IM this article to a friend!

November 3, 2003

Deaf Awareness Week offers students connection to deaf community

From: Northern Star Online - Nov 3, 2003

Article by: Greg Feltes - Features Reporter

Students interested in learning more about and making a connection with NIU's deaf community will have that opportunity through a number of events this week.

Deaf Awareness Week will feature a lecture from the founder of Indiana's Black Deaf Advocates, a reality television-like game, sign language performances of music, a panel discussion and a showing of an open-captioned movie at a local theater.

Maggie Cormier, a counselor at the program for the hearing impaired, said the week provides a chance for NIU students to be exposed to a unique culture.

"It's extremely important to understand that there is a community of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals out there, especially at NIU," she said. "We would hope that individuals learning about deaf culture could be a little bit more sensitive to the communication barriers that they might face when they encounter someone who is deaf or hard-of-hearing."

Cormier hopes to accomplish that through "fun" events like "Survivor: Deaf Island."

"We always try to make it fun and educational for everybody, so that it's not just a plain old lecture, but interactive, which is very important because people in the deaf community rely on their eyes," she said. "We are very visual."

© 2003 Northern Star. All Rights Reserved.