GREAT FALLS - Families will get a new opportunity this morning at the Great Falls Public Library to participate in a storytime being told in sign language.
The group Conservatory ASL Northwest or CAN is bringing volunteers in to connect and empower deaf and hearing signers in the Great Falls Community.
The plans to have a volunteer from can signing the book while another person translates it into English, providing an opportunity for everyone to enjoy the stories and communicate with each other.
It may sound obvious but one of the biggest barriers facing the deaf and not deaf communities today is communication.
One of the CAN volunteers told me simple tasks like going to the store or bank can be more complicated if the person at the register or counter doesn't know how to interact with someone who can’t speak vocally.
They went on to say how meeting someone who can sign isn't a surprise but more of a relief. with the help of a translator, I asked the can volunteers, just how impact an event like this can be on the young community and this is what one of them had to say.
"If you have different disabilities or different nationalities in a room that interaction they will interact by themselves without intervention kids want that interaction and socialization and the earlier we expose them to diversity as they grow up it will become part of their core,” said Ray Sevrie, CAN Volunteer
With more events like this planned for the future, the hope is to spread awareness and leadership for the deaf community and to inspire more people to learn ASL.
The event will kick off at the library starting at 10:30 am and is for all ages however the books will be focused more for a younger audience.
You can find a link to CANS website here.