COLUMBIA, Md., Sept. 9 Celebrating the stories, culture and heritage of America's Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community, Purple Communications(TM), Inc. (Nasdaq: PRPL) will honor Rockville, MD resident, Dr. MJ Bienvenu, linguistics doctorate and Professor of American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf Studies at Gallaudet University.
Community members are encouraged to join in the celebration on September 12, 2009 at the Sheraton Columbia Town Center Hotel, 10207 Wincopin Circle in Columbia, MD. The event will feature former Miss Deaf America, Lauren Teruel Ridloff, as emcee of the festivities, which include an onstage interview with Dr. Bienvenu and 'Q&A' session from 6:45 pm to 9:00 pm, EDT. Purple will also host onsite workshops earlier that day, from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm, which include topics on local number registration and a product demo on its P3 optimized Purple Netbook.
The Dream Bigger campaign recognizes trailblazers in the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Community and aims to celebrate the advances they have made. Whether it has been the breaking down barriers or establishing new status quos, these Trailblazers have improved the overall quality-of-life for all members of the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Community. Dr. Bienvenu along with nine other visionaries in the in the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Community, have been chosen as one of this year's finalists. Each finalist was awarded a $1,000 cash prize from Purple Communications to be donated to a non-profit organization of their choice and in their name as a way of paving the road for the next generation of trailblazers in the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Community. Dr. Bienvenu chose the Abused Deaf Women's Advocacy Services (ADWAS) as the recipient of the $1,000 cash prize as she believes that all women, including Deaf women, have a right to live without fear of abuse and that ADWAS does a great job of educating Deaf Women about their safety and the safety of and their children.
In October 2009, Purple Communications will announce the 2009 Trailblazer of the Year, one of the ten finalists, at the Dream Bigger Gala in Washington, D.C. The selected individual will be chosen by online voting at www.purple.us/dreambigger. The person selected will best represent the essence of the Dream Bigger initiative, and will receive $10,000 to be donated in their name, to their non-profit organization of choice, as well as an all-expenses-paid vacation.
"We are delighted to honor Dr. Bienvenu as one of our 2009 Trailblazers. Her work at Gallaudet University promoting the advancement of ASL is just the beginning of the trailblazing work she has accomplished," said Brandon Arthur, Vice President of Marketing Communications of Purple Communications. "The Dream Bigger campaign is all about recognizing community visionaries who have the tenacity to fulfill personal dreams and lead the way for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing people everywhere to pursue theirs. Purple has always focused on creating cutting-edge technology services that make communication more convenient for its customers."
Born into a deaf family using sign language for her whole childhood life, it was only after attending an ASL seminar as a young adult did Dr. Bienvenu have an epiphany. "I was a born again deaf person. I grew a passion for ASL," said Dr. Bienvenu. Shortly after the seminar, Dr. Bienvenu went on to earn a doctorate in Linguistics, capped with a dissertation on ASL lexicography, and dictionaries.
"Some in the community misunderstand the meaning of ASL, saying that it closes them off to the hearing world. But ASL actually provides access to the hearing community," continued Blenvenu. "I work hard to help people understand that sign language is in fact its own language." With many successful years behind her, Bienvenu plans to complete a book and possibly a DVD about her experiences, specifically on ASL.
To learn more about the Dream Bigger campaign, find out dates and locations for all events, view and read Trailblazer stories, and vote for the 2009 Trailblazer of the Year, visit www.purple.us/dreambigger. Also, be sure to follow the Dream Bigger campaign on Twitter - www.twitter.com/idreambigger and Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Purple-Communications/42541479161.
About Purple Communications
Purple Communications is a leading provider of onsite interpreting services, video relay and text relay services, and video remote interpreting, offering a wide array of options designed to meet the varied communication needs of its customers. The Company's vision is to enable free-flowing communication between people, inclusive of differences in abilities, languages, or locations. For more information on the Company or its services, visit www.purple.us or contact Purple Communications directly by voice at 415-408-2300, by Internet relay by visiting www.i711.com or www.ip-relay.com, or by video phone by connecting to hovrs.tv.
To view this press release in video format please click here: www.purple.us/Press/Bienvenu.
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