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July 14, 2003

Deaf Bible School

From: WAKA, AL - Jul 14, 2003

Cynthia R. Milledge

All summer long churches of all different denominations are sponsoring vacation Bible school. But tonight we find some students who get to see religion from a not so typical perspective. They're children who all believe in one God. The only difference is they can't hear. Try being in a church where everyone in the congregation hears singing but you hear nothing..... The only way you know what's going on is an interpreter does sign language. Vacation bible School Teacher for the hearing impaired says,"In other churches they're not given a chance to have an interpreter with them so this allows them to come from all denominations all churches into this one class and learn what all the other children in vacation bible school are learning." That's life everyday for Angeline Bottger and three other children taking part in vacation bible school hosted by First Baptist Church on South Perry Street. Cobern says, "We really hope they get to know the savior is there and that he loves them very much even with their disability. They're no different to him in his eyes." Cobern says these children are just like others the only difference is they can't hear. Cobern says they're awesome wonderful children and she wants them to have the same experiences. Shelia Harris their interpreter helps the students fit in. She interprets while Cobern teaches. Harris says the spiritual mission is to let Angeline, Kendra, Scout, and Clark know God loves them despite the fact they are deaf and hearing impaired. The only time they aren't with the other students is during their silent class where they learn about bible stories. Otherwise they're with the rest of the group. In fact, the music director uses sign so Angeline and others end up having the upper hand in this case. Other children who are deaf and hearing impaired can still register for the bible school at First Baptist Church. Speaking of helping the hearing impaired Governor Bob Riley has awarded near 385 thousand dollars to the Janice Capilouto Center to provide job-training services for persons who are deaf or hearing impaired.

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