Boys Town Hearing Study Gets Nearly $9M Grant

25 03 2009

OMAHA, Neb. — Researchers at the Boys Town National Research Hospital are working to heal childhood hearing loss thanks to a multi-million-dollar grant.

 

Experts said that about 2 percent of children suffer from some type of hearing loss.

 

Leslie McCaslin takes her 16-month-old, Ava, to the hospital to see if the doctors there can help.

 

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Ava has been wearing hearing aids since she was four-months-old.

 

Ava is full of energy but she’s also partially deaf. She suffers from bi-lateral mild to moderate hearing loss and has worn hearing aids since she was 4 months old.

 

“She can still hear, but she may have difficulties with some of the finer parts of language,” McCaslin said.

 

The doctors at Boys Town said their nearly $9 million grant should help children like Ava.

 

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Mary Pat Moeller, PhD./Boys Town National Research Hospital

 

“There’s been a lot of research on children who are profoundly deaf and sign language. There’s been a lot less emphasis on children with mild and moderate degrees of hearing loss,” Dr. Mary Pat Moeller said.

 

The study will take place in a room where children can play and interact in a natural environment while the researchers observe behind a two-sided mirror.

 

“We’re able to let moms and babies play in a natural way and observe the infants development while they’re playing comfortably with their mother,” Moeller said.

 

Researchers will follow 400 children for three years and examine their academic, language and social outcomes.

 

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Leslie McCaslin/Ava’s Mother

 

“Even just a couple of years ago, our children probably wouldn’t have had these advantages — I don’t think the technology or the knowledge was there,” McCaslin said. “Anything that we can do to contribute to those advances, we’re willing to do.”

 

The hospital is conducting the study in partnership with institutions in Iowa and North Carolina.

 

Anyone who would like more information is asked to call 402-498-6511.

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‘The Deaf Kid Who Played Rock ‘N’ Roll’

17 03 2009

 

His music lives on and sustains a grieving father

 
3/15/2009
 

Dan Berube performs“The Other Side,” a song composed by his late son, Derek

Dan Berube performs“The Other Side,” a song composed by his late son, Derek

Stonington, CT – As he struggled with Crohn’s disease and a serious eye injury, 24-year-old Derek Berube would sit in the backyard of his parents’ Greenhaven Road home and talk to his father, Dan, for hours.
They talked about the things they loved: restoring old muscle cars, playing their guitars and, always, the lyrics and music of Bob Dylan.
”We talked about everything. I remember every word of those conversations like they were yesterday,” Dan Berube said last week as he looked across to the spot in the snow-covered yard where they used to sit on the grass during the spring of 2007.
Derek was profoundly deaf but could communicate with the help of hearing aids and by reading lips. He told his father about the things he still wanted to do – renovate his mother’s kitchen, repaint the engine compartment of the red 1970 Chevy Nova he had restored and build his dream car, a silver 1967 Shelby Cobra with a 427-cubic-inch engine.
But most importantly, Derek wanted to record the poignant but often angry songs he had written as he battled temporary blindness, the return of his Crohn’s disease, and an insurance company that refused to pay his workers’ compensation claim, draining his savings.
 
”I just want people to hear my music,” he’d tell his father.
THE OTHER SIDEPicking out dented cans at the grocery store
Haven’t even got a stove to cook on
Got paper in my wallet but it isn’t green
I won’t bother going to the atm machine
But everything is alright.
Heading out for life on the other side
having no problems kissin things goodbye
Starting to feel good and I don’t know why
Just gottah say the hell with it sometime
And just head for that life on the other side

– Lyrics by Derek Berube

Video in link: http://www.theday.com/re.aspx?re=f0dc661e-2394-45ba-af80-268f441b5282

That dream appeared to end on June 5, 2007, when Dan, who had not heard any music that morning from Derek’s bedroom above the garage, climbed the stairs to check on his son. It was in that room, where just about every day they had played “Knocking on Heaven’s Door” and where Derek had created his music, that Dan found his son dead from an overdose of prescription medication.

In the days after Derek’s death, Dan read the e-mails his son had sent to his friends about wanting to record his songs.

”When he was feeling better we’d talk about going to a studio and doing it, but unfortunately he didn’t make it. So now his wish is in my hands,” Dan said. “I told my brother-in-law, ‘Don’t let me let go of this dream.’ “

So last July, a little more than a year after his son’s death, Dan was at In Phaze Audio in Griswold recording “Stuck in the Middle,” the first of four songs he has recorded for what will be a 12-song CD.

