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April 20, 2009

Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission Host 12th Annual Statewide Deaf Finger-Spelling Bee

SPRINGFIELD – On April 24, 2009, IDHHC will be hosting the Annual Statewide Deaf Finger-Spelling Bee.  This event will be held at the Hoogland Center for the Arts.  The program will begin at 10:00am until completion around noon with registration from 9:30am to 9:45am.

Sponsors assisting IDHHC for this year’s event, include the Illinois Telecommunications Access Corp (ITAC), the Chicago’s Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD), Sertoma, Sprint and the Illinois Association of the Deaf (IAD).

As part of a continuing effort to enable deaf students to participate in similar education activities as their hearing peers, IDHHC is pleased to host and sponsor a Statewide Deaf Fingerspelling Bee for intermediate deaf students.  The Statewide Deaf Fingerspelling Bee is patterned after the Scripps-Howard National Spelling Bee, but modified for Deaf students.  Sign language will be the method of communication during all aspects of this event.

Participants involved in this event are intermediate deaf students from Illinois schools with Deaf Programs and will include 2 different groups.  Group A - will consist of students who are currently in the 5th and/or 6th grade level.  Group B – will consist of students who are currently in the 7th and/or 8th grade level. 

The First, Second, Third Place and Alternate finalists from each school’s Finger-Spelling Bee will advance to the Statewide Deaf Fingerspelling Bee.

During the competition, the announcer will say the word, the school’s presenter will say and sign the word to the student, and the student will then repeat and sign the word, before finger-spelling it. Upon missing the spelling of a word, the contestant immediately drops out of the contest.  During the final round, when one of the last two students competing fingerspell the word incorrectly the other student must then fingerspell the same word correctly as well as the next word presented.  This student is then declared the champion.

Mr. John Miller, Director of IDHHC will present the awards to the students.

The judges for this competition are:
• Tina Cannon, Educational Audiologist/CASE Audiology and CI Outreach Specialist for Illinois School for the Deaf
• Joan Jablonski-Baxter, Rehabilitation Services Supervisor for Department of Human Services, Division of Rehabilitation Services (DHS/DRS)
• Crystal Schwartz, Health/Educator Counselor

Timekeeper is:
•  Doni Cosby

If you have any questions, please contact Brandy Hayes, Project Coordinator, Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission at 1630 South Sixth Street, Springfield, IL, 62703, Phone Toll Free at 877/455-3323 V/TTY or email at brandy.hayes@illinois.gov.



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