Oklahoma State Fair to focus on hearing-impaired

BY JOHN A. WILLIAMS Modified: September 22, 2009 at 8:56 am •  Published: September 22, 2009
The Oklahoma State Fair will mark a day-long observance Thursday of the language of Oklahoma’s deaf community and offer a glimpse of the unique needs of deaf and hard-of-hearing people.

In honor of National Deaf Awareness Week, which runs through Saturday, members of the state Rehabilitation Services Department will be in the Carriage Hall Building from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. providing information about support offered through the department’s programs. Agency staff members will perform songs and skits in American Sign Language.

According to estimates from Gallaudet University, a liberal arts college for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, more than 113,600 deaf and 162,000 hard-of-hearing people live in Oklahoma.

Jim Ward, public information officer for the Rehabilitation Services Department, said many people are intimidated by trying to communicate with the deaf.

"It’s generally acceptable to tap a deaf person lightly on the shoulder or arm or to wave with a hand or a piece of paper or cloth to get their attention,” he said.

Ward said while many of the deaf use American sign language, several do not.


by Michael Baldwin
Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
+ show more


Trending Now


AROUND THE WEB

  1. 1
    LeBron James apologizes for chaos in Ohio neighborhood with cupcakes
  2. 2
    Justin Bieber and Kevin Durant share brunch
  3. 3
    Madonna's Daughter Lourdes Blogs About Graduating High School
  4. 4
    Oklahoma TV station apologizes for giving rapper the boot
  5. 5
    ‘True Blood's’ Nelsan Ellis Slams Luke Grimes For Quitting Over Bisexual Storyline
+ show more