”Derek would have loved to have been there. Who knows? Maybe he was,” Dan said.

Father passed on love of music

Derek was Dan and Eileen Berube’s middle son, in between Kevin, now 31, and the aptly named Dylan, who is a decade younger.

Unlike his two brothers, Derek would sit back and absorb things, but he “expressed his feelings about everything” to his father.

”He wanted to be like me, which is why we had a different closeness than I have with my other two sons. When Derek died, it was like my motivation went away,” said Dan, who is 57 and has been retired for a few years after working for the former Ortronics company in Pawcatuck.

After Derek’s death, Dan found his son had kept a meticulous computer log of all the money his parents had spent on him while he was sick, right down to the cost of cans of Boost he drank to keep up his strength.

”If you did something nice for Derek, he’d do something for you. That’s how he was with everybody. He was just a caring and giving kid,” Dan said.

Derek was a close friend of Pete Logan, who lived down the street and died nine weeks before Derek after battling cystic fibrosis his whole life. Pete Logan was just 21. Dan and Pete’s father are longtime friends.

Dan came from a musical family and has played guitar and drums since he was 13, so it was a given that his sons would, too. He also passed on his love of Bob Dylan, whose profound lyrics captivated him as a teenager in the ’60s.

”Derek grew up listening to Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen. Even though he also listened to Bush, Green Day and Nirvana, he used to say he was born into the wrong generation,” said Dan, who wears his son’s peace-sign necklace. “He was my inspiration, and I think I was his.”

When Derek was 10, Dan bought him his first guitar. It wasn’t long before Derek began learning Dylan songs. He quickly surpassed his father’s playing ability and, when Derek was 16, Dan began sneaking him into local clubs to play and listen.

Dan, his sons and other musicians would spend hours jamming and playing pool in the room above the garage that later became Derek’s bedroom and makeshift studio. Always with Derek was his loyal sidekick, Copper, his 12-year-old basset hound, who also wears a peace sign.

Today the room is much as it was on the day Derek died. Six guitars, a drum set, four amplifiers and PA system are arranged on one side. Light streams from skylights. A music stand holds a thick notebook opened to Derek’s songs. The computer that holds numerous videos of Derek singing sits on a desk. Posters of Bob Dylan adorn the walls and are now joined by photos of Derek working on cars and playing guitar.

Last week Dan pulled out a metal box. Among the items inside were several handwritten pages in which Derek had listed each of the songs he knew how to play, including 40 by Dylan, the date he learned them and what guitar he had used. Also inside are the strings that were on Derek’s guitar on the last day he informally recorded his songs at home.

He wrote ‘songs from the soul’

Derek’s hearing began to worsen when he was 13, leaving him with just a small fraction of normal hearing. He compensated by wearing digital hearing aids, learning to lip-read and using more amplifiers.

He graduated in 2001 from the American School for the Deaf in West Hartford, where he lived on weekdays. There, he played in the stairwells because that amplified his music. Dan laughed over the recollection of the day his son got into trouble because neighbors complained he was playing his music too loud at a school where few people could hear it.

“He called himself ‘the deaf guy who plays rock ‘n’ roll,’ “ Dan said. “But I never thought of him as a guy, so I changed it to ‘kid.’ “

In 2005, Derek was working as an apprentice sailmaker at Halsey-Lidgard Sailmakers in Old Mystic when a sail tack struck his left eye. Two surgeries followed but could only partially restore his sight, which he needed to read lips. Because of the surgery, doctors stopped the medication Derek took to control his Crohn’s disease. The Crohn’s returned and surgeons had to remove a portion of his small intestine and bowel and perform a temporary ileostomy, which brings intestinal waste into an external pouch.

Crohn’s is an incurable disease of the digestive system that causes diarrhea, weight loss, abdominal pain, vomiting and other symptons.

Derek became depressed as the insurance company handling his workers’ compensation claim refused to pay until ordered by the state Workers Compensation Commission. That did not happen until two days after Derek died.

” ‘Dad, I can’t do this anymore.’ I used to hear that a lot,” Dan said.

It was during this ordeal that Derek began to write his own songs.

”He felt like the world was against him. He was 23 years old and he had to go through more (stuff) than most people go through in their while lives. That’s what he wrote about,” Dan said. “They’re not the happiest songs in the world, but they’re songs from the soul.”

