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Deaf Culture Day: Deaf adults present B-block


by Maya Abou-Rizk

Five adult panelists from the deaf community presented B-block today in the auditorium as part of Deaf Culture Day.

The panelists were asked a variety of questions pertaining to their daily lives and they responded in American Sign Language, which was translated by an interpreter for the audience.

Sarah Fish, a college graduate with a degree in linguistics, is the only deaf person in her family. She discussed the importance of her being here today and what she specifically wants to make clear to people outside the deaf community. “I don’t want other people to think all deaf people are the same,” she said. “Because we’re not. We are different people with different lives that just have something in common.”

Josh Mendelson, the second panelist, grew up deaf. He added that deafness was “sometimes a blessing.” Mendelson was born in Alaska but he moved to Maryland because of the deaf schools that were available there. “I’m grateful I am who I am,” he said. “If I weren’t deaf, I wouldn’t be the person I am today, and I love who I am.”

Another panelist, Frank Trevor, explained that when he was two years old, he developed a case of meningitis and almost died.  The medicine he was given is likely what caused his deafness. Trevor told the audience that he is happily engaged to a woman in the deaf community. Having previously dated only hearing girls in high school, he explained the difference between dating deaf girls and dating hearing girls. “[My financé and I] have similar experiences, and that gives us a connection that I couldn’t find with those other girls in high school,” he said.

Jenay Mitchell and Katie Prince also responded to the questions asked, and shared personal experiences with being deaf. Mitchell is a graduate of this school and provided the audience with information about her post-high school education. When the five panelists were finished speaking, the panel opened to questions from the audience.


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