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Iowa School for the Deaf celebration draws attention to hearing-impaired culture
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Iowa School for the Deaf celebration draws attention to hearing-impaired culture

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An annual celebration for the Iowa School for the Deaf has gotten bigger.

Following Friday evening’s yearly carnival, the Council Bluffs-based school held the Deaf Cultural Celebration, which began Saturday morning and continued through Sunday afternoon.

“This is our first year doing this,” said Deb Cates, the school’s sign language program coordinator. “This is our first year in adding workshops and discussion panels to share experiences.”

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The event was a celebration of the deaf culture and the American Sign Language, she said.

Saturday’s schedule began with students performing ASL skits under the direction of comedian and teacher Crom Saunders, who performed a one-man comedy show.

Saunders, who tours internationally, came to the event from Columbia College in Chicago where he is director of deaf studies at the school’s ASL department.

For parents of deaf children, the weekend offered a panel of deaf adults who offered their experiences with school growing up. Attendees also saw exhibits of work from deaf artists, along with deaf Native American dancers. The school’s annual carnival, Celebrate ISD, also was included.

“It’s to develop an awareness of deaf culture,” Cates said of this event.

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