September 20, 2007
Note: Why is the word deaf capitalized in different places in this press release?
“Deaf" is often capitalized when written, and it refers to a tight-knit cultural group of people whose primary language is signed, and who practice social and cultural norms which are distinct from those of the surrounding hearing community.
Augusta – In celebration of Deaf culture and the heritage of American Sign Language and Deaf literature, art, and folklore, Governor John Baldacci recently issued a proclamation designating the week of September 23 through 29 as Deaf Culture Week.
Building up to the week long schedule of activities for the Deaf community, an award ceremony was held yesterday at Blaine House Tea for individuals who have contributed to Deaf Culture in Maine. Six awards were presented this year in five categories. Recipients are as follows:
Clifton F. Rodgers Award – A lifetime achievement award
Outstanding Role Model for the Deaf Community Award
Outstanding Advocate for the Needs of the Deaf Community Award
Special Commendation Awards
“In her time in the Legislature Senator Edmonds has worked tirelessly to promote fairness and opportunity for Maine people who are Deaf and hard of hearing,” said Maine Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman. “The lifetime achievement award is a well deserved recognition of her efforts.”
The Blaine House Tea was hosted by Governor Baldacci, the Maine Department of Labor Division of Deafness, and the Division of Deafness Advisory Council. The keynote speaker was Terry Morrell, a clinical therapist for deaf counseling services at Community Counseling Center in the Portland. The theme of his speech was “Coming Together.”