In “Stuck in the Middle,” Derek sings:

Stuck in the middle of a downpour

I’m going inside and closing the doors

Call me if the storm ever blows over

If not, I’ll see you in the next lifetime

Some days Derek would be too sick to play. But on those days when he heard his son’s music blasting from the bedroom, Dan knew Derek was having a good day.

”He would come up here and take his life experiences and put it to music,” Dan said.

Videos help father remember

One day last week, as he does most days, Dan climbed the stairs to Derek’s room, flipped on the amplifier and sat down on a stool in front of Derek’s notebook of songs.

 

He picked up one of the guitars and began to sing “The Game of Life.” His rough, cigarette-tinged voice and aggressive playing gave an edge to his son’s sometimes painful lyrics.

I’ve got a lot of problems and I’m on the run.

I always end up with an IV in my arm.

And now the good doc said that everything will be alright

And if it makes you feel any better, my boat just sank.

… I’m living in a hood that you never understood

Dan said his son wrote these lyrics based on a comment from one of Derek’s doctors.

Dan’s quest has been helped by the fact that Derek made videos of himself playing his songs. Dan studies them to figure out how to play the music. One was done just two days before Derek died.

In another, recorded in early 2007, the slightly built Derek appears wearing a gray T-shirt and sits down in front of his music stand. A small light illuminates the pages in the darkened room and the side of his face.

He begins to sing, his words slightly slurred because of his deafness. Dan’s eyes never leave the screen as he softly sings along.

”I’m so fortunate to have these,” he said. “You can’t imagine what this stuff means to me.”

As Derek sings, Copper begins to whine, which Dan said often happens when the dog hears Derek’s voice on the computer.

”Some days I can come up here and listen with no problem. Other days I have to shut it off because I can’t see the screen,” he said.

Both Dan and Eileen say they still have what they call “Derek Days” when they miss their son even more than usual.

”When Dan gets down about it he comes up here and listens to Derek’s music. I mostly just cry,” Eileen said. “He was just a beautiful kid with a beautiful soul.”

While Dan and Derek used to constantly quote Dylan’s lyrics, Dan now finds himself quoting his son’s songs. “All In a Day” is one of his favorites.

Woke up this morning

Looked at the clock

It didn’t feel like seven to me

Got my ass out of bed

shook off my head

OK let’s do this again

 

”We all can relate to that,” Dan said. “I just love his music. It’s what made him happy, and it’s what makes me happy.”

Stonington, CT
 




Beyond Words

9 03 2009

Saturday, March 7, 2009

OSF Seattle actor Howie Seago employs sign language to find the rhythm of ‘The Music Man’

Michael Elich, as Harold Hill, left and Howie Seago as Marcellus Washburn in Oregon Shakespeare Festival's "The Music Man". OSF photo by Jennifer Reiley

Michael Elich, as Harold Hill, left and Howie Seago as Marcellus Washburn in Oregon Shakespeare Festival's "The Music Man". OSF photo by Jennifer Reiley

Professor Harold Hill, the con man In Meredith Wilson’s “The Music Man,” has no sooner hit River City than he runs into his old pal and accomplice Marcellus Washburn. Marcellus says he heard Harold was into a steam car racket.

Harold: I was.

Marcellus: What happened?

Harold: Somebody actually invented one.

Dialog like that has to snap. And in the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s new production of the beloved musical comedy, Marcellus is played by Howie Seago, who hears nothing Harold says. Seago is that rarity, a deaf actor.

Seago uses American Sign Language to “speak” his lines to actor Michael Elich, who plays Harold. Elich repeats Seago’s lines aloud, then responds by speaking and signing back.

“Marcellus just can’t resist Harold’s charm and powers of persuasion to assist him in his mission,” Seago says in an e-mail. “Fortunately, Michael and I have the same sense of what works and are open to each other’s suggestions and feedback.”

Seago credits OSF Artistic Director Bill Rauch with using his deafness and sign language to highlight the relationship between Marcellus and the Professor, which Seago builds on with extensive use of facial expressions and body language. Harold’s familiarity with ASL, for example, suggests a long-term bond with Marcellus. Plus it hints that somewhere beneath his outer grifter, Harold has a heart.

In a press conference for OSF’s opening weekend, Rauch said that Seago is not merely a great deaf actor.

“He’s a great actor,” Rauch said.

Seago, a Seattle native, is new to the festival this year. His resume includes lots of television and film work, but he prefers the stage.

