I didn't go, but it seems the event was a success:http://www.armenianchurchwd.com/hearing-the-unheard-a-project-heal-presentation-for-deaf-culture-awareness/With the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate, HEARING THE UNHEARD: A Project HEAL Presentation for DEAF CULTURE AWARENESS, took place in the Western Diocese's Armen and Gloria Hampar Primate's Reception Room, on Sunday, 16 May 2010, from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. The program was the first in an anticipated series of activities, meant to bridge the gap between the Hearing and Deaf and Hard of Hearing Communities, by highlighting personal experiences of people who have been affected by deafness and the challenges, issues, and prejudices they face on a daily basis.
The program, voiced and signed in American Sign Language (ASL), with the assistance of four student interpreters from the Deaf Studies Department at California State University, Northridge, began with welcoming remarks and a brief introduction to the Armenian Professionals Network (APN) by Sylva Natalie Manoogian, Executive Board Secretary / Archivist. She then introduced Rev. Fr. Khajag Shahbazian, Pastor of the Mother Cathedral Parish, for his words of encouragement and blessing.
After her introduction to Project HEAL (Helping Everyone Access the Liturgy), APN Special Events Director, Aida Tatiossian called upon Elizabeth Luttrell, the Public Relations Coordinator of the Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafness, Inc., who explained the role of GLAD in serving the needs of the Deaf Community of Southern California.
Voicing and signing her presentation, "Dispelling Misconceptions on Deafness, Michelle Betton, Burbank High School teacher, emphasized the fact that deaf persons are capable of doing and accomplishing everything, except hearing. Khachig Evan Manoogian, the current President of APN, shared his first childhood encounter with deafness through his touching "Misty's Story" and the lasting impact that this experience has had on his life.
The keynote speaker was Acolyte Tigran Khachikyan, who moved everyone present by telling what it was and is like to grow up deaf in Armenia and the significance of being embraced and nurtured within the Armenian Church. Acolyte Tigran is a role model and ardent advocate for the Deaf Community, and serves the Western Diocese with deep faith and devotion.
A question, answer and discussion period was moderated by Melanie Tatiossian, APN Public Relations Journalist, and a 2008 APN Good Deed Award recipient. The program concluded with a blessing by Rev. Fr. Avedis Abovian, Diocesan Youth Director, and the screening of a signed and voiced video-song, "Waiting On the World to Change". APN Executive Board members and Directors, program panelists, student interpreters, and guests enjoyed refreshments and networking.
The keynote speaker, Acolyte Tigran Khachikyan, is the young man who has been doing sermons on youtube, using American Sign Language:http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20870.0.html