YES TO ASL
The Deaf community in California is celebrating a milestone! This is our fifth year of celebrating International Day of Sign Languages. In honor of this event, California Association of the Deaf (CAD) and coalition of agencies serving Deaf and Hard of Hearing have agreed to join forces toward the recognition of American Sign Language (ASL) as an official language in this state. As part of Deaf Awareness month, every two years we celebrate American Sign Language by hosting ASL Celebration event at the California Capitol in Sacramento.
This year it will take place on Thursday, September 20, 2012, from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The event will take place on the North Lawn of the Capitol on L Street and 11th Street.
To kickoff 2012 ASL Celebration, we will begin the event by marching one mile around the capitol to share that we are here as a team to protect, promote, and preserve civil, human, and linguistic rights of all Deaf Californians. After the march, the program will have inspiring presenters along with skits by the California School for the Deaf students and well know Deaf performers.
We also have exciting presenters such as Dr. Genie Gertz- Dean of the Deaf Studies Division at Ohlone College who will be our Keynote speaker; Don Lee Hanaumi- ASL Celebration Chair; Daniel Girard- CAD President; Julie Rems Smario- National Association of the Deaf’s Region IV Representative; Butch Zein- Deafhood Board Chair and Vice President of Strategic Development at CONVO Communications; Sean Virnig- Superintendent of the California School for the Deaf; Ella Mae Lentz- well known Deaf Poet and Author of Signing Naturally; and Jim Brune- Executive Director of DCARA.
The program will include different entertainers who will show the importance of American Sign Language through their performances. Our 2012 ASL Celebration entertainers are: Bernard Bragg- Actor, Antoine Hunter- Dancer, Tommy Korn- Mister Deaf USA and Deaf Youth USA, Evelina Gaina- actress and owner of EG Entertainment, Sherry Hicks- CODA performer with Half-n-Half, CODA Sista’s, and Don Lee Hanaumi’s Theatre group.
Before we take a tour inside the Capitol and meet legislators, Sheri Farinha, CEO for NorCal Services for the Deaf will introduce Assemblymember Dickenson and Senator Hernandez to share special recognition from the staff at the Capitol to honor and celebrate ASL.
There will be exhibitors from different VRS companies, agencies, and organizations to share information to the Deaf Community. Thanks to our generous sponsors- AT&T Relay, Hamilton Relay, Molina Healthcare, NorCal, Purple Communications, and Sorenson Communications- for their support in making 2012 ASL Celebration possible.
We will have a gathering at the Republic Bar and Grill to continue our celebration after ASL Celebration event on Thursday afternoon. The Republic Bar and Grill, which is not far from the Capitol, is located at 908 15th Street, Sacramento, CA.
We look forward celebrating this milestone with you!