Overview

Established in 1989, Rhinelander’s Saturday Program remains the only free, recreational weekend program for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children and Teens in New York City. All Deaf and Hard of Hearing children and teens, ages 5-20, in New York City, are invited to participate.

Saturday Program Philosophy

Many of the young people in the Saturday Program come from schools in which they are mainstreamed. Some are the only Deaf or Hard of Hearing people in their schools. This may lead to a sense of isolation and a feeling of being "different." Other Saturday Program participants attend schools for the Deaf where sign language is used, but they have no family members or friends who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. In each situation, these young people do not have sufficient opportunities to interact with their Deaf and Hard of Hearing Peers during leisure time.

The Saturday Program provides a great environment for these young people to play and learn with others like themselves. The camaraderie and sense of belonging that is gained through the Saturday Program helps participants build self-confidence and social skills. A number of the Saturday Program staff are Deaf themselves. These adults serve as role models and mentors for the young people in the program.