|‘Deaf Awareness Week’ teaches and entertains|
|Written by Nikolle Keeney, Daily Vidette Senior Staff|
|Sunday, 07 February 2010 21:42|
“Our goal is to ultimately raise deaf awareness in the Bloomington-Normal community. The deaf community is much larger than most people realize—the condition spans from individuals who are completely deaf to a growing population of individuals who start to lose their hearing with the onset of age.”
“It could happen to anyone,” Kelly Gabbert, co-president of the Deaf Redbirds Association and junior deaf education student, said.
As a means to take action, The Deaf Redbirds Association is hosting a university-wide “Deaf Awareness Week” starting Mon., Feb. 8.
“We are really excited to inform students about the different roles of deaf educators and spread new information involving different special education groups,” Gabbert said. “We’ve got a lot of great events planned that will be so much fun and will contribute to the overall awesomeness of the upcoming week.”
Maura McGreevy, a senior deaf education student, commented on the benefits of becoming involved with the deaf community.
“The deaf community is one that is often overlooked. It’s important that students and people within the community be aware of their needs and recognize them as the individuals that they are,” McGreevy said.
Tonight, the Deaf Redbirds are sponsoring a silent movie. “Sound and Fury II” explores the reality of raising hearing children in a deaf parent household and vice versa, followed by a discussion of the movie.
Tuesday night, free sign language classes will be available to any interested students. No prior experience necessary, classes are structured every Tuesday at 9 p.m. throughout the semester.
“Sign is a second language that often gets overlooked. It is a great means of communication as well as a great way to interact with people. Though sign is crucially important for speech pathology and audiology majors, sign classes are helpful in all major fields,” Gabbert said.
She remarked that Wednesday evening would be the highlight of the week’s festivities.
Keith Wann, a major celebrity and comedian within the deaf community, will be performing in the Caterpillar room of the College of Business.
“Wann is hilarious and we are so excited that he is coming to campus. He’s considered to be the ‘Dane Cook’ of the deaf community—he uses sign as a practical joke and is really entertaining,” Gabbert said.
Though Wann will be signing his act, a vocal interpreter will be translating his words so that any student can understand. The event is free of charge but will be collecting non-perishable food items to send towards relief in Haiti.
Wrapping up the week on Friday, the association will be hosting a “Deaf Idol” event. Starting at 8 pm., individuals from the Bloomington-Normal that know sign are encouraged to join together for an Idol-type showdown.
All events, with the exclusion of Keith Wann’s performance, will be held in DeGarmo room 206.