American Sign Language Day programs offered at Cades Cove April 13

GATLINBURG, Tenn.—Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s Signs of Spring event celebrating National American Sign Language Day will be back for the second year in Cades Cove on Saturday, April 13 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

This year’s theme will be “A Peek Behind the Scenes.” Stations throughout Cades Cove will feature presenters from both the park and the deaf community discussing the work that goes into protecting our shared heritage. Stations will include demonstrations and activities by the park’s historic preservation crew, Preventative Search and Rescue team, curator, educators, and by park partner Discover Life in America. Visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the park’s accessibility initiatives, including adaptive bicycles and wheelchairs that are now available in the park. Maryville High School students will host a cultural connections table featuring the work of regional deaf artists, and deaf community members will share information about deaf culture and history. 

Certified ASL interpreters and students from the University of Tennessee, Maryville College, Knoxville Center of the Deaf, and Partnership for Families, Children and Adults will be on hand at all stations to help with the activities. Visitors can stop by the stations anytime between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Resource education ranger Jeanine Ferrence, Cades Cove volunteer Judy Matuszewski, Maryville High School ASL teacher Michelle Norman, UT Educational Interpreting Program Coordinator Megan Potts, Director of the Knoxville Center of the Deaf Chrissy Davis, and Kris Davis, Director of Deaf Services at the Partnership for Families, Children and Adults planned the event.

For more information about National American Sign Language Day events at Cades Cove, please contact Jeanine Ferrence (jeanine_ferrence@nps.gov). 

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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