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June 27, 2005

Camp Offers Rare Experience For Blind, Deaf Adults

From: WDIV, MI - Jun 27, 2005

In recognition of Deaf-Blind Awareness Week, Local 4's Rhonda Walker takes us to a special camp where the deaf and blind get the rare experience to live without limits.

It's an even bigger challenge for someone who's deaf and blind, but challenges also bring rewards.

"It felt like I was at the top of the world," said William Suggs, of Baltimore, Md.

Suggs is one of 40 deaf and blind campers at a United Methodist Church camp near Baltimore, where 100 people volunteer to be their eyes and ears, the station reported.

The campers can take a motorcycle ride, or take a real test of faith in a 50-foot fall on a giant swing.

"I was flying," said Kim Powers-Smith, of Austin, Texas. "It was just such a challenge, much more speeding than skydiving."

The camp tries to end the isolation of silence and darkness.

"So often, in the world they live in, they are a number or a customer or a client of some service provider," said Rev. Peggy Johnson, of the United Methodist Church. "But here, they're just a person where we love them for who they are."

For Angela Howell, of Waldorf, Md., the camp was a chance to swim with her 4-year-old son, and for one week at least, to live without limits.

"In the outside world, a lot of people aren't as accepted," Howell said. "Here, you know, everybody just likes me for who I am. Nobody really stares at me or think I shouldn't be doing that."

*To learn more about the United Methodist Church camp, click here
*Deaf-Blind Awareness Week

Copyright 2005 by All rights reserved.