The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

TR travels to a deaf, deaf world

By Sheri-Lee Norris/ campus editor

Deaf volunteers Sherri Bodiford and Kenneth Arrington use sign language to communicate before the start of the Travel into a Deaf, Deaf World program Oct. 13. The event shows insight into the deaf community. Kaylee Jensen/The Collegian
Deaf volunteers Sherri Bodiford and Kenneth Arrington use sign language to communicate before the start of the Travel into a Deaf, Deaf World program Oct. 13. The event shows insight into the deaf community.
Kaylee Jensen/The Collegian

Although over 100 students filled the TR Idea Store lobby Oct. 13, the only audible sounds were the hum of the ventilation system and the occasional rustling of papers. 

The Travel into a Deaf, Deaf World program was a total immersion experience into sign language and the deaf community.

“It is a cultural view from the perspective of a deaf person who spends every day navigating in a hearing world,” sign language interpreting program coordinator Sammie Sheppard said. “This program takes hearing people through the world as if they were deaf.”

Over 450 students from junior high and high schools attended the program, run by TCC students, teachers and deaf citizens from North Texas.

Student Madeline Freytag greeted entering groups and instructed via sign language that they were all in a “voice off zone.” Each attendee received a passport to have stamped as they moved from station to station, all named after a famous deaf person.

“Different stations show the difficulties deaf people face doing everyday tasks hearing people take for granted,” Sheppard said. “They must figure out how to order food in a restaurant, visit a doctor’s office and explain what’s wrong and receive medical instructions without speaking.”

Those who used their voices were taken to a holding area, where they learned about issues facing deaf people in a prison system.

Some participated in a deaf-blind simulation. They were blindfolded and had to be led around the building with an aide. Student Karen Egeland said simulation was her favorite.

“Learning to trust someone you have never met before to guide and communicate with you is very humbling,” she said.

Sign language interpreter Toni Aken said she really enjoys showing others what it is like to be deaf.

“Educating others is key,” she said

Sheppard provided tours of the sign language program offices and explained why it is a good choice if students have a passion for sign language. She said there is currently a pressing need for male sign language interpreters followed closely by Hispanic women. TCC offers both certificate and associate programs.

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