Deaf community holding craft show Saturday in Elm Mott

Deaf community holding craft show Saturday in Elm Mott

By Cody Winchester Tribune-Herald staff writer

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Central Texas deaf community will hold a craft and business show
Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Midway Auto Auction in Elm Mott,
15735 Interstate 35.

Organizers of the I Love You Deaf Craft and Business Show say the event is
an opportunity for the wider community to see the art and entrepreneurial
spirit of a unique, vibrant subculture.

“We hope the hearing people will come out,” Barbara Jatzlau-Ainsworth said
through an interpreter.

Jatzlau-Ainsworth, of Groesbeck, is coordinating the show. She said 18
booths have been filled, but she hopes to have 30 by Saturday. The sign for
“I love you,” made by extending the thumb, forefinger and pinky, figures
prominently in deaf culture — hence the event’s name.

Those who attend the craft show can expect to find woodwork, lathework,
ceramics, jewelry, sewing and other items, Jatzlau- Ainsworth said. Besides
supporting artists and business leaders in the local deaf community,
attendees also can brush up on their signing skills. Interpreters will be on

One of them is Ashlie Senior, who also will be at the McLennan Community
College booth.

She is representing a group of students and interpreters who are selling
raffle tickets and bake sale items to raise money for Jan Ghoring, a local
interpreter experiencing her third bout with cancer. The money will go
toward sending her to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Senior said.

Ghoring’s case demonstrates how tight-knit the Central Texas deaf community
is, said Darlene Nobles, director of Sign of the Times, an interpreting
agency in Waco.

“It’s like a family,” she said.

Larry Umberger, a certified nutritionist who has worked for a decade in
Baylor University’s sign language lab, will have a booth representing the
Business Committee and Expo of the Deaf, which promotes entrepreneurship in
the deaf community. Umberger’s 13-year-old daughter, Sophia, will sell
crafts there.

Umberger noted two misconceptions many hearing people may have about the
deaf community. One is that American Sign Language is simply a gestural form
of English, when in fact it is a separate language with its own rich
tradition of jokes, symbolism and storytelling techniques, Umberger said.

The other is that deafness is debilitating. In response to this, he quotes
I. King Jordan, a prominent advocate for the deaf community: “Deaf people
can do anything but hear.”

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