Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Local News

February 7, 2010

SAFETY: Determined teen takes on tough task in rural area

(Continued)

LOCKPORT —

Santos, the mother of three, was not sure her neighborhood needed a watch group, initially. Now, she’s becoming a believer. “We do need this in the area,” she said. “It gets citizens to look out after each other. I’m hoping it picks up more. It’s a very good thing for our community.”

Councilman Joseph A. Reed said: “He’s a little young yet, but he’s getting some super adult help from his mother. He’s dedicated to this. He’s really working hard, and that impresses everyone in the town. I don’t know if a watch is what we need, but for neighbors to keep an eye out for neighbors makes a world of difference. There is always a need for assistance. That’s what Jimmy’s trying to push for.”

Solomon takes a bus to St. Mary’s for the Deaf in Buffalo, a trip that takes 45 minutes to an hour. He gets home about 4:30 p.m. each day.

Solomon has speech problems that stem from the fact that he is functionally deaf. “For the most part, people pretty much can understand him,” his mother said. “If they don’t, I can re-say what he’s talking about. Sometimes he reads lips and signs.”

The school has also helped Solomon with new technology. He helped design a Web site at school and uses a SMART board, according to his mother. His older brother, Scott, who now lives in Pennsylvania, helped Solomon get started with computers.

He signed up for a Video Relay Service on his own. The VRS allows deaf, hard-of-hearing and speech-impaired individuals to communicate over video telephones with hearing people through a sign-language interpreter.

“He did that himself, too, without telling me,” his mother said. “He got on line and got everything set up.”

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