Deaf Awareness Week kicks off 2014 – Oklahoma

Deaf Awareness Week kicks off September 21, 2014

September 14, 2014

Transcript Staff

OKLAHOMA CITY — Deaf Awareness Week in Oklahoma kicks off September 21st. The event is celebrated each year in the U.S. during the last full week of September.

“The Oklahoma School for the Deaf is planning activities to celebrate their rich deaf cultural heritage and educate others about deafness,” said Joe Cordova, executive director of the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services.

The School for the Deaf is a division of DRS.

Cordova estimated that 182,801 Oklahomans report having “hearing difficulties,” according to U.S. Census-based estimates.

“… We prefer to call this week Deaf Pride Week because we should instill pride in our young, deaf students and educate other people about that pride,” said KaAnn Varner, Oklahoma School for the Deaf superintendent.

Varner is believed to be the only deaf, female superintendent of a school for the deaf in the U.S.

This year, Deaf Pride Week coincides with OSD’s football homecoming week with OSD playing Kansas School for the Deaf at 11 a.m. Sept. 25 at 1100 E. Oklahoma Ave. in Sulphur.

As part of activities, nationally certified interpreter and entertainer Windell Smith Jr., known as Wink, will conduct workshops and classes with OSD students Sept. 23. OSD also has planned student and pep assemblies.

For more information, contact the Oklahoma School for the Deaf, 580-622-4900, toll free at 888-685-3323 or visit or

Services to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing may be reached at 522-7930, toll free at 800-833-8973 or online at


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