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October 11, 2005

First DeafNation Expo in Chicago Brings in a Whopping 4,200 Attendees

From: DeafNation - Oct 11, 2005

Media Contact:
Joel Barish, DeafNation
P.O. Box 762
Frederick, MD 21705-0762
FAX 301.682.7529


First DeafNation Expo in Chicago Brings in a Whopping 4,200 Attendees

Hoffman Estates, IL [October 8, 2005] – There was excitement in the air as more than 4,200 people made the drive to Prairie Stone Sports and Wellness Center in Hoffman Estates, Ill., for Chicago's first DeafNation Expo. "It was a big smash!" said Joel Barish, DeafNation CEO. "I could see great spirit among the people who came from many states. The expo was tremendously successful, especially with this being our first time in Chicago."

"Chicago's DeafNation Expo was an excellent event with so many attendees," said Eric Emmons, Sorenson VRS regional sales manager. "As always, DeafNation exceeded expectations and proved to be a powerful networking opportunity for deaf individuals."

"Sprint is pleased to have been a sponsor," said Sprint account manager Matt Gwynn. "We had a chance to meet with everyone and to demonstrate Sprint Relay products and services. I'd like to extend congratulations to DeafNation for another successful event."

Kevin Ryan of Lisle, Ill., was an attendee who also worked at the Sorenson booth. "I'm really glad DeafNation Expo decided to come to Chicago. It was wonderful seeing so many Western Suburban Association of the Deaf (WSAD) volunteers working to make sure everyone got in quickly and that there were no long lines," he said. "There were 80 booths, and people said they enjoyed browsing the exhibits and chatting."

People who needed a break from walking around were able to sit down for a variety of presentations. Mike Berger, Illinois Association of the Deaf president, spoke about IAD and the Deaf community; Nancy Boucha of Scuba Systems shared her scuba diving experiences. Next up were Louis Schwarz and Gary Meyer of the National Deaf Business Institute, who presented, "Is Business for You?" Cochlear America representatives also discussed cochlear implants in the Deaf community.

After various sponsors and exhibitors gave away door prizes, John "Leno" Maucere amused audience members with wacky antics during a show, in addition to presenting the Dating Game with Mary Monroe (who was played by Maucere).

"As T-Mobile celebrates the third year anniversary of the Sidekick, what better place for us to be than amongst our most loyal customers, the Chicagoland Deaf community?" said T-Mobile USA outreach manager Eric Marks. T-Mobile was another sponsor of the expo. "It was a pleasure seeing so many old friends and familiar faces. We can't wait until next year's DeafNation Expo!"

"There was a high demand from attendees, exhibitors and sponsors for having us coming back to Chicago in 2006," said Barish. "We intend to do so, because the city and its people are just great."

DeafNation Expo is visiting 12 cities in 2005, with the next one planned for Pleasanton, CA, on Oct. 29. Admission is free for all attendees, and registration may be completed by visiting

About DeafNation
DeafNation and DeafNation Expo are the premier destinations for people wanting to stay updated about the latest happenings in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. Visit for the latest news, video clips in sign language, and exclusive coverage of events such as the Deaflympics and World Federation of the Deaf activities. DeafNation Expo is the foremost exhibition for, by, and about Deaf people. DeafNation Expo, held at different locations across the nation each year, is a celebration of culture, an exhibition of technology, and a business and social event – all wrapped up in one dynamic, spectacular event at no charge to attendees. Visit DeafNation's website today at!

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