First Deaf Con Meeting

By David Bass, Staff Writer

At a quiet cabin behind the church where the first face-to-face Deaf Con meeting took place, there are some deaf and ASL/interpreting college students attending the meeting where Leyel Hudson had presided this evening. The agenda for the evening is to get the new event, Deaf Con, up and running by determining which area that are need to be address to make it a successful project. We had special guests at the meeting, Melody Brzezinski-Ynfante and Kate Pettijohn from Comicpalooza to give us their shares of experiences and invaluable advice behind the scenes at Comicpalooza and Texas Renaissance Festival. In addition, they were more than happy to join our online planning team for Deaf Con!

We discussed many important issues that will bring challenges to us to ensure that we can achieve our goals and be sure that we also follow the rules of the land as well. We will have a logo contest for the deaf and hard of hearing community from all over the United States very soon. It will be opened for those who are 16 years old and above. With the help of Kate Pettijohn, we will make the winning logo copyrighted symbol with some royalties to the winning designer.

Each of us took a turn in discussing which issues that we can work on such as admission, booth, security, media, and hospitality for special VIP guests, and other issues. Some of biggest issues we had is security because of recent disappointing news of Texas government passing of on-campus carry gun law that actually threatens the safety of students and guests at Texas colleges, especially Lone Star College-CyFair campus where the Deaf Con will be located. Melody Brzezinski-Ynfante gave us an answer by saying that the Deaf Con is a “private event” on campus, therefore, we will have the right to keep out those gun-carrying people from the event. Everyone was relieved to hear this answer that we will have a gun-free event. As for cosplay guests, they need to “peace-tied” or zip-locked their swords or have an orange tip on toy guns.

We discussed admission. There will be a bracelet for general admission while VIPs will have a badge. We will have a different color of bracelet for each day or the whole weekend for guests. We have not determined the costs yet, but we agreed that the special VIP guests will make their own costs for their photos, autographs and photo sessions to our Deaf Con guests. Those who have booths will have their own special bracelet or badge so that they will be able to roam the events and to come in and out the event. We will have various types of people promoting their products from artists to writers at their booths.

There will be a team of photography to cover the events, the photo op with special VIPs, and other things that are connected with the event. We will advertise for professional and amateur photographers to help with the event soon.

There will be a tier of sponsorship for the event. We will have few level of tiers for who pay certain amount of funding and the sponsors’ company names and logos will be on back of Deaf Con volunteers and staffs t-shirts as well as on advertising and other things. Some sponsors will have booths while others will just give us some funding. We will have both volunteer and professional interpreters for the events from Lone Star College and other area colleges along with sign language interpreting agencies such as Sign Shares, Inc., and others. There will be no competition among anyone at the event as it is a community-wide event.

Soon, the meeting was over but that did not end here. Melody Brzezinski-Ynfante and Kate Pettijohn stayed on for the “Renaissance Costume on Budget” workshop for Leyel’s “Signs of J.O.Y.” biweekly event in same building. She had a demonstration on how to get various Renaissance era Gypsies clothes and use it. It has been very educational for the people. The clothes were very colorful and easy to use. She said that you can get shirts and skirts from Wal-Mart and other stores. Other fabrics such as pillow case and other can transform apron and other things on the dress, etc. Very informative and educational. Soon, we stayed on for chats after the special guests left.

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