‘Deaf, Deaf World’ event brings awareness about deaf, hard of hearing community’s experiences

The event, called ‘Deaf, Deaf World’ was held tonight in TJC’s Interpreter Training Program classrooms to bring awareness and exposure to the hearing community
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 10:37 PM CDT

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - This week is International Deaf Awareness Week and Thursday night an event at Tyler Junior College offered those in the hearing community an experience in silence.

The event, called ‘Deaf, Deaf World’ was held tonight in TJC’s Interpreter Training Program classrooms to bring awareness and exposure to the hearing community about what those who are deaf or hard of hearing experience from day-to-day.

Susie Grona is a retired educator and said, “We have deaf people from all around the East Texas area come in and they tell stories, and the students and people watch and try to understand what they’re saying and then ask questions.”

Those who attended came, and once the event started couldn’t speak, in an effort to really keep things as realistic as possible.

Jennifer Hinton is a sophomore in the program and said, “From what I’ve noticed, is that we have a lot of events for people who can hear and not a whole lot of events for people can’t. So they want to do a lot of events that are deaf-friendly so we can include those people too.”

Guests were split into groups and went through different experiences such as doctor’s appointments, learning about insurance, that those who are deaf or hard of hearing relied on as early as the 1900′s and more.

“In this particular room we have, eyetheology, which is kind of like psychology but from a deaf world, a visual perspective. We’re going to expose the students to more facial expressions, which in our language, actually equates to grammar,” Grona said.

For those who didn’t know sign language, or weren’t as far along, they were able to use whiteboards and their notes app to help them. Hinton recommends people come to events like this.

“It’s honestly really fun and they’re really welcoming. They don’t mind if you don’t know much ASL or anything. They’re always willing to have people that want to learn and interact,” Hinton said.

To add to awareness efforts going on this week, Smith County Commissioners also approved a resolution proclaiming this week as Deaf Awareness Week in Smith County.