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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Spreading awareness, one award at a time

Barbara+Jordan+Media+Award+winners+are+selected+by+the+Governors+Committee+on+People+with+Disabilities+and+committees+across+the+state.+Nominated+content+was+produced+by+professionals+and+students.
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Barbara Jordan Media Award winners are selected by the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities and committees across the state. Nominated content was produced by professionals and students.

Each year, the Barbara Jordan Media Award committee honors media professionals and students who successfully depict persons with disabilities in an accurate and positive light through media and communication outlets.
Thirteen winners were announced as recipients of the award on May 22, including journalism senior Rebecca Sloane, communication senior Sarah Hoenig and Megan Rodriguez, Class of 2019. The honorees were presented their awards through a virtual video that included each recipient’s acceptance speech, and later will be sent a bronze medallion to commemorate their accomplishment.
Sloane, whose contribution video to The Battalion titled “Year Two: Signing the Midnight Yell” received the award in the College Broadcast category, said she was encouraged to send in her nomination by her Journalism 203 professor Angelique Gammon.
“Everyone was spitting out ideas for her project but I didn’t really have anything to come out with,” Sloane said. “And then I threw out there the one thing that I see that I do differently than everyone else is that I’m also pursuing my Associates in American Sign Language at Blinn and really there’s not that much involvement with them on campus. All she said to me was ‘That. That’s what you’re doing.’”
According to gov.texas.gov, in order to qualify for the award, the judges require participants to present the individuals first, with their disability as the latter subject. Sloane said this was the hardest box to check off when it came to meeting the committee’s requirements.
“The biggest difficulty was the people that are deaf or hard of hearing do not like to be called disabled,” Sloane said. “They do not like that term. They do not claim that they are disabled. While I was making the video, my professor had brought up that I didn’t mention that term, and that was the entire purpose behind the award. That was the biggest goal, like how do I accomplish this without demeaning anybody. And that, I hope, is what I accomplished.”
After receiving an email confirmation that she had won the award, Sloane said she got emotional, and even reached out to those involved with the project to share the good news.
“My biggest goal in this has been to show these people are here and this is really the only resource they have,” Sloane said. “Even as I was interviewing people for the video they were bringing up things like they wanted more recognition or more help if possible. Without them, this wouldn’t have even been possible. I was just the middleman.”
Hoenig’s nomination “Beep Baseball: Making Dreams Come True” won in the College Print Magazine category, which Hoenig said came as a complete shock when the email appeared in her inbox.
“It was probably around the end of March and I was working on an assignment for class when I got the email,” Hoenig said. “It wasn’t necessarily on my mind just because there were so many other things going on, it was just in the back of my head. When I saw it I was just so shocked and excited. I shared it with some of my peers who took the journalism class with me and they celebrated with me.”
Hoenig said the idea to cover beep baseball came from an event she got to attend through her sorority, Delta Gamma, where she immediately knew she wanted to highlight those that are visually impaired.
“I got to play beep baseball with about 10 other women or so and after that day and getting to interact with the coach I thought ‘Wow, there is a story in this,’ and I knew I wanted to do it,” Hoenig said.
Ultimately, Hoenig’s main goal was to spread awareness that no matter the challenge being faced, people with disabilities or impairments are to not be underestimated.
“The overall goal was to display the reality and the challenges they face, but to also show how strong and resilient people who are visually impaired are,” Hoenig said. “I wanted to foster more inclusion for that community and show that they are so capable of doing so many things. It might look a little different but they are incredibly capable.”
Rodriguez, a former editor-in-chief of The Battalion and a current reporter at The Bryan-College Station Eagle, won in the Print Profile category for her story “Bridget Frank: Facing challenges, pursuing her passion”.

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