Baylor Professor Helping Launch Christian Academy for the Deaf

October 4, 2017
Dr. Lewis Lummer, senior lecturer of deaf education and American Sign Language in Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences, is acutely aware of the challenges deaf students face on a daily basis. Having overcome educational barriers due to being deaf himself, his desire to help others do the same has led to a unique opportunity for deaf students in Waco.

In August 2017 Lummer launched Christian Academy for the Deaf; Texas’ first fully functioning, tuition-free Christian school for deaf students.

The Christian Academy for the Deaf seeks to honor God and serve the community by creating a unique learning environment to serve students who are deaf and hard of hearing. Providing a safe and nurturing environment, students grow in the knowledge and love of God and neighbor and become equipped to lead and serve throughout their lives. The Academy’s curricula are designed specifically to meet the communicational, emotional and social needs of deaf and hardof- hearing students through classroom instruction in American Sign Language and research-based best practices for dual literacy in English.

Born to deaf parents, Lummer’s native language is American Sign Language. But that didn’t stop him from accomplishing his educational goals. He earned an associate degree in civil engineering, a bachelor’s degree in international studies, a master’s degree in deaf education and a doctorate in education. He taught elementary and high school before joining Baylor’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2010.

Some of Lummer’s earliest memories sparked his interest in starting a Christian school for the deaf. As a child, he remembers feeling frustrated about barriers to education. He also remembers going to church with his family and being unable to fully follow along or understand. It wasn’t until he met a deaf pastor as an 18-year-old that his faith came alive.

Today, Lummer says, less than one percent of deaf students have the opportunity to receive a rigorous, faith-based education. His dream of a school like Christian Academy for the Deaf has motivated him for more than a decade, and it has finally come to pass.

“Many parents don’t have an opportunity to send their children to a school such as this,” Lummer said. “Other options hearing people have are homeschooling, etcetera, but here, deaf children can come, and we can provide equal access to everything right here — possibly to someone from Dallas, Austin, Houston. This could be a central area and kind of a hub for deaf education.”

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