Friday, September 09, 2005

An appearance by Miss Deaf West Virginia Holly Palmer and a number of other opportunities to learn more about the deaf community will mark Fairmont State's eighth annual Deaf Awareness Week, which begins Monday, Sept. 26, at Fairmont State.

"The idea behind the event is for the community to gain knowledge and respect for the deaf community," said Ruby Losh, program coordinator and Sign Language Interpreter training instructor. "Sometimes people have questions or misconceptions and this will be an opportunity for the general public to learn about the deaf community."

A question and answer period will follow each of the events, which begin with Palmer's appearance from 6-8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26, in Room 307 of Jaynes Hall. Palmer is from Glen Eaton, W.Va., and graduated from James Marshall High School in 1999. A Fairmont State student, she is majoring in sociology and education. She is a member of Delta Xi Omicron, the West Virginia Association of the Deaf and is a Registry Interpreter for the Deaf, Inc. Palmer will talk about her experience as a public school student and her current experience balancing her responsibilities as a student and her duties as Miss Deaf West Virginia.

On Tuesday, Sept. 27, a panel will discuss their experiences as members of the deaf community. Children of Deaf Adults (CODA) members will also take part in the discussion from 6-8 p.m. in Room 219 of Hardway Hall. On Wednesday, Sept. 28, Roy Forman, Deputy Director of the West Virginia Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, will speak from 6-8 p.m. in Room 307 of Jaynes Hall. Forman's job is to assure full and equal opportunities for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing. Doug Evans, President of the West Virginia Association of the Deaf, Inc., will speak on Thursday, Sept. 29, from 6-8 p.m. in Room 307 of Jaynes Hall.

Fairmont State offers a one-year certificate in American Sign Language Communication and a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree in Interpreter Training.

For more information about the programs or Deaf Awareness Week, contact Losh at (304) 367-4252; by Videophone Relay Service at (866) 327-8877 or via e-mail at rlosh@fairmontstate.edu.