m ready for kindergarten! I will miss Rosen and everybody there!”
Brett and Luke might have graduated from Rosen, but HSDC is still a part of their lives. Both come to our Seattle office for hearing aid service from Audiologist Beth Van Hollebeke. Luke sees Speech-Language Pathologist Hayden Lambert for speech therapy. Hayden uses ASL to communicate with Luke and his parents, ensuring that communication is never a barrier to progress.
Laura and Brendan have also worked with our Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services program over the years for support with school and community events. When they need ASL interpreting, they contact HSDC Interpreting Services. Says Laura, “HSDC is good about matching interpreters for the job, which is crucial for effective communication between our family and the other party.”
HSDC is the only place where the Gramer Family can find all the communication services they need in one place. “For our family, since we are all Deaf, this is a one-stop center for various services,” Laura says. Brendan adds, “It was important to us that whoever we get our services from that they could be our advocate and ally. That extra personal touch and understanding of what it means to be Deaf resonated with us.”
We look forward to seeing Laura and her boys bounding through our doors for many years to come.