"Silent Inning" Raises Awareness for Deaf & Hard of Hearing

LINCOLN, Neb. -- The Nebraska Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing partnered with the Lincoln Saltdogs Tuesday night to raise awareness about what it's like to not hear.

During the 4th inning, there weren't any announcements, music or play-by-play. The "silent inning" was to give hearing people an idea of what it's like for deaf and hard of hearing people everyday.

Jonathan Scherling, the President for the Nebraska Association of the Deaf said, "We use our eyes to hear, we don't use our ears. So it's going to help people be aware of how that feels."

John Wyvill the Executive Director for the NCDHH added, "You miss bits and pieces of what's going on, you hear the noise, but not understand what's being said."

There are more than 167,000 people in Nebraska who are hard of hearing, approximately 9 percent of the population, and 1 percent or about 18,560 people are deaf.

Beyond the "silent inning" the Saltdogs President Charlie Meyer signed a message to fans before the game started and an interpreter also signed the national anthem.

The NCDHH said this is the first event like this they've held and it's a fun way to educate people about the deaf and hard of hearing community. Event organizers hope to make this an annual event. About 100 deaf and hard of hearing people and family members attended Tuesday night's game.

The Lincoln Saltdogs also donated a portion of ticket sales to the Nebraska Association of the Deaf.

The NCDHH advocates for deaf and hard of hearing people in Nebraska, as well as help provide services. It has offices in Lincoln, Omaha and North Platte.