Dozens of deaf and hearing-impaired students from around Pinellas County gathered at John S. Taylor Park to watch magic shows and play games at a picnic as part of Deaf Awareness Week. The picnic was held from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday to commemorate the first Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf, a group founded in 1951 to advocate for the deaf and hard of hearing community. The picnic was sponsored by the Family Center on Deafness and Pinellas County schools. The Family Center on Deafness provides information and support to deaf people of all ages and their families. Deaf Awareness Week is one way the center and the school district hope to educate people who are unfamiliar with hearing loss.
Five-year-old Ellianna Wilson of Largo joins a group of children giving their plastic hoops a swirl at John S. Taylor Park in Largo on Thursday. Wilson, who is hard of hearing, was at the park for a picnic that was organized as part of Deaf Awareness Week.