Tell Me Please: “Deaf Awareness Week”?

Tell me, please, Do you know of anything cool going on for Deaf Awareness week.
Or, do you even care?

According to NAD, Deaf Awareness Week (DAW) is the last full week (Sunday through Saturday) of September, in commemoration of the first World Congress of the Deaf held that week in 1951.

I have heard mixed things about these types of events. Do you care? Is anybody doing anything interesting?

I was just reminded of the “week” when Anthony Natale came in my search results:

“Evolution of a Cool Dude” Starring Antony Natale – September 25, 2008

“Evolution of a Cool Dude”
Anthony Natale

Deaf Awareness Week

Thursday, September 25, 2008 @ 7 p.m.

Highland High School Auditorium4301 East Guadalupe Road • Gilbert, Arizona 85234(Between Higley and Power Road)

$5 admission

Sponsored by Gilbert Public Schools ASL Clubs

Anthony Natale is known to moviegoers as the guy in the elevator during the pivotal scene from Jerry Maguire, signing “You complete me” to his partner. He starred as the older son in Mr. Holland’s Opus and was also seen in Children of a Lesser God. He had a lead role in USA Network movie His Bodyguard.

I would go to that if I lived in AZ.

But normally, I don’t hear much. Last year, when I had really only started learning about deafness, and the Deaf community. Not terribly exciting.

Is “Awareness” important? Is this a good thing to promote?


7 thoughts on “Tell Me Please: “Deaf Awareness Week”?

  1. Last night at the deaf awareness presentation in Burbank, California. I presented the deaf community’s view of the future and their resistance and hostility toward evolution of the deaf society. I used videoblogs that were sent to deafvideo and deaf-tube in my presentation.

    I was given a $2,500.00 pioneer award.



  2. We used to have these ‘weeks’ in the UK, the first one they tried didn’t get a lot of support from the deaf community, because it was mainly about deaf ‘awareness’, hearing aids, and flashing door-bell exhibitions, nothing about the deaf or their culture.

    The BDA started their own dedicated to culture and BSL, but overall there seems little support for any sort of UK ‘week’ now. We don’t do this once a year now, we do it, EVERY DAY ! Last time we had one, I advertised it on the Brit SEE HEAR deaf program board, and nobody knew about it, or what it was about. We have tremendous apathy in the UK at the present.

    My blog carries a news report about ‘Deafpool’ this is what the deaf like to do once a year, go to a resort and get drunk for 3 days together ! (Not sure what it says about deaf culture but….)


  3. Handful of deaf people consider “Deaf Awareness Week” celebration to be very outdated concept of exposing the general public to the understanding and appreciation of deaf people.

    Pros and cons of “Deaf Awareness Week” so far.

    MM mentioned about the deaf UK people have different methods of displaying their own cultural and linguistic prides than letting the Deaf Awareness Week to be too pathological.

    Many thanks, MM.



  4. My own blog goes from covering culture to those opposing it, can’t get any more diverse than that 🙂 They call it deaf week but few deaf are actually involved. There does seem greater interest in deaf arts and things, I fear the divide between deaf and Deaf is still a huge issue, and why ‘awareness’ weeks. We have 30 or 40 here a year, one for the deaf, the child, the disabled, and just about every minority sector you can name. We have minority overkill and fatigue, even the minorities are fed up with them. These junkets have been flogged well past their sell-by date…. Most originate from the European ‘parliament’, (Can America PLEASE declare war on Brussels, I’m in ! it would do democracy a great favor), they obviously have nothing else to do and need to get out more.



    Deaf Awareness Week begins Sept. 21
    September 21, 2008 – September 28, 2008
    Deaf students at ASU tend to blend in with our very large student body. Unless they come to class with a sign-language interpreter, you would never know they are hearing impaired.

    Those students, and the staff who work with them, want you to know more about them, and how they live their lives communicating with American Sign Language.

    To that end, ASU is sponsoring and participating in a number of events during Deaf Awareness Week, Sept. 21-28, to which the public is invited.

    The week begins Sept. 21 with Deaf Awareness Kick-Off, from 11 a.m. to noon in the Education Lecture Hall on ASU’s Tempe campus.

    From 1 to 4 p.m. on Sept. 21, Arizona Deaf Theatre will sponsor an afternoon with deaf actor Robert DeMayo, also in the Education Lecture Hall.

    The featured activity Sept. 22 is a Silent Dinner at Tempe Marketplace, from 6 to 9 p.m. Participants will purchase food from one of the cafés, then sit together at tables outside Paradise Bakery and Cheeseburger.

    The highlight of the week is the ASL Festival, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Hayden Lawn on the Tempe campus. The event includes signers, storytellers, shows and booths, sponsored by ASU and ASU’s American Sign Language Program (ASU-ASL).

    Other events include:

    • Sept. 24: Deaf Awareness Night at Bowling, Brunswick Alley, 1754 W. Southern Ave., Mesa, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

    • Sept. 25: Open house at Phoenix Deaf Community Center, 1545 W. Osborne Road, Phoenix, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; performance of “Anthony Natale-Evolution of a Cool Dude,” 7 p.m., Highland High School Auditorium, 4301 E. Guadalupe Road, Gilbert.

    • Sept. 26: Deaf Professionals Happy Hour at San Felipes, Tempe Marketplace, 7 to 10 p.m.; Deaf Social at Fox and Hound Restaurant, 7625 N. LaCholla Blvd., Tucson.

    • Sept. 27: Arizona Deaf Festival, Encanto Park, Phoenix, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., free; Hondo Open Golf tournament, Rolling Hills Golf Course, 1415 N. Mill Ave., Tempe, 7 p.m.; and Social Night at Phoenix Deaf Community Center, 7 p.m. to midnight.

    • Sept. 28: Deaf Awareness Day at Diamondbacks, Chase Field, 1:10 p.m. Tickets: $5. Sponsored by ASU-ASL.

    ASU enrolls approximately 35 deaf students each year, but the number of students studying ASL is much higher. “We have roughly 800 to 1,000 students going through our ASL program on an annual basis,” said Paul Quinn, ASL program director.

    Federal research shows that only one out of 1,000 people in the United States become deaf before age 18, and anywhere from 37 to 140 people out of 1,000 have some kind of “trouble” with their hearing. A large share of the latter are at least 65 years old, Quinn said.

    The number of ASL users in the United States is at least 500,000.

    Donna Leff, a lecturer in ASU’s ASL program, who maintains a blog listing events geared to the deaf, says that ASL is the fourth most widely studied language on college campuses, behind Spanish, French and German, and ahead of Italian.

    For more information about Deaf Awareness Week events go to


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