The Silent Garden, a program within the Department of Communicative Sciences and Deaf Studies at Fresno State, has been a unique and special training ground for students in deaf education and sign language interpreting since its inception in 2008.

Now the program is entering a new phase: It will provide scholarships to Fresno State students interested in majoring in deaf education and sign language interpreting.

Tomorrow evening, February 25, Fresno State will host The Silent Garden Gala, centered on a theme—"Planting the Seed"—that reflects the campus's efforts to support students pursuing a career teaching and helping deaf students.

All proceeds from ticket sales and live and silent auctions will go toward scholarships. The gala's guest of honor will be Academy Award-winning actress, author and deaf advocate Marlee Matlin.

"Hopefully, through these scholarships, we will have the opportunity to academically prepare more future professionals in deaf education and sign language interpreting, enabling them to touch the lives of countless deaf and hard of hearing children, youth and adults in the Central Valley and beyond," said Paul Ogden, Ph.D., professor emeritus at Fresno State, founder of The Silent Garden, and author of The Silent Garden: Raising Your Deaf Child, in an interview with Fresno State.

The Silent Garden also provides educational workshops, events and resources to the deaf and hard of hearing community, as well as to teachers, interpreters and professionals. Past topics in The Silent Garden Lecture Series have included resources for deaf and hard of hearing Latinos; couples communication; and issues related to hearing loss.

Fresno State's Department of Communicative Sciences and Deaf Studies trains professionals in audiology, deaf education, deaf studies, interpreting, and speech-language pathology.

CSU Long Beach, CSU Northridge and Sacramento State also offer deaf studies programs.