Recently, I attended the Deaf Awareness Kick Off Day. The event was hosted by the Model Deaf Community Committee and the City of Riverside. The committee is dedicated to hosting events to spread awareness about the deaf community. Their mission is to create an integrated community, that promotes full participation, education, employment, and cultural awareness. The specific event was to increase public awareness of deaf issues, people, and culture. According to National Institute and other Communication Disorders, about 2 to 3 out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born with a noticeable level of hearing loss in one or both ears.
There were many booths set up to advertise each business. While looking at many of the booths I realized most of them were ran by people of the deaf community. I was able to interview one of the volunteers at the event that was helping as an interpreter. The volunteer stated that the deaf community “can run a business like anybody else, and they can function like anyone else.” After attending the event, I witnessed how true this statement is.
Many of the booths were there to be of assistance to the deaf community. The California School for the Deaf, a school dedicated to making sure that their students get to experience rich language opportunities and develop appreciation for diversity, has many academic and extracurricular activities for the deaf. Another booth was the ASL interpreting Program, it’s a class that teaches many people sign language so they can become a certified interpreter. The Model Deaf Community was also giving out brochures and papers to get people to help and volunteer at their next event.
Finally, I was able to shop around at some of the booths. At one of the booths, I spotted many different types of succulents and terrariums. Another booth was selling an abundance of unique shapes and sizes of hats with ribbons on them. They also had businesses for translators, and community resources. One of the booths was selling specialized cell phones for the deaf, which was amazing to me because it shows how much our technology has improved in all these years.
Getting to go to this event was an eye opening opportunity. I got first hand experience on how they might feel everyday. This event also showed me just how many programs are available for the deaf community. It’s even more inspiring when I heard that our founder of Girl Scouts – Juliette Gordon Low was deaf, she began to lose her hearing when she was 17 and became almost totally deaf in her adulthood, but despite this she had the determination to create the largest girl-led business in the world!
For more information about the deaf community please visit: