University of Vermont

Deaf Awareness Week 2011

thumbnail of deaf awareness week posterDEAF AWARENESS WEEK 2011

Admission is FREE and open to the public!
Voice interpreters will be provided at all events.
If other accommodations are  needed, please contact the coordinator: kogrizov(at)
Campus map for location/directions: http://www. uvm. edu/map/

Grab the poster and print! (PDF or JPG 11" x 17")





“Be Authentic With Your Identity” with Sofia Seitchik
Davis Center Silver Maple Ballroom (4th floor), 6 pm - 8 pm

Sofia Seitchik headshot

Sofia’s journey from childhood to adulthood as a Deaf woman consists of many layers. If you were to peel back the layers, you would find that her identity was torn apart repeatedly by cultures from three different continents which oppressed minorities. Through the years, Sofia struggled to discover her own identity and feel comfortable in her own skin. It was a long and difficult journey but eventually, she learned to listen to her inner voice and stand by her beliefs-thus a big breakthrough! Today, Sofia has found inner peace and loves herself for who she is. She has discovered her calling of reaching out to people, guiding them with compassion to bring out their inner selves, develop their identity, pursue their dreams and know their purpose in life.

Through this presentation, Sofia will share inspirational stories of survival, mishaps and challenges she experienced. Hopefully, her experiences will inspire you to analyze how authentic you are with your own identity. Are you being 100% true to yourself and living the dream you envisioned for yourself? Sofia looks forward to sharing her wisdom and warmth with you!


Sofia Seitchik, born in Samarkand, Uzbekistan (north of Afghanistan), is a businesswoman entrepreneur, certified Life Coach, motivational speaker and mother. At the age of 3, she attended a boarding school for the Deaf in St. Petersburg, Russia; 13 years later, she immigrated to the United States. While living in New York, she mastered English and ASL and graduated from Lexington School for the Deaf. Later, she attended CSUN and Gallaudet University, the latter of which she obtained a BA in Communication Arts. Today, Sofia owns and runs Global Deaf Women (GDW), a business in which she offers individual life coaching sessions and retreats for Deaf women who are seeking to find their passion and purpose in life.

Sofia is fluent in spoken Russian, Russian Sign Language, English and American Sign Language. Her passion includes traveling all over the world and meeting interesting people. Home is in Bucks County, Pennsylvania where Sofia is a proud wife to David Seitchik and mother to two sons, Eitan (7) and Samuel (4), all of whom are her inspiration. She loves cooking, reading, photography, brainstorming ideas and putting them together, and spending quality time with her family and friends.


Davis Center Silver Maple Ballroom (4th floor), 6 pm - 8 pm

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


Davis Center Brennan's Pub, 6 pm - 8 pm

Join us for an evening of mime and storytelling at Brennan's Pub at the University of Vermont. Students from ASL II, ASL III and ASL V classes will perform ABC stories, handshape stories, fairy tale Stories with a Deaf “twist,” Deaf jokes and many more! 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 the art of Deaf Culture in action. Food and drinks will be sold at Brennan's Pub.

Black Sands DVD cover


Stafford Hall Room 101, 6 pm - 8 pm (post-movie discussion to follow)

“Black Sand” is an ASL Films production in which four students descend upon a tropical rain forest resort in Costa Rica with the purpose of having an adventurous vacation while visiting an aunt's place. The lush, green jungle seems like heaven with its waterfalls but there is also darkness in paradise. Whatever the source of the darkness is, is it protecting a secret or is it something hiding something so unspeakable?
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 90 min.


Davis Center Livak Ballroom (4th floor); join in anytime between 11:30 am – 1:30 pm

FREE pizza will be provided! Bring your own drinks.

It is no secret that to this day, many Deaf individuals struggle to secure employment in USA, Canada, and elsewhere. Systematic discrimination, hearing patronization, and inappropriate educational methodology are just one of several factors that contribute to their difficulties in finding meaningful jobs. For those who work, they are often underemployed and to some extent, overqualified for certain positions. To make the matter compelling, some of them elect not to pursue employment but to collect supplemental security income instead.  Facilitated by Alex Lynch, the discussion circle will address some of the paramount issues on Deaf and employment.


Davis Center Sugar Maple (4th floor), 7pm-9pm
Q & A after the show

Ian Sanborn standing on a rock looking at a sunset

Surrounded by nature, a fly fisherman is challenged with different obstacles he needs to overcome in order to appreciate nature. The audience will witness how interdependence between nature and humans can become life lessons. Ian’s life journey and the lessons he took from nature will be shared via a combination of American Sign Language, Sign Mime, mime, gestures and home signs. Funny, forlorn, bewildering, heart-stopping and amazing stories will fill the evening and audience participants will come away with a greater understanding of how nature can have a profound effect on our personal lives. Let’s hope this fly fisherman at least catches some laughs by the end of the evening!

Ian Sanborn, ASL storyteller, hails from New Hampshire where he grew up in a hearing family. He discovered American Sign Language through his educational experiences being mainstreamed in a public school and attending two different schools for the Deaf. Ian is an 8-year veteran of National Theatre of the Deaf (NTD) based in Hartford, Connecticut where he developed and honed his craft as an actor and storyteller. He also received theatrical training from Deaf West Theatre in North Hollywood, California. Through NTD, he has taught numerous theatre workshops to people of all ages. A recent transplant to Vermont, Ian is embarking on a new chapter in his life and is excited to share his skills in acting and storytelling. He currently teaches ASL in the community and works in the University of Vermont's ASL Program.



Archives of Past Deaf Awareness Week events:

Deaf Awareness Week 2010

Deaf Awareness Week 2009

Deaf Awareness Week 2008

Deaf Awareness Week 2007

Last modified November 26 2012 02:11 PM

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