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Nov 15, 2018
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President (left), Vice President (center) and Treasurer (right) of Fresno State's ASL club (Christina Tran, The Collegian)

Nyle DiMarco represents Deaf community at Fresno State

An excited crowd of about 500 students and the public gathered in front of the Satellite Student Union on Sept. 27 for USU Productions’ event where Nyle DiMarco presented his experiences as a deaf individual.

After winning Dancing with the Stars and America’s Next Top Model, DiMarco expressed the importance of what being deaf meant for him growing up and how he worked to change the stigma concerning the deaf community in America.

Breaking the barriers in people’s expectations and stereotypes of what the deaf are capable of, DiMarco shared what it means to be deaf and how that doesn’t and shouldn’t hold anyone back from accomplishing their goals.

USU Productions provided eight interpreters for the evening, as well as six ASL interpreting students for anyone who needed assistance buying a ticket and finding the event on campus.

Fresno State’s ASL club was present inside of the SSU with a booth set up to spread information about who they are and what they are working to accomplish.

In an interview with the president, vice president and treasurer of the ASL club, The Collegian was told of various experiences in which members were discriminated against because they were deaf.

“The only thing we can’t do is hear,” said Darci Lessard, president of the ASL club.

Highlighting what DiMarco touched on in his presentation, the main point of the night was to make the audience understand that deaf people are just like regular people.

“People can understand our struggles so the public can become more inclusive to us in how we fit and can become more equal,” Lessard said.

The message hit home for audience members and many waited in long lines for the brief meet and greet with DiMarco while the night lasted.

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