27th Annual Deaf Culture Awards takes place in Augusta

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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - Next week is Deaf Culture Week in Maine.

The celebration kicked off Thursday at the State House with the 27th Annual Award Ceremony.

Awards were given out to six people who have made an impact to Deaf culture in Maine.

They were nominated for endeavors ranging from advocating for the needs of the deaf community, to volunteer work.

The event is put on by the Commission for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Late Deafened.

"It's wonderful to stop and celebrate," says Karen Fraser, Director of the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, which is part of the Maine Department of Labor. "I think we get caught up each and every day of all the things that are going wrong or the hardships, and to have a day where we say let's come together, let's celebrate. To have the Governor be able to issue a proclamation and really recognize all of the contributions of this community is really a wonderful thing."

Year-round, the Bureau of Rehab Services helps people who are deaf or hard of hearing with employment, independence and community integration.