“In theatre, it is fairly well acceptable to … allow a deaf actor to portray normally hearing characters,” Seago says via e-mail. “Whereas in film and TV, it is rare to do so.”

Seago says the stage allows an actor more time to explore a character, offers more intense collaboration and presents the challenge of working without a net in that missteps cannot be edited out of a live show.

In rehearsals for “The Music Man,” Seago read lips, kept an eye on an ASL interpreter who was present and asked others to follow the script with a pencil.

“The interpreter gets worn out quickly,” he says.

Seago and Elich also worked out some cues between them to keep Harold and Marcellus on track, but he doesn’t want to reveal them lest audiences start looking for them.

“Don’t want to give away too much theater magic,” he says, adding a smile.

Seago, 55, was born deaf. His father was deaf, too. He attended an oral school for the deaf where speech and lip reading were encouraged. His mother helped him develop mimic abilities.

He was mainstreamed in high school and acted for the first time in college. As a student at California State University at Northridge, he majored in psychology and theater arts and learned American Sign Language.

He has worked as an actor, director and producer for more than 20 years, appearing at the Intiman Theatre, the Kennedy Center, the La Jolla Playhouse and elsewhere. He toured with the National Theatre of the Deaf in the early 1980s and founded Happy Handfuls, a touring troupe based in Los Angeles.

He helped create the television show “Rainbow’s End” for deaf children and appeared in TV shows such as “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and in the 1997 movie “Beyond Silence.” His breakthrough came in Peter Sellars’ production of “Ajax.” Talking Heads frontman David Byrne was so taken with his performance that he cast him as the king is his 1989 German production of “The Forest.”

Seago says one of his pet peeves is when “hearing” actors to portray deaf characters, especially if the roles involve American Sign Language or other elements of deaf culture.

“We cringe when hearing actors botch the signing of lines,” he says. “It’s like a person having taken only one lesson in speaking French and then having the gall to sing the French anthem in French at a public event.”

He says ASL is a beautiful language with its own syntax and grammar. He says hearing actors should no more play deaf people than white actors using makeup should portray African-Americans or American Indians.

“Acting roles for the deaf are rare,” he says, “so naturally we want all the opportunities for ourselves.”

Actor Patrick Stewart (Capt. Picard on “Star Trek: The Next Generation”) once said that using deaf actors brings a natural dramatic tension to the situation.

For signed performances for the deaf (something the OSF has done for years), Seago would like to see deaf patrons seated in the middle of the theatre and interpreters seated in front of and below the center of the stage. He says this would eliminate the need to look constantly back and forth between signs and stage action.

David Seago, deaf since birth, plays the part of Marcellus in Oregon Shakespeare Festival's "The Music Man" and plays the part using American Sign Language. Jim Craven

David Seago, deaf since birth, plays the part of Marcellus in Oregon Shakespeare Festival's "The Music Man" and plays the part using American Sign Language. Jim Craven

Seago can find humor in deaf culture. He once had a comedy routine in which he recruited deaf men from the audience to sing and sign a verse from “O Sole Mio,” a la Pavarotti, and have the audience vote on the best performance. The bit killed. It’s in a blog with photos at http://putzworld.blogspot.com/2007/03/howie-seago-teaches-deaf-people-to-sing.html.

An avid outdoorsman, Seago has hiked and gone cross-country skiing, and he plans to bring several kayaks down from Seattle, where his wife teaches deaf children in grade school.

He says he’d never experienced having to hold for applause at the end of songs, as he does in “Music Man.”

“That takes some getting used to,” he says.

He says it would be nice if hearing people would learn the manual alphabet to spell out words for deaf people, and to try to mime concepts that the deaf might not understand at first.

He says every parent of a deaf child should learn sign language. He was not allowed to use it as a child.

“I definitely would not be acting in OSF without this skill,” he says.

Deaf people are just like everybody else, he says. They want to be respected and to live a meaningful life.

“This is illustrated in Bill’s vision of ‘Music Man,’ ” he says, “as an example of how the lives of a community can be transformed and enhanced by the unique talents of each individual and the acceptance of others who may be different than us.”

Later in the season, Seago will be seen as Griffith and in the ensemble in the OSF production of “Henry VIII,” and as Barber and in the ensemble in “Don Quixote.”





