Idaho Governor Butch Otter proclaimed Saturday, Sept. 14, as the first-ever Idaho Deaf and Hard of Hearing Awareness Day. This was celebrated with the theme “Discovering Gems of Our Community” from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at Best Western Plus Vista Inn near the Boise airport.
Five organizations collaborated in planning and setting up the event: Council of Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Idaho Educational Service for the Deaf and Blind, Idaho ASL Teachers Association (Idaho ASLTA), Idaho Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf and Boise Valley Association of the Deaf.
One of Boise State’s ASL instructors, Stefanie Saltern, was part of this committee representing Idaho ASLTA. Saltern is the current president of Idaho ASLTA.
Instructors of ASL 201 instructors, as well as advanced students from Boise State and other schools, volunteered by organizing and leading children’s activities during the event. They and others in the community provided interpreting services for presentations during the day. There were many booths ranging from nonprofit organizations to government agencies to local deaf-owned businesses. A deaf comedian, Ben Jarashow, performed and door prizes were given away through a drawing at the end of the day. Organizers are hoping that this becomes an annual event.
Here is the Facebook link for the event: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Idaho-Deaf-Awareness-Day/479937195418143.