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Deaf and Hard of Hearing kicks off Deaf Awareness Week

Deaf Awareness Week kicked off with a get together at Panjo's Pizza.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — As pizza was sliced, conversations were signed.

Organizer and American Sign Language Teacher Stephanie Ochoa said the event was everything she hoped for.

"It's perfect, it's amazing," she said.

Ochoa, a teacher from Tuloso-Midway High School said there are many events during Deaf Awareness Week. One of them will be open to the public to teach anyone how to communicate with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing if they don't know A.S.L.

"As long as you're making eye contact it's perfect, but if you're turned away they can't see you so and facial expressions body language it's all-important to the language," Ochoa said. 

As students and residents enjoyed their pizza, one of the people signing up a storm with others was Angel Cantu. He recently directed and acted in his own film for the Corpus Christi 7-Day Film Project.

"I want everyone to feel inspired and to know that they can do whatever they need and we can use something like this to bridge both of these communities together and I wanna support that," an interpreter signed for Cantu.

The event was perfect for A.S.L. students to test their knowledge as well.

"I was like why not I was like of course I'm gonna take the class so I took it and I think it's the greatest thing I've ever done in my life I love it," sophomore Jeffrey Champagne said. 

Ochoa said it's heartwarming to see the amount of people who want to learn A.S.L. and connect with the deaf and hard of hearing community.

"The deaf community should have equal access through anything so to have it happening almost on a daily basis here in Corpus is wonderful," she said. 

For a full list of the events head over to their Facebook page

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