Port Washington HS Adds Film with Deaf-Blind Lead to Curriculum

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Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults (HKNC), a division of Helen Keller Services (HKS), has announced that the award winning film Feeling Through, the first film ever to feature a deaf-blind actor in a lead role, has been added to the school-wide curriculum at Port Washington’s Paul D. Schreiber High School.

The film will be shown as part of a “Feeling Through Experience” to 1600 students in their English classes, along with a 25-minute documentary film on how the short feature was made, followed by a Q&A discussion with a panel that includes Sue Ruzenski, Helen Keller Services acting CEO and longtime HKNC executive director; Chris Woodfill, associate executive director, HKNC; and deaf-blind actor Robert Tarango. Filmmaker Doug Roland will moderate the panel. The “Feeling Through Experience” will also stream as a community virtual event December 15 at 7pm. Click here to register for the free event.

Feeling Through grew from Roland’s chance encounter in New York City with the first deaf-blind person he ever met, years before he conceived the film. “In one interaction I went from seeing this man as ‘deaf-blind’ to thinking of him as a friend,” he noted. “It later occurred to me that I had never seen a deaf-blind individual in a film.”

Committed from the start to accurately representing the deaf-blind community, Roland reached out to Ruzenski and a strong collaborative relationship developed between the filmmaker and HKNC.

“Working with Doug on this project has been an absolute pleasure from the start,” recalled Ruzenski, “and we are thrilled that our local high school has made this important film part of its curriculum. Helen Keller Services has many neighbors and supporters in the Port Washington area. Both the schoolwide and community wide events are a wonderful way to bring families and other interested parties together to gain a greater understanding of the deaf-blind in our communities. Our goal is to continue to expand the ‘The Feeling Through Experience’ audience to other schools, on Long Island and around the country.”

Primary sponsorship for “The Feeling Through Experience” comes from The Ed. Foundation, which supports initiatives beyond the basic educational needs and enhances educational opportunities for all students in the Port Washington public school district. For more information, visit https://theedfoundation.org/

“The Feeling Through Experience” is free to the public and begins at 7:00 pm on December 15. Register here. To view a promotional clip from the film, click here. To view the trailer click here.

Submitted by the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults 

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