Mary’s Talk: “It’s OK to be Deaf” Coming to Kingston

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American Sign Language (ASL) advocate Jessica Sergeant will be in Kingston for a Mary’s Talk on Tuesday, April 11th at 7 pm.

Her presentation,  sponsored by the Social Planning Council of Kingston, will be on social advocacy issues with respect to the use of ASL and its broader cultural uses.

Jessica has been Deaf since she was a baby and is both culturally and linguistically Deaf. She did not have access to American Sign Language (ASL) for much of her youth, which led to her experiencing language deprivation during those early years.

It’s Jessica’s vision that Deaf people are embraced as part of humanity through a major cultural shift in how we perceive them. One way to accomplish this is to recognize the ways society benefits from its Deaf citizens, known as Deaf Gain.

This begins by recognizing Deaf babies as a cultural and linguistic minority and ensuring they have full access to ASL from birth.

Jessica will be delivering her comments in ASL and there will be two ASL interpreters available to interpret and take questions from the audience.

The Talk will take place April 11th at 7 pm in the St. Andrew’s Hall venue at St. Andrew’s Church, 130 Clergy Street in Kingston.


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The Social Planning Council of Kingston and District is a not-for-profit, non-government organization and registered charity, which has operated in Kingston since 1930.

Throughout its history, the SPC has been concerned with the state of social service needs and well-being of residents in Kingston and surrounding Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Counties.

The mission of the Social Planning Council is to raise awareness about social needs in Kingston and Area and to engage citizens and community partners in planning and action on social needs that will improve the well being of the whole community.

The Mary’s Talks series is named after Mary Fleming who passed away in 2015. Mary was a Kingston City Councillor from 1988 to 1997.  She advocated and led council on a diverse range of issues including affordable  housing, child care, public libraries and municipal amalgamation. She continued to actively follow and advocate for local civic issues after she left office.

Kingston Community Profile
A social and demographic look at Kingston
Building on the success of the 2009 Kingston Community Profile, and in an effort  to raise awareness about potential social needs in Kingston and area, the Social Planning Council in collaboration with Queen’s University School of Urban and Regional Planning,has begun work on the initial stages of developing an updated Kingston Community Profile.

The final report will analyze the socio-demographic changes and trends using information drawn primarily from the 2006, 2011 and 2016 census and other Kingston community data.


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