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NYSG's Boat Safety Class for Deaf Youth
Great Lakes Boating & Marine Trades - Press Release

Young Boater Safety Training for Deaf Youth a First for New York State Debuts at Central NY Boat Show February 10-14, 2010


  • Dave White, New York Sea Grant, 315-312-3042
  • Drew Wickham, CNY Boating Industries Association, 585-526-5460
  • Frieda Heckman and Maggie Russell, AURORA of CNY, 315-422-7263

Note:  To see this press release signed in ASL, check out our YouTube clip (click here).

Note: Our press release from later in January 2010 announced boat safety training for young hearing boaters (click here). This press release notes that ASL-facilitated young deaf boater training will also be offered for the first time in NY at the CNY Boat Show.

Syracuse, NY, January 11, 2010 – New York Sea Grant and the Boating Industry Association of Upstate New York are partnering with AURORA of Central New York (CNY) to offer deaf youth boater safety training in American Sign Language (ASL) at the February 10-14, 2010 CNY Boat Show in Syracuse, NY.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation sponsors the New York safe boating courses and Director of Marine Services Brian Kempf says, “This new training for the deaf is a first for New York State. Deaf individuals have taken the course with their own interpreters. This is the first time formal training has been offered with an interpreter signing for the entire class group.”

AURORA of CNY Director of Deaf Services Frieda Heckman says, “This is indeed an exciting new opportunity for deaf youth in the Central New York area. AURORA of CNY is pleased to partner with New York Sea Grant and the Boating Industry Association of Upstate New York to provide the first-ever ASL-facilitated edition of the Young Boater Safety training.”

Deaf/hard-of-hearing youth ages 10 to 21 may register for the free training required for youth to legally operate a boat in New York State waters. New York Sea Grant will teach the course with ASL interpreters from AURORA of CNY signing the Young Boater Safety Certification instruction.

“New York Sea Grant is pleased to sponsor and teach this training that will enable deaf youth ages 10 to 21 to join the ranks of their young peers who legally and safely operate a boat on New York waters and enjoy our fabulous freshwater recreational resources,” says New York Sea Grant Recreation & Tourism Specialist Dave White.

The course will be held in four 5:30-7:30pm sessions, starting Wednesday, February 10 and Friday, February 12 in the Horticulture Building Seminar Room at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse. The series will conclude with Wednesday, February 24 and Friday, February 26 sessions at the AURORA offices at 518 James Street, Syracuse. Parents are encouraged to attend the training with their children. Each registered youth will receive three free admission passes to the Central New York Boat Show.

“Offering boat safety training for deaf youth is definitely an exciting first for the Central New York Boat Show. This new educational opportunity is a great fit for the Boating Industry Association mission to create and expand public access to our waterfront and waters,” says Boating Industry Association of Upstate New York Boat Show & Sales Manager Drew Wickham.

Pre-registration for the limited free seating for the course is required. Register with AURORA of CNY by phone: 315-422-7263, or TTY/TDD phone: 315-422-9746 or follow the registration process signed in ASL at videophone number 315-422-7263. For more information, contact New York Sea Grant Oswego office at 315-312-3042.

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More Information About ...

Aurora of CNY was created in 1991 when the Syracuse Association of Workers for the Blind, Inc. (estab. 1917) and the Central New York Association for the Hearing Impaired (estab. 1976, following a study in the 1970s identifying the needs of deaf community members). The Marjorie Clere Interpreter Referral Service, created in 1979, provides professional Sign Language interpreting. Aurora of CNY predicts that by age 55, one of every three individuals has some degree of hearing loss. Aurora of CNY is located at 518 James Street in Syracuse, NY.

Contact: Director of Deaf Services Frieda Heckman or Interpreter Referral Service Director Maggie Russell, phone: 315-422-7263, videophone: 315-422-7263, TTY/TDD phone: 315-422-9746, email: auroracny@auroraofcny.org, web: www.auroracny.org

New York Sea Grant
New York Sea Grant is one of the largest extension programs in the National Sea Grant network. New York Sea Grant educators and specialists work with shoreline stakeholders to conduct research and outreach to facilitate understanding, appreciation and use of NY’s Great Lakes shoreline’s natural and recreational resources. New York Sea Grant’s Great Lakes Program has offices on the State University of New York campuses in Oswego, Brockport and Buffalo.

Contact: Dave White, 315-312-3042; web: www.nysgextension.org

Boating Industry Association of Upstate New York
The Boating Industry Association of Upstate New York informs the public of federal and state boating rules and regulations for using New York’s freshwaters, including Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, and the Finger Lakes, and for the Historic Erie Canal system. Association members represent boat-related businesses from boat sales to boat restoration and canvas makers. The annual February CNY Boat Show in Syracuse is one of the Association’s many different outreach.

Contact: CNY Boat Show & Sales Manager Drew Wickham, 315-447-9286; web: www.cnybia.org

Central New York Boat Show

  • The Central New York Boat Show and Sale is New York State’s largest & oldest boat show.

  • You will see more than 500 power and sail boats, yachts, water recreation equipment and marine accessories on display at the Central New York Boat Show and Sale.

  • Show Hours:  1-9 pm Wednesday, February 10; Thursday, February 11; and Friday, February 12; 10 am-8 pm Saturday, February 13; and 10 am-5 pm Sunday, February 14.

  • Show Admission: $9 per person; children under 12 free. Parking and parking lot shuttles are free.

  • More info:  www.cnyboatshow.com

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