I was in Cincinnati, Ohio last weekend to shoot the All About Deaf Kids Fair for the Deaf Institute, which took place on the campus of Cincinnati Christian University. I see the directors of the Institute, Bryan and Pam Eubanks, each year when I shoot for the Eastern Christian Convention in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and they do all the interpreting for the convention. Pam and I go a long way back: she was my first piano teacher, way back when I was in first grade.
The All About Deaf Kids festival is one of the high points of their calendar, with participants coming in from all around the Midwest. It’s designed to not only be an event that creates a fun atmosphere for deaf kids, but also includes their hearing siblings. For instance, during the storytimes, the actors on stage (some of whom were deaf, like Pam’s son, Nathaniel) would tell the story in sign language, but at the same time, an interpreter in the audience would narrate the action and dialogue by voice. There were also games, crafts, hearing screenings, and booths that told the kids about life in other countries. I saw tons of smiles, laughing kids, and happy parents. I kept thinking that my oldest daughter, Caroline, who’s very interested in sign language, would have had a great time… hope I can bring her next year!