NJDOE News

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    Jon Zlock    
    Kathryn Forsyth, Director
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For Release: September 22, 2006


Katzenbach to Celebrate Deaf Awareness Week

In recognition of Deaf Awareness Week, the Marie H. Katzenbach School for the Deaf will host a series of events related to Deaf culture and the use of American Sign Language (ASL) from Sept. 24 to 30.

On Monday Sept. 25, students and faculty from Katzenbach's Early Childhood Program, elementary school and middle school will gather in the middle school cafeteria at 2 p.m. for an activity related to communication and ASL. At approximately 3 p.m., the school will host a premiere of "Give Me A Little Sign," a new episode of the award-winning children's television program, Maya & Miguel.

This episode will share the experience of Marco, a deaf student, as he moves to a new school and explain how the children work to communicate with each other. The episode will feature the animated characters using ASL and will also have open captions, which means that captions will be visible without at decoder device. "Give Me A Little Sign" is made possible by PBS, Scholastic Media, the U.S. Department of Education's Captioned Media Program and the National Association of the Deaf.

"Deaf Awareness Week provides an important opportunity to celebrate the wonderful heritage of our school and its role in preserving and promoting the language, history and culture of people who are Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing. So we're very excited about this event," said Dennis P. Russell, Superintendent of the Katzenbach School.

The NJ School for the Deaf, an affiliate of the N.J. Department of Education, is a learning community committed to ensuring the lifelong success of people who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing. Working together and with families, school districts, the Deaf community, and its other partners, the Katzenbach School creates conditions which optimize learning for students statewide, from birth to high school graduation.

Approximately 28 million Americans are deaf or hard-of-hearing, which represents 10 percent of the American population. Deaf Awareness Week is celebrated annually in the U.S. during the last full week of September, in commemoration of the first World Congress of the Deaf held that week in 1951.

For more information on Katzenbach's Deaf Awareness Week activities, contact Allwyn Baskin at (609) 530-3104. Additional information on the Katzenbach School for the Deaf can be found on the school's website at www.mksd.org.