I just wanted to share the latest on the efforts to establish the country's first truly Deaf Friendly Certified city: Branson, Missouri.
Signed Entertainment Enterprises engaged Missouri Governor Matt Blunt in a dialogue regarding their efforts to make Branson deaf and hard of hearing friendly, and what resulted was the invitation to submit a proclamation for the Governor to review. Signed Entertainment then asked little ol' ME to draft the proclamation, which I did, which was reviewed, which was approved and SIGNED! The official declaration is April 9th in Jefferson City.
Here is the link to the final proclamation, with my original draft included below:
WHEREAS, the great state of Missouri is home to approximately 255,000 citizens who are deaf or hard of hearing, and
WHEREAS, the self-evident and inalienable rights of the deaf and hard of hearing to equal access and opportunity have been nationally recognized by the passing of legislation such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and the establishment of a National Deaf Awareness Week, and
WHEREAS, Branson, Missouri has been ranked as the third most popular vacation destination in the U.S. and hosted more than 7.5 million visitors and guests last year, and
WHEREAS, it is not only the legal but also the civic duty of establishments to provide equal access to goods and services to their patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing on a continual basis, and
WHEREAS, every Missouri citizen and visitor to Missouri, without regard to race, religion, or handicap, is entitled to be able to equally enjoy and benefit from the plethora of entertainment and recreation that the great state of Missouri provides, and
WHEREAS, it is in keeping with Missouri's own state motto 'Salus populi suprema lex esto' (The Welfare of the People is the Highest Law) and in the best interest of state commerce and society for all businesses and facilities to be able to differentiate between misconception and fact about deafness, deaf culture, and deaf communication, and
WHEREAS, the nickname "The Show Me State" was not bestowed on Missouri without good cause, it behooves this state to "show the way" in assimilating, educating, and uniting its business community across all public fronts,
NOW THEREFORE, I, Matt Blunt, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MISSOURI, do hereby proclaim April, 2008 as
CORPORATE DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING AWARENESS MONTH
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Missouri, in the City of Jefferson, this 2nd day of April, 2008.
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