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Texas School for the Deaf, from Austin, Texas, won the Southwest Regional Academic Bowl held February 11 to 14, 2016 in Denver, Colo. The team will now advance to the National Academic Bowl for Deaf and Hard and Hearing High School Students hosted by Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., April 23 to 26, 2016.

Established in 1864, Gallaudet University is the world’s only liberal arts university in which all programs and services are designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students.

The Texas School for the Deaf team is comprised of players Shane Carrizales, Trevor Johnson, Lydia Kopp, and Damon Rush, and Coaches Michelle Halvorson and Claira Oberrender. The team went undefeated throughout the competition and Lydia Kopp won the Most Outstanding Player award. Trevor Johnson and Shane Carrizales were also recognized as All-Star players.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Academic Bowl. Gallaudet University established the Academic Bowl for deaf and hard of hearing high school students in 1996. The competition consists of a question and answer game of general knowledge and quick recall. Questions are drawn from the following categories: history and government, language and literature, science and technology, geography, mathematics, the arts, deaf studies, current events, pop culture, leisure, and sports.

Every year, Gallaudet hosts five regional competitions for up to 90 teams of deaf and hard of hearing high school students. Twenty-four teams then advance to the national competition.

Indiana School for the Deaf won the 2016 Midwest Regional Academic Bowl, held in December. The Southeast Regional competition will be held at the Kentucky School for the Deaf February 25 to 28, the West Regional competition will be held at the California School for the Deaf, Fremont, March 3 to 6, and the Northeast Regional competition will be held at the New York School for the Deaf March, 10 to 13.

“The Academic Bowl is a way to engage deaf and hard of hearing students from all over the country in learning about a variety of topics in a fun and unique way,” said Jesse Saunders, associate director of Youth Programs and Outreach. “The students who make it to the National Academic Bowl have the chance to put those skills to the test while networking with peers and visiting our historic campus. We are proud of all the teams who participated in the regional competition and look forward to the national competition in April.”

Gallaudet University, federally chartered in 1864, is a bilingual, diverse, multicultural institution of higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language and English. Gallaudet maintains a proud tradition of research and scholarly activity and prepares its graduates for career opportunities in a highly competitive, technological, and rapidly changing world.

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