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Signing While Swimming

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As hands slap at the water around him and the sound of waves move through the pool, Jacob Parry can only hear the voice inside his head telling him to swim faster.

Parry is a junior at Parkland High School in South Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania. When he's not in class, you can find him in the water. He's a competitive swimmer and his love of the sport led him to volunteer as a youth swim coach.

But Parry wasn't sure he would be allowed to teach because, while he's a successful swimmer, he also happens to be deaf.

As it would turn out, his fluency in American Sign Language and competency in the pool would open doors for others.

"I believe every kid should learn how to swim," said Mary Kay Krause, a swimming coach at Parkland High School and the Parkland Swim Club. "If Jacob is that avenue to those kids that can't hear - that's awesome."

Parkland spread the word that an instructor who spoke American Sign Language was now in their ranks. It wasn't long after that Parry was signing to students in the water.

"I wanted to teach the deaf kids so they have a chance to learn how to swim just like every kid has the chance to learn," he said.

PBS39 News ReportsSigning While Swimming