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October 23, 2006

Heart And Strength Of Souls Brought To Maine For Deaf Women Conference

From: Deaf Women of Maine - Oct 23, 2006

Diane Poulin
Deaf Women of Maine

For immediate release


Oqunquit, ME - Deaf Women of Maine is hosting the fifth Deaf Women of New England Conference, at the Cliff House Resort and Spa in Ogunquit, Maine, on Nov. 3-5. Over 120 Deaf women have registered for the conference already. The packed program includes a keynote presentation, reception and ice-breaker activities on Friday evening, morning exercises, workshops, banquet and entertainment on Saturday, and stories to share on Sunday. There will also be fourteen exhibit vendors at the conference.

The theme of this conference is "Heart, Strength and Soul of Deaf Women," and presenters are brilliant Deaf women from around the country. Debra Cole, the keynote presenter from New York City is a recent Fulbright Fellow. She will be offering information on deaf women as a marginalized group around the world, especially in developing countries. She will then identify successful deaf women who have overcome such obstacles in various fields around the world.

Offered are workshops that will contribute to heart and strength to our souls. Trudy Suggs, owner of T.S. Writing Services, LLC coming to us from Minnesota, will provide a fun, interactive workshop discussing the dos and don'ts of establishing a small business. Joanne Cripps, Co-director, Deaf Culture Centre in Toronto, Canada will discuss her journey in getting past oppression in today's society and using approaches to get what you need to achieve your dreams in the end - and then succeed! Damara Paris, Oregon's Sprint Relay account manager, will provide tools you can use for managing multiple priorities yet have enough balance for yourself and your family.

Access to health is a pressing issue among Deaf women. Nancy Jo Shook, a recent transplant to Maine from Illinois, is an active associate of USANA Health Science. She will discuss oxidative stress, cellular nutrition and supplements in preventive health care. Patty Branz, Deaf Community Health Educator at University of California, San Diego, will talk about breast and ovarian cancer awareness.

Happening concurrently with the afternoon workshops and happening for the first time at the regional conference, a FREE leadership workshop for young women ages 14-21 will be provided, made possible with support from Maine Women's Fund. Melissa Draganac-Hawk, assistant professor of Deaf Education at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D. and current president of Deaf Women United, will lead the effort.

Maine's own Diane Poulin will identify the warning signs of domestic violence. Keeping up with tradition of having a wise woman (or women) providing the farewell address, June Carrier and Jane Byron, two hard-of-hearing, culturally Deaf sisters born in the early 1920s will share their stories of their days in the mills and about growing up in Maine.

For entertainment, Loretta Roult, Joette Paulone and Pauline Spanbauer, all from Maryland, will perform "Menstruation Monologues!" Through storytelling in ASL and body movement, information will be communicated about the historical aspects of a women's outlook on menstruation.

The site of the conference, Cliff House Resort and Spa (, has a spa menu, stunning views, where every room has a balcony with an ocean view, is just one hour away from Boston and Portland. The comprehensive conference schedule, workshop descriptions, registrations and vendor booth applications can be downloaded at or at

Support from conference sponsors is much appreciated. Diamond Sponsors include Bangor Interpreting Agency, Sprint and Verizon; Gold sponsors are Deaf Women United, Hamilton Relay and Maine Recreation Association of the Deaf; Silver sponsors are Sorenson and Maine Center for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children; and our Bronze sponsors include Bangor Deaf Club, Community Counseling Center, Harris Communications, Maine RID, and Maine Association of the Deaf.

Deaf Women of Maine was established in 2005, and is in the process of being affiliated with Deaf Women United.

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