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July 21, 2004

Silence the key at deaf kids fair

From: Cincinnati Enquirer, OH - Jul 21, 2004

Good Things Happening

An All About Deaf Kids Fair is set for 1-4 p.m. Aug. 14 at the Cincinnati State Technical and Community College Conference Center, Clifton.

It will be a gathering where information is shared through a silent conversation, said Pam Eubanks, family ministry representative for the Deaf Institute in Cincinnati. She said this year's theme is "Making Memories."

"American Sign Language is one of the most-used languages in the United States," Eubanks said. "The Deaf Institute would like to see more families having fun using it."

She said the Cincinnati State Interpreter Training Program and a Summertime Kids Grant from the Greater Cincinnati Foundation help sponsor the event.

Eubanks talked about her fears when they found out that their son, Nathaniel, was deaf.

"We had many fears. How would he ever learn to read? What would he be able to do in life? How would he function in school?" she said. "One of the most helpful things was meeting deaf adults and children, connecting with people who knew more about deafness than we did. One of the hardest things as a family was to attend community events and enjoy them together. Sometimes it was easier not to go than to make arrangements for an interpreter or to interpret ourselves."

She said from these experiences, "All About Deaf Kids," was born.

This is the third year for the event. Eubanks said the intent is to help families who have a child with hearing loss gain information and have fun making family memories.

She said the group wants to encourage family members to use sign language so that every member of the family has the advantage of communicating fully with one another.

"Even if the children don't need it for themselves, it broadens their skills at connecting with people who do," Eubanks said.

For more information, call the Deaf Institute, 471-2990 or 471-2996

Copyright 1995-2004. The Cincinnati Enquirer, a Gannett Co. Inc. newspaper.