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GLAD Gave Disney's Signin In the Street a Thumbs-Up

The Disneyland Resort had its first event, "Signin in the Street" to educate the public about the Deaf Community on March 17 and 18 at Downtown Disney, with key celebrities like Marlee Matlin.

Both days started with a kick-off by cast from the Drum Cafe and ended with brief hellos from George Kalogridis, president of Disneyland Resort, and Michael Riley, president of ABC Family.

The event showed films such as See What I'm Saying, The Hammer and Switched at Birth's spring finale at Downtown Disney's AMC Theater.

Cast from those three shows were also present at the event to deliver performances and autographs. There were long lines of fans waiting for autographs for several hours, holding the bright orange bags that ABC Family gave out for free.

Additionally, Deaf West showed a piece of its upcoming project, Cryano, on stage. Switched at Birth cast did a Q and A session with the fans, moderated by Anthony Natale, American Sign Language consultant for the show.

ABC Family's Sean Berdy and See What I'm Saying featured talent, CJ Jones and Robert Hiltermann concluded the event on March 18 with their own performances of comedy, music and sign language.

“The event had a huge impact on different communities consisting of deaf, hard of hearing, hearing people who use sign language, and hearing people who do not use sign language," said Patricia Hughes, CEO of Greater Los Angeles Agency on Deafess, Inc.

GLAD was a proud Community Partner for the successful SIGNin’ in the Street event and had the opportunity to meet and greet the thousands in attendance educating them about our programs and services. We’re still awaiting the box office results from the weekend and the film’s creator Hilari Scarl selected GLAD to be the beneficiary of a percentage of ticket sales, Hughes said.

"It presented a great opportunity for all of us to mingle, especially for people who did not know that we exist as well as our rich culture. I believe the goal is to get people who had no exposure to deafness to look at us as human beings, not just human beings with “broken” ears," Hughes said.

CJ Jones also told the fans on March 18: Do not just sit there and clap. Bug on Disney to have Signin In the Street event again next year. Bug, bug, bug on them!

"I am very pleased with the outcome of this event and look forward to hopefully having it become an annual event," Hughes said.

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