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June 20, 2004

Deaf kids enjoy camping experience

From: Mansfield News Journal, OH - Jun 20, 2004

By Bob Motter
News Journal Correspondent

PERRYSVILLE -- Counselors at Camp Nuhop for 21/2 days last week found the usual fun and laughs were laden with an irregular quietness.

But it was of no concern -- the Special Education Regional Resource Center (SERRC) of Mansfield was sponsoring the second annual Camp Pace, through a grant from the Ohio Department of Education for Deaf Studies, for area deaf and hard-of-hearing children.

This year, more than 20 campers attended.

Rosetta Swartz, 17, of Ashland, who attends the Ohio School for the Deaf, said she enjoyed the camp, especially a project during which she gathered natural materials for her self-portrait.

"I love to express my creativity," she said.

Swartz wants to study art after she finishes high school.

Tyler Baker, 20, a junior at Miami University majoring in special education, used a voice amplifier to help communicate with those hard-of-hearing campers under his care at Camp Pace.

"It is a safe community for deaf and hard-of-hearing children to enjoy each other, make new friends and have a successful experience," Baker said.

Christine Loddo Bricker of SERRC co-wrote the grant "to allow the children to enjoy life experiences that they may not otherwise have because of social or/and economic needs."

Kara Bull, 23, coordinator of deaf services at the Mansfield Rehabilitation Center, said deaf and hard-of-hearing kids have many issues to address, such as communication with those who can hear.

"Deaf people are not disabled. They have a different language and a different culture," Bull said. "The hearing world uses audible sounds to communicate. The deaf are no different from those who hear, apart from their inability to hear."

Camp Nuhop is hidden among the trees near the Mohican Forest; its executive director is Jerry Dunlap of Ashland.

Call the Mansfield Rehabilitation Center at (419) 747-4808 or 1-800-424-7372 for more information on meeting the issues of the deaf and hard-of-hearing.

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