September 16, 2009
09-138

Kate Elliot
Communications Specialist

It's a Deaf, Deaf World: Friday, Sept. 18

VALDOSTA - The Access Office for Students with Disabilities and ASL Club are hosting two sessions of It’s a Deaf, Deaf World Friday, Sept. 18, in the University Center Magnolia Room. The two-hour experience requires hearing participants to use nonverbal skills as they silently engage in everyday tasks. A panel discussion during the last 30 minutes of the program allows participants to discuss the enlightening experience and ask questions of deaf/hard of hearing students and professionals.

“I'm hoping people will take away a greater appreciation for people that are having to live in a world where their first language is the minority and how difficult that is,” said Erin Salmon, coordinator for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services. “My biggest wish is to have the hearing participants really understand that Deaf people, or anyone that uses sign language to communicate, are just average people that can do anything they put their minds to. They are no different than us, they just use a different language.”

When people enter It’s a Deaf, Deaf World, they are not allowed to use their voices. Participants are given a brief introduction about basic signs, and then released to interact at mock banks, restaurants and hotels peppered throughout the Magnolia Room. After the transaction, each person is graded on his or her communication skills.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call Erin Salmon at (229) 245-2498 or e-mail her at epsalmon@valdosta.edu.