SAIL to host deaf history play Sunday at Perseverance

Posted: Friday, March 10, 2006

Southeast Alaska Independent Living is staging a play about deaf history Sunday to help a group of area interpreters attend the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf Region V conference, April 27-30 in Anchorage.

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The performance, "Visual Vibrations," starts at 3 p.m. at Perseverance Theatre. Admission is pay-as-you-can, with a $5 minimum.

The play will include at least 15 interpreters and members of the Juneau deaf community performing skits and songs from the last 50 years of deaf history, internationally and in Alaska.

"This is about dedication to a soundless world of happiness and sorrow," said Pam Mueller-Guy, the deaf-services coordinator at SAIL.

"The training money has been cut by other departments long ago. The interpreter referral program has not increased since 1996. We thought we could prove and show that the deaf community and the interpreters can do this ourselves by raising funds for them to go get more training to get credits for their education."

The deaf community often puts on a summer performance, sometimes at Marine Park.

SAIL works with approximately 19 interpreters, not including freelancers. At least 10 are hoping to attend the Anchorage conference. Speakers at the conference will teach tips and help interpreters communicate more effectively.

"It is so important to keep our language," Mueller-Guy said. "We support our interpreters, because they know our language and our culture so well. Sometimes people think we have a disability and that we can't learn. That's wrong. We can do anything except hear."

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