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Students, Instructor on Hand as Greenville Approves Deaf Awareness Proclamation

Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas shakes hands with PCC American Sign Language instructor Nicole Franklin following the Greenville City Council's approval of a proclamation declaring Sept. 24-30 as "Deaf Awareness Week." Council members can be seen in the background giving the ASL sign for "applause."

GREENVILLE—Members of the Greenville City Council joined Mayor Allen Thomas this month in recognizing Pitt Community College American Sign Language (ASL) students and faculty for their efforts and proclaiming Sept. 24-30 as Deaf Awareness Week.

During the council’s Sept. 13 meeting, Thomas lauded ASL students for their commitment to serve and communicate with the local deaf community. Nicole Franklin, a PCC adjunct instructor who teaches ASL courses, accepted the proclamation on behalf of her students.

“So often we can be consumed with our own lives that we forget that we are here on Earth to learn from and care for each other,” Franklin said. “My heart smiled to see my ASL students and our local community taking the time to recognize and show their appreciation for deaf culture.”

Deaf Awareness Week is annually celebrated during the last full week of September in commemoration of the first World Congress of the Deaf. The purpose is to celebrate the culture, heritage and language unique to the country’s deaf population and to promote education, employment and independent living among persons who are deaf.

The proclamation council members approved states that American Sign Language is the third-most widely used language in the United States. It also stresses the importance of ensuring that deaf people have “equal and full access to resources, services and opportunities for participation in all aspects of community life.”

“ASL students should be commended for their willingness to learn about deaf culture, because it opens lines of communication that positively impact the community,” Franklin said.