A sign of silence for Deaf awareness

"QUSIA" : Quincy University Student Interpreters Association

The Quincy University campus went silent Monday.

Silent halls and classrooms helped bring awareness to the fourth annual Deaf Awareness Week . It was an insight to a world without sound. Students and some staff communicated through sign language, texts, emails and paper, but never spoke a word.

"When I became Deaf, my world became silent. My family was talking to me and they didn't seem to understand," Rosa Correa said.

Correa is a Quincy native, but currently lives in Iowa. She often visits Quincy to take part in a sign language class at Quincy University.

"Now, I'm involved in the Deaf world and it's very different. I felt very lost, but now I'm comfortable," Correa said.

"I found out I was Deaf at two," Paul Kiel, QU's sign language instructor said.

Kiel says he doesn't mind living in a silent world.

"It's great. It's awesome. It's silent. Because silence is golden, remember, so it's great," Kiel said.

There are challenges, including autism, the discrimination against Deaf people.

"With the hearing world, it's important they know about the Deaf culture," Correa said. "We should try to understand each other, really we're exactly the same."

"Yes, that's true, I do find it hard to communicate with people if they have the wrong attitude, but other people are friendly and they accept me and when I sign to them we try to communicate back and forth, write back and forth. They have great attitudes. The people I'm surrounded by here in Quincy, it's great. No problem," Kiel said.

Quincy is currently home to more than 40 people who are Deaf. With each semester at QU, comes a new group of people who can better understand each and every one of them.

"I'm happy students are learning sign language. It's really important. They could possibly have deaf children, so it's good that they're learning sign language," Correa said.

*You may have noticed this story aired without sound. This was done on purpose.

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