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Oregon's Snow Camp For Youth Deaf Students

VIDEO [CC] - Deaf News: Youth snow camp held for Deaf and Hard of Hearing, instructors communicate with campers by American Sign Language.


BEND, ORE -- KTVZ: People who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing have to navigate a world of sound, where the primary means of communication is spoken language. But or one week a year, that all changes.

This weekend at Mt. Bachelor, Oregon Adaptive Sports hosted a snow camp. This was the third annual camp held just for teenagers and young adults who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

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Although the ski and snowboarding skill levels vary between volunteers, they do all have one thing in common. They are all fluent in American Sign Language.

With the help of an interpreter, we talked to some of those taking part in this special program. Will Roach is a volunteer instructor and one of the people behind the idea.

"We thought about all the Deaf students who are isolated, and we thought, 'Why not get them all together, and we could have instructors who are Deaf, so they could have direct communication?'"Roach said.

For the participants, communication makes all the difference.

"Well, Will was teaching me, and it's really nice to talk to other Deaf people here. That's really the best part," said one of the campers.

Officer coordinator and instructor Cara Frank knows how important this camp is first0hand. She was born Deaf.

"It really has a special place in my heart," she said. "Just having another role model that you can relate to growing up, it's really key. And that's what this camp is about."

Everyone we talked to said they will absolutely be back next year.

Oregon Association of the Deaf has a variety of other programs. Their goal is to provide outdoor recreation experiences to people with physical and cognitive disabilities. More information can be found at oregonadaptivesports.org. Source
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