DeafPride hosts awareness week for hearing impaired

By Faith Healy

This week, DeafPride hosts Deaf Awareness Week, a celebration of deaf culture.

DeafPride, a student group dedicated to raising awareness about deaf culture, holds the celebration during the first full week of November every year. An event is planned every day this week.

“We have some great events planned that don’t take up a lot of time but can definitely open your eyes,” said DeafPride President Catherine Duback.

The weeklong event began Monday with a viewing of Chicago Deaf Stories, a documentary by Bob Paul. Today, DeafPride hosts “DeafTown” at 7:30 p.m. in the Holmes Student Center Regency Room. The event invites students to complete activities without using their voices.

Duback said there are 25 or 30 deaf students currently enrolled at NIU.

“[Deaf Awareness Week] is a great opportunity to experience pieces of another culture,” Duback said. “There are fun events that give exposure to [American Sign Language] and deaf culture as well as educating students on acceptance and awareness.”

All of the week’s events are open to the public, just as all DeafPride events are.

“[DeafPride] is open to all students – deaf or hearing – interested in sign language, deaf culture and acceptance,” Duback said.

Senior sociology major Kevyn Porter said he was unaware deaf students attend NIU or that Deaf Awareness Week existed.

“I hope for a nice turnout [for DAW],” Porter said. “Awareness should be heightened so people know what others go through.”

Editor’s Note: Campus Editor Matt Liparota contributed to this article.