Q&A: UFC fighter Matt Hamill

9 03 2009

Matt “The Hammer” Hamill, 32, a native of Loveland, Ohio, is billed just below the main event at UFC 96, the mixed-martial arts fight card in Nationwide Arena tonight. Hamill was a three-time Division III national champion when he wrestled for Rochester Institute of Technology. He won a silver medal in Greco-Roman wrestling and a gold in freestyle at the 2001 Deaflympics. Hamill is a veteran of the reality TV show The Ultimate Fighter. He owns a 7-2 record in the UFC’s light heavyweight division. Hamill, a low-budget movie about his life, is soon to be released.

UFC fighter Matt Hamill of Cincinnati will take a 7-2 record into a fight against Mark Munoz tonight in Nationwide Arena.

UFC fighter Matt Hamill of Cincinnati will take a 7-2 record into a fight against Mark Munoz tonight in Nationwide Arena.

 

Question: Have you been deaf your whole life?

Answer: Yes. I found out when I was just a little kid and my mother was trying to communicate with me. “Matt, Matt,” she would say, and there was no response. The took me to the doctor and they did tests. I can’t hear anything. Nothing. I am totally deaf. I have been since birth.

Q: Did you go to a school for the deaf when you were young?

A : No. I had an interpreter. Whatever the teacher said, the interpreter signed to me. If I went to a deaf school, it would not have been as much of a challenge. But I am more comfortable in the deaf community. I am not uncomfortable outside of it, but I am more comfortable in it. That is just my style.

Q: When did you start wrestling?

A: When I was 4 or 5 years old. My stepdad was the coach at Loveland (High School). Wrestling kept me busy. It kept me out of trouble. It was something that didn’t need much communication. It liked it because it was physical. It was rough. It was something I really enjoyed.

Q: You managed to take your wrestling as far as you could, didn’t you?

A: As a true freshman, I went to Purdue on a full scholarship. My goal was to be a national champion in Division I. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it there, so I transferred to RIT — in an area where there is a very large deaf community. It was a great experience there.

Q: Your stepfather got you into wrestling, which is one thing. Does your mother approve of ultimate fighting?

A: She looks at me and I’m happy. When I’m happy, she’s happy. She supports me in whatever I do.

Q: Was this what you wanted to do when you graduated college?

A: No. I hadn’t even thought about it. I had a degree in electrical engineering and I thought I’d get a good job somewhere in Utica (N.Y.), to be near my daughter. I met my ex-wife at RIT, and she lives in Utica. Somehow, I got on a different path.

Q: How excited are you to have a big fight in Ohio?

A: I was supposed to take another fight in Montreal. Montreal or Ohio? That was the question. I’m an Ohioan. I wanted to fight in Ohio where I’m close to my friends and my family and my fans. Two years ago at UFC 68 (in Nationwide Arena), I beat Rex Holman and I never felt a vibration like that in my career. It’s my home state, more deaf people are coming — and I can’t wait to feel the vibration. That’s how I get my heart in the fight. That’s why I came here. The vibration.





Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

6 03 2009

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law ensuring services to children with disabilities throughout the United States. IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education and related services to more than 6.5 million eligible infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities.

IDEA was formerly known as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act but has grown considerably since. IDEA became a federal standard by an act of Congressional adoption in 1975 but has been amended many times since. The IDEA was most recently amended in 2004, which was a significant update.

Infants and toddlers with disabilities (birth-2) and their families receive early intervention services under IDEA Part C. Children and youth (ages 3-21) receive special education and related services under IDEA Part B.

IDEA is considered to be a civil rights law. However, states are not required to participate. As an incentive and to assist states in complying with its requirements, IDEA makes funds available to states that adopt at least the minimum policies and procedures specified in the IDEA regarding the education of children with disabilities. Since its inception, all states have chosen to participate.

As of 2006, more than 6 million children in the US receive special education services through IDEA. Many U.S. states are still resistant to educating special needs children appropriately even though they continue to accept federal funding. The federal and state enforcement agencies do not use strong enforcement methods or penalties.

The definition of related services in IDEA include, but are not limited to: transportation and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education, and includes speech-language pathology and audiology services, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, recreation, including therapeutic recreation, early identification and assessment of disabilities in children, counseling services, including rehabilitation counseling, orientation and mobility services, and medical services for diagnostic or evaluation purposes. The term also includes school health services, social work services in schools, and parent counseling and training.

