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Le Moyne Student Receives AURORA Excellence Award

<p>SYRACUSE, N.Y. (For Immediate Release) … Le Moyne junior Joseph Romani received AURORA of CNY's Young Deaf Person of the Year Excellence Award on Thursday, Nov. 15, at AURORA's annual meeting at the Mulroy Civic Center.<br /> <br /> Romani, a bio/pre-med major, was born hearing and became deaf at the age of two when he got meningitis. He received a cochlear implant in the summer of 2004, before his senior year of high school. <br /> <br /> Although he can communicate by speech, Romani is learning American Sign Language (ASL) in Jeff Sterly's ASL class. In a mainstreamed classroom as a child, he grew up signing English. He decided he wanted to be able to sign in ASL too, and in so doing get a better understanding of deaf culture. Now, several of his hearing friends are taking the class too. <br /> <br /> Maggie Russell, director of AURORA's Marjorie Clere Interpreter Referral Service, met Romani when she did some interpreting for him. "He has a tremendous social network," she said. "Just the number of his friends who are now taking the ASL class speaks volumes about his character." <br /> <br /> In his free time, he said, he enjoys hanging out with his friends and playing sports. He volunteers in the emergency room at Community General Hospital and at an after-school program for deaf children. <br /> <br /> AURORA's Excellence Awards are given to people and organizations who project a positive impression of the capabilities of people who have vision or hearing loss.<br /> <br /> AURORA of CNY, Inc. is the only non-profit that works exclusively with people in Central New York who are deaf, blind, visually impaired or hard of hearing. AURORA is a United Way agency of Central New York and Oswego and Cayuga counties. For more information, call AURORA at 422-7263 (TDD 422-9746).</p>
posted on: 11/20/2007