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What first? The Refugees are Here, but Where Do We Start? A Community Curriculum [presentation is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, June 22 at 2 pm]


Presenter:  Julie Pasternak


Description of the Presentation:

In this presentation, we will share with others the work that we have done in Buffalo, NY, to develop a literacy and life skills curriculum and support services program for Deaf refugees.  The program originally developed out of Jewish Family Service of Buffalo and Erie County, one of four local resettlement agencies. Eventually, it moved over to Deaf Access Services but continued to be a collaboration of both agencies. We will share information about our curriculum and share stories of the refugees’ reaction to learning these aspects of American culture for the first time.

     Our presentation will show how a refugee resettlement agency, partnered with a Deaf service agency, can provide a culturally and linguistically appropriate program, informed by both Deaf and world refugee languages and culture. 

Presenters’ Bios:

Julie Pasternak lives in Buffalo, NY.  She was born and raised in Binghamton, NY and I attended to National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology. She lived in Rochester and worked for Optical lab stores and warehouses for almost 7 years. After getting married, she moved to Buffalo, NY in 2002. She has 2 daughters. Julie taught ASL evening classes for Deaf Access Service (DAS)  and has been teaching in the  Deaf Refugees Program at Deaf Access Services since September 2017. She also is DAS’s ASL Program Coordinator.