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The infamous "Black Friday" is upon us and the official Holiday Shopping Season has begun!  As you are bustling about pushing your way through the crowds and waiting in never ending lines, take the time to reflect on all that you have to be thankful for.  There are so many others out there that can not say the same.  It is easy to to pass by the bell ringers at every store front; keep your eyes down, pretend to be busy.  Afterall, you could not possible give to all of them.   But what can you give back?

At V.O.I.C.E. Inc, we try to give back when we can; our way of thanking the community that supports us and keeps us alive.  Coming up on Friday, December 14th we will be partnering with the ASL Club of Delta College to host our annual Deaf Children's Christmas party.  Admission for adults is only $2 and children get in free with the donation of 1 non-perishable food item.  We will be supplying a meal, games, stories and even a Signing Santa!  We invite you to join us, or even volunteer to help run the activities!  For more event details, visit our December Calendar of Events on our Events page.

If you are unable to help with our Christmas party, we also graciously accept donations.  As a non-profit organization, your monetary support is crutial!  By visiting our homepage and scrolling to the bottom you will see a link to "Support Voice Services."  Click on this link to offer your support.  As you know, we not only offer interpreting services, but also home staffing for individuals with disabilities and employment services to assist individuals looking for work.  Please consider supporting us as we support our community!

Taking place on the campus of Madonna University Saturday, October 27th students, interpreters and several members of the Deaf community moderately filled a rather large lecture hall for a 6 hour presentation on the inner workings of ASL interpretation. The Deaf presenter, Jimmy Beldon,  made it clear that CDIs (Certified Deaf Interpreters) can be useful in a variety of settings such as Deaf Blind Interpreting, Consecutive or Simultaneous Platform Interpreting, Medical Interpreting and Legal Interpreting as well as scenarios involving mental health or foreign signers. The differences between ASL and English discourse were described as well as various linguistic registers and the types and goals of communication. Jimmy also discussed what he called the seven identities of Deaf people and the six linguistic skills of Deaf adults and children which was to serve not as a method of stereotyping, but as a way for interpreters to identify ways to best match a Deaf consumer’s communication needs.

Jimmy Beldon is a native of Deaf Culture and ASL as well as a trained and certified Deaf Interpreter.  He served on the national board for the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf for 8 years, and currently works as a Certified Deaf Interpreter and teaches at the St. Catherine University in the Interpreter Training Program on the St. Paul Campus in Minnesota.

Staff interpreters Colleen Rhinehart and Karen Jones, Interpreter Coordinator Lily Thompkins, and V.O.I.C.E. Inc Executive Director Tammy Scholl were all in attendance thanks to sponsorship from V.O.I.C.E. Inc.

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