“Survivor: The Amazon” Deaf Contestant Christy Smith to Travel the World, Raise Awareness of Worldwide Deaf Issues
September 06, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel NewsRochester, NY, September 6, 2007 – Christy Smith, a former Deaf contestant on CBS's “Survivor: The Amazon”, and Dave Justice, an ASL/English interpreter and Deaf advocate, are the co-founders of Discovering Deaf Worlds, an organization dedicated to promoting Deaf awareness globally.
On the organization’s first international adventure, Smith and Justice will meet with Deaf community leaders, government agencies, education centers, youth, and storytellers from several countries including New Zealand, Australia, Japan, China, Thailand, India, Nepal, and Kenya. They will document this project through video blogs, photography, and journalism through their website, www.discoveringdeafworlds.com.
The goals of this Discovering Deaf Worlds project are to:
• Raise awareness of communication access, Deaf education and employment opportunities throughout Deaf communities worldwide
• Draw exposure to the beauty and diversity of sign languages from around the world
• Connect international Deaf communities to inspire international travel
Smith and Justice expect to be immersed in 20-30 different sign/spoken/written languages throughout their year-long adventure. “It is an everyday challenge for Deaf people to communicate with the hearing world in our own country,” says Smith. “To overcome multiple language barriers around the world, and still make international connections, is a whole other feat. As a role model to the Deaf community, I want to show it can be done.”
On October 23, 2007, Smith and Justice will begin their travels by visiting the Kelston and Van Asch Deaf Education Centres in Auckland and Christchurch, New Zealand. The recent launch of Discovering Deaf Worlds has generated a strong interest from around the world. “Individuals and organizations from Kenya, New Zealand, Japan, Armenia, Russia, and Bhutan have already expressed their shared excitement for this project,” says Justice. "We are eager to develop these connections and work together to raise Deaf awareness globally."
Smith, a graduate from Gallaudet University, and Justice, a graduate from Ithaca College, both have a Sociology background and value what can be learned from cultural diversity. The two first connected in 2003 while working together for the Aspen Camp School for the Deaf in Colorado. A shared passion to bridge the gap between Deaf and hearing worlds, along with their interest in international travel, led to the establishment of Discovering Deaf Worlds.
Discovering Deaf Worlds is proud to be sponsored by SiteBrandBuilder.com, RowePhoto.com and Ralph P. DeStephano.
To learn more about Discovering Deaf Worlds, sign up for the monthly newsletter, or make a donation, visit www.discoveringdeafworlds.com.