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December 1, 2003

Deaf player giving female teammates new signs of life

From: Charleston Post Courier (subscription), SC - Dec 1, 2003

Associated Press

SAVANNAH--Women's softball players at the Savannah College of Art and Design are using some new signs these days.

The athletes are learning sign language to communicate better with outfielder Joyce Hom, who is deaf.

At a recent practice-turned-teaching session, Hom used precise hand movements to show teammates how to count and sign key softball words such as steal, score, throw, hustle and nice play.

A junior majoring in illustration, Hom, 20, joined SCAD this fall after two years at Gallaudet University, a Washington-based school for the deaf and hard of hearing.

When she came out for softball in September, she and her teammates had trouble understanding each other.

Assisted by Beverly Williams, SCADS's coordinator of deaf services, Hom has led three classes so far and hopes to hold at least one more in January.

At one recent lesson, Hom signed "Hello" and divided her fellow players into teams. She asked them to sign names of a variety of fruits and spell a partner's name. The approach was lighthearted.

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