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December 4, 2009

Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission Host 13th Annual Statewide Deaf Finger-Spelling Bee

SPRINGFIELD – On December 11, 2009, IDHHC is hosting the Annual Statewide Deaf Finger-Spelling Bee.  This event will be held at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library.  The program begins at 1:30 p.m. until completion around 3:00 p.m.

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.

New this year, the competitors, their advisors and their classmates will have an opportunity to explore the story of Abraham Lincoln during their visit to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Participants in the Statewide Deaf Finger-Spelling Bee are deaf students from Illinois schools and consist of the First, Second, Third Place and Alternate Finalist from their school’s finger-spelling bee event.  Participants compete in two (2) different groups.  Group A - consists of students currently in the 5th and/or 6th grade level.  Group B – consists of students currently in the 7th and/or 8th grade level.

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. 

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

The judges for this competition are:
• Dennis O’Brien, Senior Programmer Analyst
• Benro Ogunyipe, Accessibility Specialist
• Susan Etkie, Teacher’s Aide

Timekeeper is Jerri Aubry.

Sponsors 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, the Illinois Association of the Deaf (IAD), the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) and the Institute for Disabilities Research and Training, Inc. (IDRT).

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 866/508-1610 or email at brandy.hayes@illinois.gov.



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