Monday, June 21, 2010

Saturday Shows and Shenanigans

Comedy Sportz show (picture courtesy Sarah Mosher)

Sarah is just one of the young adults I met who have written up a great description of their convention experiences on the Kansas City chapter blog .

Due to the young adult shenanigans the night prior I missed out on some morning activities. I went to lunch at the local mall with my friend Rhi and Sveta and while we were there we met another convention attendee, Joanne. She has a twenty-year-old daughter who has a hearing loss. Joanne told me how much she'd learned and experienced at the convention and that she wants to bring get her daughter to go next year. After eating lunch and talking to Joanne for a while, I attended a workshop.

The workshop which I did attend was on movie and theater accommodations. A lot of it I’d heard before. There are open captions, closed captions and rear window captions, though I’m not very familiar with the rear window type. Infrared and fm systems are sometimes used. Interpreting is also an option for live theater. There’s actually some cool captioning glasses some students at UCLA supposedly developed recently, which I think would be great, but I haven’t heard much about them or tried them out for myself. What was more interesting to me was the different accommodations mentioned by people from different areas of the country. I had recently seen some shows at the Orange County Performing Arts Center and was not impressed with the systems used. I guess that’s why HLAA pushes so much for individual self-advocacy so that everyone from any area can obtain the accommodations they need.

Soon after the workshop was an ice-cream social in the exhibit hall, No Ordinary Sundae, sponsored by AT&T. It was a great time to meet up with friends and enjoy delicious ice-cream. Unfortunately, I heard they ran out of ice-cream, but I was lucky enough to snag some and sit down to eat with my new friends.

After that was the Oktoberfest in June banquet. Milwaukee is known for its beer, cheese, motorcycles and German cultural food, all of which we got to experience over the course of the weekend, so the Oktoberfest theme fit well. Many of the young adults decided to skip this event in favor of Comedy Sportz, the off-site event for young adults. However, some of us popped into the Oktoberfest event first. There was some great food there including potatoes au gratin and a mushroom-stuffed, pastry-covered chicken dish. I personally saved a little room for the Comedy Sportz excursion, also sponsored by AT&T.

For those not familiar with Comedy Sportz, it’s an improv comedy show, similar to the television show Whose Line is it Anyway. The night was particularly entertaining for us as it was specially captioned for HLAA. Not only that, but the presence o the captionists added to the comedic effect as the host (or referee) made comments about the CART service as well as the ladies providing it. They did an excellent job. There were two ladies captioning, and apparently both of their names were Lisa, so the referee made a joke about that as well as how cool it was to see his words on the screen. It was an interesting night to say the least. I was surprised at the number of people who attended whom I’m certain were over the 18-35 age range. I was expecting a more intimate gathering. However, I think I remember reading somewhere that this event was “also open to the young at heart.”

When the buses headed for home, however, the true young adults decided to hop off the bus at Mo’s Irish Pub rather than return to the hotel. It was a long night. I got about 4 and a half hours of sleep before the awards banquet. It’s always interesting to try to communicate in a diverse group. This younger group was not as diverse in age as the Oktoberfest or Comedy Sportz crowds, but it was more intimate. Some spoke, some signed, and others read lips or used multiple means of communication. It was certainly a long and interesting night.

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