Thirty Fun WHOLE ME Facts!

frankBob Frank, a faithful and devoted member of WHOLE ME, Inc., passed away last year from cancer. During his time with us Bob played a variety of roles from board member, to master electrician around our office, to “Bill Nye, The Science Guy” with his crazy hats at the after-school program! The kids loved Bob and he loved them. He was their biggest supporter and his number one goal was to provide a safe and creative learning environment for Deaf and hard-of-hearing children where they could have fun, flourish and be successful.

For the next 30 days, leading up to the Bob Frank Memorial Golf Tournament, WHOLE ME, Inc. will be posting 30 fun and informative facts for you to enjoy! The countdown begins!

Fact #30: Did you know… WHOLE ME, Inc. was established in 2003 to provide support for Deaf and hard-of-hearing children and their families. Before 2003, there were no on-going after school programs for Deaf and hard-of-hearing children in the Central New York area. The After School Program is one of the unique bi-cultural and bi-lingual services provided at WHOLE ME, Inc.

Fact #29: Did you know… Sign Language is the fourth most used language in the world? WHOLE ME, Inc. offers American Sign Language (ASL) classes and private lessons. In addition to teaching ASL, WHOLE ME, Inc. advocates for the use of ASL within our After School Program with Deaf students.

Fact #28: Did you know… 90% of Deaf children are born to Hearing parents? WHOLE ME, Inc. encourages parents to embrace their child’s Deaf identity and actively engage in communication with their child by learning ASL.

Weekend Fun Facts #27 & #26: Did you know… that most CODA’s (Children of Deaf Adults) first language is ASL? Therefore, did you know… CODA’s are bilingual? WHOLE ME, Inc. offers opportunities for CODA’s to meet and socialize with other CODA’s.

Fact #25: Did you know… Syracuse has a growing community of Deaf Refugees? WHOLE ME, Inc. provides support in their new endeavors learning a new language, going back to school and job placement.

Sydney at WHOLE ME OfficeFun Fact #24: Did you know that 55% of the WHOLE ME, Inc. staff is Deaf? We have Deaf role models working not only in the After School Programs but also at the WMI Office. Don’t our AWESOME Hearing co-workers wish they were Deaf, too?! WHOLE ME, Inc. is proud to lead by example with 6 amazing Deaf individuals! Future CEO of WHOLE ME, Inc., Sydney Tasmin Thomas! (Watch out Chris Kovar!)

Fun Fact #23: Did you know…In the 1960’s, linguist William Stokoe, a professor at Gallaudet University, proved that ASL is an language with its own syntax, grammar and morphology, just like spoken languages has their own rules.

Fun Fact #22: Did you know…Deafhood is a new concept being embraced by the Deaf Community. The term was coined by Paddy Ladd in 1993. Ladd developed a book about Deafhood, ‘Understanding Deaf Culture – In Search of Deafhood’ in 2003.

deafhoodSami Goodnough, mentoring in the WHOLE ME, Inc. After School Program, leads by example!

WHOLE ME, Inc. has hopes that one day all our schools and higher education will recognize ASL as a foreign language nationally. When that day comes, we will put on our party hats and celebrate!

mikalya2Fact #21: Did you know…There are approximately 22-28 million Deaf and Hard of Hearing in the United States. WHOLE ME, Inc. After School Program helped Mikayla acquire life skills and achieve her goals. Don’t forget to register for the Bob Frank Memorial Golf Tournament!

deafspaceWeekend fun fact #20 and #19: Did you know… “Deaf-gain” was first introduced to the Deaf community in 2008 to emphasize the positive contribution of Deaf Culture to society.  As a result, Did you know… the concept of “Deaf space” grew from Deaf-gain which takes into consideration creating an environment that is the least restrictive in communication for Deaf individuals. Deaf Studies Digital Journal.  We at WHOLE ME, Inc. are always working to create an environment that is Deaf-friendly for all our staff and clients.

Fun Fact #18: Did you know… that not only does WHOLE ME, Inc. provide After School Programsarah craigs for Deaf students, but that WMI also provides Social Security benefits counseling as well as career and job support for Deaf as they transition to the working world. One of our success stories we featured earlier in the year, Sarah Craig, is an example of hard work and determination on her part to be successful through WMI’s resources!

Bob Frank Memorial Golf Tournament Registration now OPEN!

REGISTER now for the Bob Frank Memorial Golf Tournament! Please see the flyers for details. Come win one of the many exciting prizes, 4 tickets to Disney World, 2 airline tickets worth $800 and many more! Best of all, hit a Hole-in-One and you will win a 2015 Chrysler 200 car!

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Chris Kovar Honored

Chris Kovar was honored at Leadership Greater Syracuse on April 29th, 2015. What an amazing honor it was for us, her staff and family, to watch her accept this prestigious award. When Chris spoke, she thanked everyone and most of all, the people who came together to make WHOLE ME Inc.,a reality. Those people she named are Mike Ruf, Kim Amidon, Jessica Cuculick, and Joanne Dermody. Congratulations Chris!
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Chris Kovar honored by Leadership Greater Syracuse


WHOLE ME, Inc.’s CEO Chris Kovar was chosen by Leadership Greater Syracuse as a LGS Distinguished Community Leader award winner in their Community Trustee Individual category! She will be honored on April 29th, 2015 with fellow award winners, St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center and LGS Alumni Achievement award winners, Renee and Tim Duffy. Congratulations Chris! This is because of your strong and persistent leadership that you have made an impact in not only the greater Syracuse area but in the Deaf Community as well! We are very proud of you!


Crossing the Finish Line!

Lindsay:DaniThe staff at Whole Me Inc. wants to congratulate our very own Youth Director Lindsay Ryan Anthony, and her running partner, Danielle Strassle, for crossing the finish line after a grueling 26 mile marathon in Los Angeles!  We watched them grow and blossom into runners over the past year, helped sponsor their trip, and cheered them on from the sidelines.  Their next plan is to run in the prestigious New York City Marathon in November of 2015.  We will be fully behind Lindsay and Danielle again and cheering loudly for them! Congratulations on an amazing feat!


  • Whole Me changed my life because they helped me to make new friends, try new things, not give up, be proud of the person I am and to have fun!
  • Whole Me gave Christine a boost to her self-confidence and self esteem when she was younger and helped her to deal with Deaf issues as she has grown.