The US Department of Education, 2005 regulations that implemented IDEA states: “…to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities including children in public or private institutions or care facilities, are educated with children who are nondisabled; and special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from regular educational environment occurs only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.”
For more information, visit the IDEA website: http://idea.ed.gov.
Article Source:
Disabled World





Dogs to take centre stage at Blenheim Horse Trials

5 03 2009
March 4, 2009
0201
Pooches can look forward to some fun at the Blenheim Horse Trials this year.
The Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials is going to the dogs this year, with a canine competition in the offing and Hearing Dogs for Deaf People the nominated charity.Organisers are looking at the possibility of hosting a ‘Scrufts’ qualifier for the kennel club, and has James Wellbeloved once again sponsoring the dog creche and canine water bowls.

“Many of our visitors have dogs,” said event director Mandy Hervieu. “So getting canine-orientated sponsors and charities involved appeals to our public. When you see a Hearing Dogs display and see how they can train all types of dogs to help radically improve a deaf person’s life, you will be amazed. Having a dog creche and water bowls is much appreciated by dog owners. It’s great to be able to come to a top quality horse trials and bring your best friend for a great day out.”

The event, from September 10-13, is also putting on an extra CIC3* class for eight and nine-year-old equine stars of the future.

The horse trials is supporting Hearing Dogs in several ways. The Charity will be undertaking displays within the Blenheim Attractions Arena and manning the James Wellbeloved dog creche where the team hope owners will make a donation to leave their pooch to have a rest whilst they have lunch or watch the action from the grandstands.

“A hearing dog changes a deaf person’s life on many levels,” said Ruth Dunkin, spokeswoman for Hearing Dogs. “Deafness can be a very isolating and lonely disability; a hearing dog can offer a practical alternative to technical equipment with the added benefit of giving the recipient increased independence, greater confidence, companionship and a feeling of security.”

The dogs themselves vary from the largest, scruffiest mongrel to the smallest pedigree but are all easily recognisable by their distinctive burgundy jacket and lead slips.

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People was launched at Crufts in 1982. To date they have placed more than 1500 hearing dogs throughout England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Channel Islands. Whenever possible, the dogs are selected from rescue centres, but they are also donated by breeders and members of the public, with the remainder coming from the Charity’s own breeding scheme.

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People receive no government funding and rely totally on the generosity of individuals and organisations to continue transforming the lives of deaf people.

Of the nine million people in the UK with hearing loss, around 70,000 have been profoundly deaf since birth and communicate using British Sign Language. Many of those who have lost their hearing in later life rely on lip-reading. A hearing dog’s burgundy coat can help break down the barrier to communication as it identifies its recipient’s otherwise invisible disability.

 





International Awareness Week celebrates diverse cultures, informs campus

3 03 2009
Posted: 3 Mar 2009
Deaf people from different countries are diverse in their world views, in their sign languages, and in their communities. The purpose of Gallaudet’s International Awareness Week (IAW), held February 23 to 27, was to inform the community about the many cultures, languages, and traditions that enrich the University and the world. 
A student demonstrates a dance from her home country.

A student demonstrates a dance from her home country.

 
Activities that take place each year during IAW promote interaction between deaf people. The English Language Institute Student Organization (ELISO) is involved with many of the activities, such as preparing and selling international foods to give the campus community a taste of the world’s many cuisines and to raise funds for the organization. The Center for International Programs and Services (CIPS) works with ELISO to present the week’s activities.
 
IAW activities showed many aspects of Gallaudet’s international community. A visual representation of its diversity appeared along Lincoln Circle in the form of dozens of flags from different countries waving in the wind, and international dance demonstrations in the Jordan Student Academic Center’s Marketplace showed many means of expression through movement. In addition, international students gave presentations about their countries and unique aspects of their cultures, demonstrated their countries’ sign languages, and performed cultural skits.
International students carry flags from their countries up the stairs of the the Jordan Student Academic Center

International students carry flags from their countries up the stairs of the the Jordan Student Academic Center

 
As in past years, CIPS and ELISO invited dance troupes from off campus to entertain the crowd with Chinese dragon dance and African dance forms. Each day, lunch crowds—and on Friday, the dinner crowd as well—had a chance to learn and experience a little more.
 
While IAW is a celebration of difference, it also encourages the community to embrace the ideals of international cooperation and teamwork. This is an effort that CIPS is involved with year-round, as a facilitator for international events at the University and partner institutions around the world.
 
-By Dr. Asiah Mason, director of CIPS