WXXI AM News

Rochester Red Wings celebrate Deaf Culture Day at Frontier Field

Apr 28, 2019

NTID President Gerry Buckley helps with the pre-game ceremonies at Frontier Field on Sunday.
Credit Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

(P-A Announcer says: “Let’s welcome back to Rochester, ‘Recycleman’...(crowd cheers))

Recycleman, or as his birth certificate probably says, Ogden Whitehead, was wearing his traditional green cape and promoting, of course, recycling. He is a former employee of both the Rochester Red Wings and RIT’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf, and he was among those taking part in the pre-game festivities for Deaf Culture Day. He used to lead the Frontier Field fans in cheers so it seemed fitting to bring him back for this promotion.

Gerry Buckley, president of NTID, also took part in the ceremonies and said what the Red Wings have done, including using American Sign Language to perform “Take me out to the ballgame” in a segment that was featured on ESPN this past weekend, really means a lot.

“We are very proud of Rochester as being the home of thousands of deaf people who live here and work here and play here every day and having the partnership with the Red Wings and then modeling access shows that Rochester is "Sign City" and is very proud of the diversity of the deaf community that’s here, and part of the community,” Buckley told reporters.

Buckley says NTID is challenging other cities both in the major and minor leagues to match the inclusive model that the Red Wings have demonstrated over the weekend.

Here's a video montage of Sunday's activities from WXXI videographer Martin Kaufman:

This story was produced by WXXI’s Inclusion Desk, focusing on disabilities and inclusion.