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Promoting sign language as a 'cool factor'

Photo from Deaf Access Services video

A Buffalo Sabre has offered his 'star power' to promote sign language.  WBFO'S Eileen Buckley says Deaf Access Services (DAS) wants the community to learn how sign language can expand communications and behavior strategies. 

Buffalo Sabres right winger Patrick Kaleta appearing in a 30-second video spot. He's standing along side Karen Gambino, a sign language interpreter. The service wants the public to see what they consider the 'cool factor' of communicating.  http://youtu.be/Px3RnCz5zYs

"What we're trying to do is bridge the gap between the two communities and make them as one," said
Sharon Hanson, Executive Director of Deaf Assess Services. 

"It's true that they don't hear, but they have other ways of communicating. They work everyday just like we do, they pay their mortgages, they vote, they do everything that the hearing community does and all they want is an opportunity to live their life to the fullest potential that they can, and they need the support of the hearing community," said Hanson.  The ability to use sign language is nothing new. It is a cool way to communicate."
The organization is striving for inclusiveness and diversity. It currently is designing a sign language class for babies and has programs for military members coming home from the war, who can no longer hear. Hansen noted the fastest growing segment are individuals who were born with hearing, but have lost it.

"We're also providing sign language classes for veterans who are coming home from the war that can't hear.  So it is very important to realize you can still accomplish everything you want to accomplish even if you can not hear," said Hanson.

Hanson said you can learn some basic sign language in just eight-weeks.