The new American Sign Language Club (ASL) gives students the opportunity to learn a beautiful language with friends as well as spreading awareness for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.
“I think it’s important for students to learn ASL,” club President Maribella Ambrosio and photo editor for The Pearl Post said. “If someone who uses ASL ever comes to Daniel Pearl (Magnet High School), we should want to make them feel included.”
The club meets every Wednesday during lunch over Zoom. It is led by senior Ambrosio and is supervised by math teacher Lori Seo. A slideshow is shown during the meetings that shows the different signs. The club just finished learning the ABCs and the numbers. They just started learning the signs for different family members last week.
The main goal of ASL Club is to learn ASL and to spread awareness about the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. While the club didn’t start until after National ASL Day on April 15, the club does have plans of holding some kind of event on that day. What they will do is still undecided.
“I’ve run into some deaf and hard-of-hearing people and I think it’d be nice to communicate more broadly with them,” junior Lauren Mills said. “The club is really fun (and) the people there are really friendly.”
Not only is the club a fun way to meet with friends and learn a new language, but it’s also a way to educate yourself a bit more on people with hearing disabilities. The disabled community faces difficulties abled bodied people would’ve never thought about. By learning ASL, you can lessen deaf and hard-of-hearing people’s difficulties, even if it’s just by a little.
The club was originally going to be a crochet club but president Gonzalez decided to change it. Now, there will be students prepared to sign to someone who needs it on campus. And while there is no pressure in becoming fluent and the club is more for students to just have fun, it will still be helpful information in the future.
“I think it’s important for us to be prepared if we ever meet someone who is deaf or hard-of-hearing,” Ambrosio said. “Disabled people should be treated the same as everyone else.”