University of Vermont

Deaf Awareness Week 2009

University of Vermont

Voice interpreters will be provided at all events.
Admission is FREE and open to the public!
Campus map for location/directions:
Event Coordinator: Keri Ogrizovich kogrizov(at)

MONDAY, OCTOBER 5th: KICK-OFF PRESENTATION by Sue ThomasSue Thomas and her Dog
Votey 105, 6 pm - 8 pm (book sales and book signing after presentation)

Sue Thomas is profoundly deaf. But nothing can keep this indomitable woman from living her life to the fullest. In spite of the difficulties she experienced in the classroom growing up, Sue Thomas applied herself in college and finally graduated from Springfield College in Massachusetts with a degree in Political Science and International Affairs. After months of job searching, Sue Thomas heard that the FBI was looking for Deaf people. Her wildest hopes finally came true when she was hired to work in undercover surveillance reading lips for the FBI agents in Washington DC.

Inspired by Sue Thomas' unique job for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the weekly drama television series SUE THOMAS FBEYE helped bring more awareness to the lives and abilities of those with physical challenges. Soon after, Sue found out she had Multiple Sclerosis. Living with MS has become one of Sue's greatest challenges. "Fighting it is a waste of precious energy,” she says. "It is only by embracing my MS that I learn life's greatest lessons." When not on the road speaking, Sue Thomas lives in Vermont with her Hearing/Special Skill dog, 'Katie.' Knowing first-hand the life-changing impact of these incredible canines, she is in the planning stages of building a Dog Training Center called "The Levi Foundation."

Davis Center Sugar and Maple Room (4th floor), 6 pm - 8 pm

Join us in an evening of ASL games amongst peers and ASL students. ASL V students will be your hosts, which means a good time is guaranteed! Everyone is welcome, regardless of signing level and experience!

Brennan's Pub in the Davis Center (basement), 6 pm - 8 pm

Join us in an evening of ASL poetry and storytelling at Brennan's Pub at the University of Vermont. Students from ASL II, ASL III and ASL V classes will perform several different pieces. Meanwhile, other students, interpreters, ASL pros, die-hards, and anyone who can sign are also encouraged to come on stage and give it a try! Those who do not know ASL or are not comfortable with signing in front of an audience can join us by being our audience members to witness ASL storytelling and poetry in motion. Food and drinks will be sold at Brennan's Pub.

Votey 105, 6 pm - 8 pm (post-movie discussion to follow)

“Universal Signs”, a groundbreaking film, presented in mesmerizing American Sign Language (ASL) with English subtitles, touches the hearts and minds of hearing and Deaf audiences alike.

After the death of his fiancée’s daughter while in his care, Andrew (Anthony Natale, Mr. Holland’s Opus), a Deaf artist, becomes a prisoner of his own mind. Tormented day and night by memories and self-blame, Andrew falls in a downward spiral of depression and anger that alienates everyone around him. It is only through a serendipitous friendship and new love with Mary (Sabrina Lloyd, Sports Night) that Andrew is able to sense the life around him – forgive himself, rediscover his muse, and experience the transformative power of love.

An original score by Academy Award® winner Joseph Renzetti propels the story along with stellar supporting performances from Margot Kidder (Superman), Robert Picardo (Star Trek: Voyager), Deanne Bray (Sue Thomas: FBEye) and Ashlyn Sanchez (Crash).

Davis Center 2nd floor fireplace eating area (across from New World Tortilla); join in anytime between 11:30 am – 1:30 pm

What is Deafhood? What is little ‘d’ and big ‘D’? How does each Deaf person see herself/himself? Why is this identity so important? How will Deafhood help us, together as a Deaf community, heal from oppression? Join us in sharing and listening to different life experiences as a Deaf person and what Deafhood means to each of them.


Chistine Rochaert

Fleming Museum 101, 7pm-9pm (Q & A after the show)

Christine Roschaert, known as Coco, spins the globe daily with her blogging, vlogging, international disability rights advocacy, networks that reach the ends of the world and giving lectures/training to raise awareness about DeafBlind living. Born in Canada and still a proud citizen, she travels the world doing volunteer work in Africa, DeafBlind networking in Europe and is now planning an upcoming solo-backpacking trip in Asia for research purposes. Now, for the first time in her life, Coco will perform in her one-DeafBlind-woman show exclusively for UVM to wrap up Deaf Awareness Week, with stories from her life as a DeafBlind person, from childhood to adulthood. Funny, tragic, bewildering, heart-stopping and amazing stories will fill the evening and audience participants will come away with a greater understanding of DeafBlindhood. Life doesn't end when one becomes blind as well as Deaf; life just becomes more interesting.


Archives of Past Deaf Awareness Week events:

Deaf Awareness Week 2008

Deaf Awareness Week 2007

Last modified November 26 2012 02:11 PM

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