ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The Strong National Museums’ Deaf Day of Play brings together deaf history with play history.

"Looking back at my childhood, I really wanted to see all the history come together and what’s going on here," signed Jamie Anntil, a student at the National Technical Institute of the Deaf.

What You Need To Know

  • National Deaf History Month runs from March 13 to April 15 each year
  • The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester partnered with the National Technical Institute of the Deaf to highlight inclusivity in play by offering American Sign Language Interpretors and activites
  • This year is the third-annual Deaf Day of Play at the Strong Museum

By bringing in American Sign Language interpreters from the National Technical Institute of the Deaf, Deaf Day of Play made the museum more accessible for people who are deaf and hard of hearing.

"It’s really important for me to be here because I think it’s extremely important for interpreters and students in the Rochester area to be interacting and involved with the deaf community. I really enjoy watching how the deaf community interacts with each other and I can learn from that and incorporate that into my interpreting career," said Taylor Barides, a student interpreter at NTID.

Interaction that can be both heard and seen.

"Hearing people have a different way of communicating with each other and deaf people have a different way, so it’s nice to see everyone and see the different ways of interaction," signed Anntil. 

For the third year in a row, museum visitors have the opportunity to partake in special events like ASL story time, guided butterfly tours and more.

"It’s been great to see so many members of the deaf community here and see everyone signing and interacting with each other. It’s great to see the museum so accessible today and see even the smaller things interpreted, things you wouldn’t even think about. So that’s been really cool," Barides said.

Giving visitors the chance to leave the museum with a day of play and a day of learning.

"I think it's extremely important to learn from each other, learn different cultures, how people communicate, how we can adjust our communication style to somebody else’s and you can just learn that by observing here today," said Barides.

Teaching people to play outside the box and outside their language barriers.

"Everyone can have an impact on anyone so maybe some deaf influence could occur and deaf people can help others with awareness in some way," Anntil signed.