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Film Premiere "Tearing Down Barriers: 36 Years of Advocacy"

In honor of MNCDHH's 36th Anniversary

5/28/2021 12:43:13 PM

You're invited to join the Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind & Hard of Hearing (MNCDHH) as we celebrate 36 years of advocacy. Just make a bowl of popcorn, settle on the couch, and watch from the comfort of home.

About this film

In 1985, MNCDHH opened its doors. Community advocates had accomplished their goal of having a governor-appointed, board-led Commission with the ability to influence laws and public policy. Over the years, we've benefited from the leadership of our board members and executive directors. Through personal interviews, a few past board members and executive directors share their experiences in advocating for communication access and equal opportunity with the 20% of Minnesotans who are deaf, deafblind, and hard of hearing.

Featuring Kim Wassenaar, Monique Hammond, Jeffrey Moen, Dr. Mohamed Mourrsi-Alfash, Jamie Taylor, Jason Valentine, Sharaine Rawlinson Roberts, Elise Knopf, Cuong Nguyen, Curt Micka, Mike Cashman, Mary Hartnett, Michele Isham, and Dr. Darlene G. Zangara.


Thursday, June 10, 2021 at 6 pm

  • 6:00 pm: Opening remarks by Dr. Darlene G. Zangara
  • 6:05 pm: Film begins (65 minutes in duration)
  • 7:10 pm: Film ends

How to connect

Simply click on "Tearing Down Barriers film premiere" between 5:30 - 6 pm on June 10th. This link will not be active before then.

Meeting ID: 878 1200 6318

Password: mncdhh36

This will also be live-streamed on MNCDHH's Facebook account.


This film is available in both American Sign Language (ASL) and English along with captions and a descriptive transcript. For DeafBlind interpreters, please email by Monday, June 7, 2021. 

Film trailer

Don't forget to check out the film trailer below!

Descriptive transcript for trailer

[Two screens appear. To the left is Jamie Taylor’s picture. To the right is Jaemi Hagen who is providing the ASL translation. An off-screen voice reads aloud Jamie’s sentence.]

>> Jamie: The emphasis was on data.

[Video switches to show Jeffrey Moen who is verbally sharing his story. To his right is Jimmy Beldon who is providing the ASL translation.]

>> Jeffrey: … such as acoustics and loop systems in new schools…

[Video switches to Kim Wassenaar, who is signing her story.]

>> Kim: At the time, we had nine bills and when they all passed, we referred to it as Cloud Nine.

[Video switches to Monique Hammond who is voicing her story. To her right is Jaemi Hagen who is providing the ASL translation.]

>> Monique: …that public policy changes when people take action.

[Video switches to Mike Cashman who is signing his story.]

>> Mike: And it was that sense of empowerment and empowering the community to be actively engaged in the legislative process that was so important.

[Video switches to Sharaine Rawlinson Roberts who is signing her story.]

>> Sharaine: We would go and testify at the legislature…

[Video switches to Curt Micka who is voicing his story. To his right is Megan Bolduc who is providing the ASL translation.]

>> Curt: And it was very controversial. And yeah, it was a lot of fun, (laughs) but it was also very, very difficult.

[Video switches to Cuong Nguyen who is signing his story.]

>> Cuong: The hospital responded quickly and changed their system to provide better equal access.

[Video switches to Elise Knopf who is signing her story.]

>> Elise: And Lobby Day brought people together.

[Video switches to Mary Hartnett who is voicing her story.]

>> Mary: So the wisdom lies from the group, from the community.

[Video switches to Mohamed Mourssi-Alfash who is voicing his story. To his right is Megan Bolduc who is providing the ASL translation.]

>> Mohamed: We need to continue working together.

[Video switches to a slide with the following text, “The History of MNCDHH. Watch on June 10, 2021 at 6:00 PM,” (MNCDHH logo)]



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