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December 11, 2012 > Concert benefits Deaf Plus Adult Community

Concert benefits Deaf Plus Adult Community

By Gustavo Lomas

The wonders of the world are magnificent and inspiring to say the least; a world full of splendid sights, delicate tastes and textures, and smells that can change a person's mood in an instant. It is the sounds, however, that help to consolidate a moment into a memory. The way something sounds is a difficult thing to describe, and harder still when a person is lost within it. What if sounds did not echo but instead, were felt like vibrations of an earthquake? There are members of the community who not only have come to live such an experience but have also learned to thrive and share how it is they see beauty. The Virtuoso International Flute Ensemble will be helping these members of the community do just that.

This year on Saturday, December 15, Virtuoso International Flute Ensemble (VIFE) will host their 15th fundraising Christmas Benefit Concert to help raise money for Deaf Plus Adult Community (DPAC). DPAC is an "adult day program for people who are deaf or deaf/blind and have developmental delays."

In 2007, Nancy Eddy, co-founder of Deaf Plus Adult Community (DPAC) and mother of three adult children - two with special needs, was involved in a small group who wanted to simply take their children out and show them what it meant to explore. They would take them to shows, on bowling trips, and even rock climbing outings. Eddy was inspired to start her own non-profit organization by her youngest daughter, Christy, who has developmental disabilities and is also deaf. Finally, this year the dream came true.

"The goal here is to encourage, encourage interactions within the community as well as inform and hopefully inspire the community to become more involved with its deaf or deaf/blind and developmental disabled neighbors; a group that is often neglected," Eddy stated.

She has been able to renovate an area to accommodate a small computer lab, a sensory room for the deaf/blind, as well as a large space in the back of the building where there are possibilities for group exercise, acting lessons, arts and crafts, a rest area, with the possibilities for cooking and filmmaking experience in the works. "Our goal is not to just take in people, but to prepare them for living on their own. Not just deaf/blind adults but equally the developmental adults. We will be continuing basics and from there moving forward along side with them to help them utilize new found or modified living skills."

Eddy hopes to help many who have been in developmental centers move on and give them the opportunity to see how the world has changed. She wants to show them there is a place for them and that they can live on their own. "There was a man who I talked to who had been in the center since he was five years old, five, and he is now fifty-three. Back then a lot of people didn't know what to do or know how to help the developmental disabled, so a lot of them were put into centers," Eddy explained. "We are hoping this is the first of many events we will be able to have and hope to also gain more support form the community. Any and every kind of donation is appreciated: computers, toys, backpacks, decorations, art and craft equipment, any and every little bit can help show the adults of the program they have not been forgotten by the cities in which they live in."

For now, they will have two to three adults to every one staff member. Staff members will be either deaf or interpreters and the facility will be open on January 7 of 2013 "or shortly after" Eddy exclaimed. "In the future we also hope to expand to at least twenty plus deaf/blind as well as any others who have disabilities. Communication is key and we want to help teach and strengthen the adults' communication skills either through A.S.L or gestural programs. No restrictions, we want to institute a diverse way to dictate desires or needs."

The benefit concert takes place at Centerville Presbyterian Church in Fremont on Saturday, December 15 at 3 p.m. The concert will include some interpretive dance, an American Sign Language Choir, and of course, outstanding flute performances by the Virtuoso International Flute Ensemble directed by Judy Lam.

Admission is free; raffle prizes will be given away and donations of any kind are welcomed.

For more information, contact VIFE at (510) 979-9236 or DPAC at (510) 610-0170. To learn more about Deaf Plus Adult Community, go to www.deafplus.us.

VIFE Christmas Benefit Concert
Saturday, Dec 15
3 p.m.
Centerville Presbyterian Church
4360 Central Ave., Fremont
(510) 979-9236
www.deafplus.us
Free

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