The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Deaf awareness day celebrated at Sacramento Zoo

Destinee Lang| Staff Writer| [email protected]

Sept. 28, 2019

Students benefit from socializing with the deaf community by gaining an understanding and awareness for the deaf community, according to City College American Sign Language Professor Patricia Masterson.

While Masterson did not attend the event this year, she said this event is always enjoyable.

“The zoo is one of the favorite events for me to attend. It is a chance to see many Deaf friends in a fun environment,” said Masterson.

Thousands of people, including City College students, came out Sept. 21 to attend the 14th annual Deaf Awareness Day at the Sacramento Zoo, according to Carita Payne, community interpreter and host of the event. Throughout the zoo, there were over 30 informational booths set up to provide resources. The event had on-site sign language interpreters for the deaf and hearing communities. 

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The event was put together by NorCal Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. NorCal is a non-profit community-based organization that was founded and managed by a team of deaf and hard of hearing individuals in 1977, according to its website.

 Coming from an all-deaf family and being hearing has helped Payne understand the importance of this event.

“I want to make sure deaf people have the same access to things as a hearing person,” said Payne. “I think sign language is a beautiful language, and it’s one of those languages that often times gets put to the side. I hope this event opens the eyes of the hearing community to give the accessibility to the deaf community.” 

Masterson said she believes these types of events help students learn to embrace the deaf community.

“The students gain an understanding and awareness of the Deaf community and ASL interpreters. With this awareness students learn acceptance,” said Masterson. “Once students have met and used their ASL skills, they begin to develop confidence and additional enthusiasm for learning. Many students attend social events and develop lasting friendships with Deaf individuals and ASL students.”NorCal will be hosting another deaf awareness event Oct. 26 at Bishop’s Pumpkin Farm.  For more information and to get discount tickets, visit the website:

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