Annual Deaf Culture Awards, Tea in Hall of Flags Sept. 21 Bookmark and Share

August 31, 2017


Contact: Nancy Winter 623-7958 (voice); 623-7998 (TTY)

Media Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 621-5009

AUGUSTA — In celebration of Deaf culture and the heritage of American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf literature, art and folklore, Governor Paul R. LePage has issued a proclamation designating the week of Sept. 24 through 30, 2017, as Deaf Culture Week.

“Deaf Culture Week in Maine and the annual awards serve as important reminders of the many contributions of our citizens,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “I congratulate and thank all of the awardees for their achievements. Their work benefits not only people who are deaf or hard of hearing but all of our communities.”

The Commission for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Late Deafened will hold its 26th Annual Award Ceremony and Tea on Sept. 21, 2017, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Hall of Flags at the State House. This year, the commission will present six awards in six categories to individuals who have contributed to Deaf culture in Maine. Award recipients are:

  • Clifton F. Rodgers Award ~ Lifetime Achievement Award — Bonnie M. Snow

  • Ginny Hewes Award ~ Advocate for the Needs of the Deaf Community Award — Carrie J. Pierce

  • Special Commendation Award — Dawna Marie Thorpe

  • Promoting ASL, Deaf Culture and Deaf People Award — John I. Post

  • Outstanding Citizenship Award — Debra Reynolds

  • Citizenship Youth Award — Kailey Ouellette

Michelle Ames, Deaf Services, Disability Rights Maine, will give the keynote address.

The Division of the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Late Deafened, part of the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services (BRS) in the Department of Labor, works to bring about full access to employment, independence and community integration for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

“I encourage employers to diversify their workforce by including people with disabilities,” said Governor LePage. “The Bureau of Rehabilitation Services can facilitate that through vocational rehabilitation, training assistance and advice for employers.”

For more information about hiring people with disabilities or identifying job training resources for people with disabilities, visit your local CareerCenter, , call 1-855-ALL-HIRE (TTY users call Maine Relay 711) or visit .

Maine Department of Labor is an equal opportunity provider. Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.