CHAMPION - Both deaf and hearing communities heard about various programs, classes and services available to those with hearing impairments as part of the deaf world exhibit.
The exhibit was held at the Kent State University at Trumbull to show that deafness is not a disability.
Laurie Pesarchick, an instructor of American sign language at Kent State, said the event presents recognition of programs and services for deaf and hearing communities in northeast Ohio.
Each group or organization could show or display what services or programs they provide with emphasis on social clubs, vocations, career opportunities and special activities, such as Theater for the Deaf.
Pesarchick said Kent offers classes in American Sign Language for those who want to teach or be interpreters or the major can be combined with theater and film or other subjects. Courses can be started at the Trumbull campus and then continued at the main campus, she said.
American Sign Language is being offered in high schools, including Champion High School, as a foreign language option.
Cathy Vickery of Kent said she is one of the instructors and finds the exhibit a great experience for the public to socialize and learn about what organizations are available in person as compared to going on the Internet to search for the programs and services.
"This allows for face-to-face contact and to see all the organizations. People can find resources available for themselves or when their children get older,'' Vickery said.
Pesarchick said information is available to help people with hearing issues find jobs, including training.
Michelle Johnson of Warren, a psychology student, said she created a display on how programs are available to help dogs that are deaf, especially Dalmatians, which have 30 percent chance of being born deaf.
She said some shelters will euthanize dogs that are deaf.
''The dogs can learn signs just like people do,'' she said, explaining about the Spotted Dog Dalmatian Rescue.
Pamela Luft, associate professor of American Sign Language and deaf education at Kent, said Pesarchick was one of her students.
"I think it is wonderful to get the word out and show positive thing that are happening in the deaf world. Many deaf people are running events like this to show positive role models. It is so important that we show this to the community,'' Luft said.
She said the Deaf to Work exhibit is a needed support system to help people get work and contribute to the economy and tax base.