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Valley Focus | Woodland Hills

Interpreters for Deaf Hold 1st Open House

March 11, 1998|SYLVIA L. OLIANDE

Despite all the lively communication, the Campus Center at Pierce College was almost completely quiet Tuesday afternoon.

A dozen students, each of them eager to be interpreters for the deaf, were letting their hands do the talking.

Only a few spoke a word here or there during their "silent lunch," which was part of the 19-year-old Interpreter Education Program's first public open house.

The event, which began Monday and runs through Friday, was organized by a second-year American Sign Language student to celebrate the interpreters program.

"I wanted more people to know about the great program we have at Pierce because I'm so jazzed about it," said Laurie Fink, who also will be getting class credit for the project. In addition to general information about sign language and deaf culture, the open house also provides job counseling, performance testing and even a talent show to showcase sign language as used in entertainment.

Though attendance for the workshops, classes and seminars has been sparse so far by those outside the program, organizers said they were not disappointed.

Instructor Cindy Herbst said she had received many calls from people requesting information about the program as a result of the open house.

"Like Laurie said when this started, 'If one person learns about the program and gets interested in the program because of this, it's worth it,' " Herbst said.

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