According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, hearing loss is a common birth defect that affects hundreds of babies born in the United States each year and can affect a child’s social-emotional development and literacy skills.
On Monday, Governor Lou Leon Guerrero recognized September 2019 as Deaf Awareness Month during a proclamation signing at the Governor’s Office in order to spread awareness of this condition as well as promote the inclusion of deaf individuals in our island community.
According to Ann Marie Cruz, the president of Guam’s Positive Parents Together, which is a coalition of parents with children who have disabilities, the signing was a step towards making the community more accessible to individuals with disabilities.
“Can you imagine an island where everyone knows at least basic ASL? There are children and the people who use ASL would be able to communicate with everyone! I’m already getting goosebumps! Guam is a great place, but we’re small enough that I think we can make this happen. So we’ll work hard to hopefully get this going.” Cruz said.
A deaf awareness wave is scheduled for this Friday, Sept. 13, 4:30 p.m. at the Paseo Loop in Hagatna.