Louise Sattler is a nationally certified school psychologist with specializations in linguistics and multi-cultural education. She has been teaching American Sign Language for more than 20 years to families with hearing and non-hearing children, college students, the staff at public and private school systems and businesses. Louise is the owner of Signing Families and is also an adjunct faculty member at Howard Community College (HCC) in Maryland.
Louise was the organizer of an ASL symposium sponsored by HCC to share with students and the community topics regarding deafness, American Sign Language (ASL) and new technologies available for individuals who are deaf. The goal of the symposium was to help hearing and deaf students and staff be able to communicate through ASL and to enhance students’ understanding regarding the deaf community.
Several presenters and vendors joined this event, including Denise Perdue and Lisa Kornberg of the Maryland Governor’s Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Ms. Perdue gave a presentation to the students regarding the latest technologies and assistive listening devices (ALDs) that are now available, including AVATAR and Video Relay Systems. The presentation also included a Listen Technologies FM system that was made available through Harris Communications.
One of the attendees of the conference was a deaf international student who attends HCC full-time. Evgeny Bogolyubov, who is from Moscow, was fascinated by the Listen system and asked for Ms. Perdue to help him with a demonstration. He was simply amazed when he was able to hear speech in English. Even more amazing, an HCC Russian teacher volunteered to speak/voice with him in Russian—his native language.
Evgeny was overcome with excitement because it was the first time in his life he heard Russian. By this time, a rather large audience of students and faculty had gathered. The onlookers started clapping and shed more than a few tears upon Evgeny’s signing that he was so happy to be able to hear Russian. Many in the deaf community prefer to not have aids or FM systems, but in Evgeny’s case, he wanted to hear sound for so many reasons, including learning English to speak, read and write better as well as be able to communicate with loved ones.
Louise was so moved by Evgeny’s excitement that she knew she needed to find a way for Evgeny to have access to his own assistive listening device. Louise’s passion and Evgeny’s story made for a very compelling cause to support. Due to Evgeny’s international status, he is not eligible for free or reduced fee equipment through state or federal programs. This made it very easy to find a way to give him a “gently used” system free of charge.
Evgeny’s response was very emotional and rewarding for us at Listen. Upon hearing the news of his donated FM system, Evgeny was thrilled and was looking forward to hearing his mother’s voice for the first time. This is why we love what we do.
HCC Russian teacher speaking to Evgeny in Russian
Evgeny hears Russian for the first time
Evgeny receiving his personal ALS system
Evgeny and friends