Deaf Awareness Week Planned at WWU

Deaf Awareness Week will be held at William Woods University March 24-28, hosted by the American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreting program.

“It is a great opportunity for everyone on campus, as well as in the community, to come together to learn about issues concerning the Deaf community, as well as what daily life is like for Deaf individuals,” said Dr. Carolyn Ball, ASL program director.

William Woods is one of only 25 schools in North America to offer a four-year degree program in ASL Interpreting.

Students and members of the community are invited to participate in events throughout the week that are designed to give them a better understanding of the Deaf community.

“Through Deaf Eyes,” a PBS documentary that explores the history, culture, oppression and triumphs of deaf people in America, will be shown March 24 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Library Auditorium. This film shows the early days of Deaf life, to the “Deaf President Now” movement in 1988 at Gallaudet University.

Silent Game Night will be March 25 from 6 to 7 p.m. in Burton Business Building, room 006. Participants will receive a brief introduction to sign language, which they will use to play games without using their voices.

“It is a great opportunity to learn some signs and have fun in the process,” said Ball.
The ASL department will be open for tours March 26 from 6 to 7 p.m. People will be allowed to tour the sign language facilities and the Charlotte Rose Hamilton American Sign Language Interpreting Lab to get an understanding of how the program is run.

A Deaf panel will answer questions concerning Deafness on March 27 from 6 to 7 p.m. in Dulany Auditorium. Joining the panel will be Deaf Miss Missouri, JoAnn Benfield.

The Rosa Lee and Robert Love Show, “Looking at Both Worlds,” will conclude Deaf Awareness Week. It will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. March 28 in Cutlip Auditorium.

Rosa Lee is a performance artist and instructor who has been involved with a variety of theatre arts projects over the past 12 years. She created her first one-woman show during the fall of 2004 and has since performed in front of thousands of hearing and Deaf onlookers all over the country to rave reviews. Rosa Lee incorporates all aspects of her artistic talents and her experiences as a Deaf woman from a Deaf family into her shows, which include music, video, and performance art.

Robert Love of Fulton is a skilled song signer. He has his own sign language music video company and is an ASL lab tutor at William Woods University. The two will team up to put on what Ball said would be “a show full of laughs and excitement.”

Ball added, “It is our hope that through this week we will be able to expand the knowledge of Deaf culture to all involved.”

For more information about Deaf Awareness Week, contact Carolyn Ball at or (573) 592-4351 (V/VP)