USAO News Bureau

Sign Language Club Hosts Public Deaf Panel

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

CHICKASHA – As part of Deaf Awareness Week, the American Sign Language Club is inviting the community to take part in a deaf discussion panel Sept. 28 on the University of Science and Arts campus. Six local speakers from varying backgrounds are expected to lead the panel at 7 p.m. in the Gary Hall lounge.

Dr. Tina Herring, assistant professor of deaf education, said the panel will help provide a look at the deaf experience and lifestyle.

“Deaf education has had a turbulent and storied past starting with the Greek and Roman timeframe to present day,” Herring said. “The constant battle between proponents of manual methods, that is sign language, and the proponents of oral methods, which is speech, has greatly affected the deaf community and culture, especially here in Oklahoma. Our panel will represent the diversity of the deaf population and provide insight on being deaf in a hearing world.”

Topics of discussion will include the pros and cons of personal experiences, student interactions at the School for the Deaf, mainstream programs, dynamics of families with deaf members and working with interpreters and other personnel. The ASL Club will provide refreshments for the event.

Deaf education senior and president of the ASL Club Shirley Scribner said the evening is an opportunity for the deaf community to share their unique experiences and for others to gain insight into the deaf culture.

“More and more deaf and hard-of-hearing students are being mainstreamed with their hearing peers,” Scribner said. “This means that those involved with deaf persons in an educational setting need to learn the types of experiences that would be most beneficial. We also need to prepare ourselves, as future educators and community members, to be able to work with all persons who enter our classrooms and neighborhoods.”

The meeting is free and open to the public. More information is available from Herring at (405) 574-1241.