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March 13, 2003

Charlie Brown With Hearing Aid at University of Minnesota to Raise Awareness of Deaf, Hard of Hearing Communities

From: AScribe - 13 Mar 2003

       MINNEAPOLIS/ST.PAUL, March 13 (AScribe Newswire) -- Charlie Brown with a hearing aid? Yup.

       A 'Signing' Charlie Brown is on display in the lobby of the Vocational & Technical Education Building (VoTech), 1954 Buford Ave., St. Paul, until the end of March. Family members of Charles Schulz donated the statue to the Twin Cities' DeafArt Club (DAC). The university's Office for University Women awarded a special grant to DAC, and former university employee and DAC member Renate Lien decided to bring the statue to VoTech because it houses the U's American Sign Language department.

       DeafArt Club member Nancy Beard said, "A big goal of DAC is to help the public be more aware of the deaf and hard of hearing. Charlie Brown is a good role model for that."

       DAC director Helene Oppenheimer, designer of Signing Charlie Brown, invited DAC members to assist in painting and decorating the statue. DAC artists painted hand shapes of the manual alphabet using various skin tones. They also painted the 'I love you' hand shape and Charlie's name sign, both popular aspects of deaf culture. But the most striking feature is the hearing aid in Charlie's right ear. The Schultz family permitted Oppenheimer to make Charlie Brown deaf, something never allowed before.

       "It has never happened ever," Oppenheimer said. "Especially since the law states that one cannot alter who Charlie Brown is and I was allowed to do so--namely make him Deaf."

       What: First ever 'Signing' Charlie Brown visits University of Minnesota campus

       Who: Charlie Brown

       Where: VoTech Building, 1954 Buford Ave. St. Paul


© 2003 AScribe Newswire