Manitoba School for the Deaf (MSD)

Resource Team

The resource team at the Manitoba School for the Deaf (MSD) is a multi-disciplinary team located within the school. All students, their families, and school staff benefit from various professional services provided by this team, which includes ASL specialist, speech-language pathologist, , psychologist, ELA support teacher, social worker, and educational supervisor (resource service and coordination). Resource team members, in addition to providing support to students attending MSD, also provide assessments and programming suggestions for students who are Deaf and hard of hearing in mainstream academic environments throughout the province, and are available for informal consultation.

For more information, contact: Sarah Rabu (, Principal.

American Sign Language (ASL)

ASL Support Teacher:

The ASL Support Teacher works collaboratively with the school’s Language and Resource Teams. In addition to classroom support, the ASL Support Teacher provides direct service in individual or small group sessions. This allows for:

  • assessment and evaluation of each student’s ASL skill level
  • focus on individual goals regarding the development of ASL
  • knowledge and awareness of Deaf Culture

The ASL Support Teacher also serves as a valuable resource to staff members and families.

All students enrolled at MSD can be seen by the ASL Support Teacher throughout the school year. An ASL Screening is scheduled in September/October for all Jr Kindergarten students and any other students new to MSD.

ASL Literacy (e.g. ASL Poetry, storytelling, tales and legends) and ASL Arts are celebrated, shared and taught throughout the school year.

All diagnostic and ASL sessions/services are provided in the ASL classroom for individual and group sessions. The ASL Support Teacher is available to support students in both the bimodal-bilingual and ASL classrooms.

MSD is the only ASL educational milieu in Manitoba. ASL enables and empowers students to communicate with each other and to understand conversations. Student enrolled at MSD are enveloped with a sense of belonging because they share experiences and the same language with other students. They develop life-long friendships that extend beyond the school environment to the outside world. They are able to become aware of, learn about, and eventually internalize, Deaf Culture because they are provided with numerous Deaf role models in the school. In addition, they are provided with opportunities to make connections in the Deaf community which can last a lifetime. Teachers have easy access to the ASL Support Teacher for questions regarding ASL and Deaf Culture support.


English Language Arts Support Teacher:

Liana Price, M.Ed., COI


Telephone: 204-945-8934

The English Language Arts (ELA) support teacher provides supplementary teaching with students who require intervention and scaffolding for learning to read and write, and works with the school Resource Team and classroom teachers to identify individual learning needs of the students. The ELA support teacher also supports classroom teachers by providing reading and writing strategies, instructional resources, and activities to support literacy learning in the classroom.

The students at MSD access the ELA Support Teacher at arranged times through the day. The schedule may be daily, bi-weekly, weekly or on an interim consultative basis depending on individual needs.

The ELA Support Teacher works with individual students or with small groups. The sessions are held in the ELA Support Teacher classroom.

Learning to read and write can be challenging for students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Learning a second language in written form can be difficult for students who acquire ASL as a first language; English is a sound-based language and writing is another modality. Little or no access to spoken English makes it difficult to decode text. It is important to establish literacy goals for students for the classroom and in environments outside the school as well. The goal of the interventions are to nurture individual abilities and potential.

Social Work

Family/School Liaison Worker:

Cathy Grafton, B.H. Ecol, RSW


Telephone: 431-334-4832

The Family/School Liaison Worker provides social, emotional, and behavioural support to students, families and school teams. Services may include:

  • individual counseling and support to students
  • family counseling and support to parents
  • referrals to community programs/agencies
  • home/school collaboration
  • transition planning: high school to adult program
  • exploration of and, if needed, development of programs to meet the recreational needs of Deaf/hard of hearing youth
  • facilitation of regular school attendance

The Family/School Liaison Worker will follow through on the multi-agency services provided to students and their families, particularly as the needs and services impact educational adjustment.

All students and their families are eligible to receive support from the Family/School Liaison Worker while enrolled at MSD. The worker is available by phone/email or in person, and students can access support throughout the school year.

The Family/School Liaison Worker has an office at MSD (Room 121). Visits will be made to family homes, or to offices of other agencies/programs, as scheduled or required.

The Family/School Liaison Worker offers a unique perspective and knowledge to the student’s educational team, which can strengthen the home/school/community partnership. All students should have the opportunity to maximize their educational opportunities. Involvement of the Family/School Liaison Worker can assist educators in offering the most valuable, holistic and complete education to all students in order to facilitate their development as healthy, contributing members of society.


School Psychologist:

The School Psychology provides a wide range of services intended to promote the learning and development of students. Some of the core psychological services offered include:

  • consultation
  • assessment
  • direct/indirect intervention planning
  • conflict mediation
  • behavior program development

Services are tailored to provide supports that are student specific based on individual needs. The School Psychologist works in conjunction with the school, families, and other individuals close to the student to provide academic, behavioural, and/or social-emotional support.

Your child has access to the services of the School Psychologist at any pre-arranged time throughout the school day. On-going sessions may be scheduled as a result of recommendations for program planning.

The School Psychologist has an office at MSD (Room). Observations may be made in classrooms and other settings within the school.

The school psychologist is part of a multidisciplinary team that strives to deliver services that assist students to reach their fullest potential. Involvement of the School Psychologist can help students and youth succeed academically, socially, and emotionally.

Speech Language Pathology

Speech/Language Pathologist/Spoken Language Consultant:

Shauna Arbuckle, M.Sc., RSLP


Telephone: 204-945-3955

Speech Language Pathologist, SLP:

Christine Ryczak


Telephone: 204-945-3955

Speech Language Pathologist:

Rina Urish, RSLP


Telephone: 204-945-3955

Speech and Language Pathology (SLP) services at MSD include:

  • screenings
  • diagnostic assessments
  • goal development and programming for home and school
  • supervision of programs delivered by the SLP educational assistant
  • classroom support and consultation in the areas of speech, language and auditory skill development
  • the use of current technology to develop and hone skills

Your child has access to SLP services at any pre-arranged time throughout the school day. Individual and group sessions are scheduled and delivered by a fully SLP educational assistant who is supervised by onsite by qualifies and experienced SLPs. SLP services may be scheduled daily, weekly or on a consultative, depending on the needs of the child.

In addition to the classroom support provided by our Spoken Language Consultants and Speech/Language Pathologists, individual and group sessions are scheduled in the MSD Language Lab.

A strong foundation in language is essential to a child’s academic, social and cognitive success; communication competence. At MSD students have access to onsite SLP services which are geared at promoting language abilities and developing speech intelligibility, thereby providing the tools for successful thought and learning.