This April, American Sign Language (ASL) celebrates 200 years of existence. Although Pierce College won’t be having any specific event designated for this day, the 15, the ASL Club is always hosting events welcome to all students, especially those learning ASL.
One of these events is Starbucks Deaf Night every third Friday of the month at 7 p.m.
At Deaf Night, students gain one-on-one experience, meeting and communicating with deaf students in the community to attain a grasp of deaf culture. The event is open to everyone, whether or not they are taking an ASL class.
According to deaf studies major Fallon Paris, attending such on-campus and off-campus events helps strengthen and bridge the ties between deaf and hearing people.
“We should be deaf allies and try to make the power between hearing and deaf people equal, and not make them feel disempowered,” Paris said.
Becca Rose, ASL student, said that deaf students should receive the encouragement and support they are entitled to from the community.
“We should encourage deaf youth to pursue advanced careers,” Rose said.
“We can all help the deaf community by learning sign language or by simply knowing how to act with those who are deaf. Don’t treat them as if they are sick, incapable or lesser beings. A person who is deaf and a person who is hearing are both capable of greater and better things,” said deaf studies major Narmeen Elwary.
ASL students and members of the ASL Club encourage students, in honor of the 200th Anniversary of ASL, to get to know more about deaf culture and visit the ASL Club to be involved in various year-round events and gain the experience of learning a new language.
According to ASL assistant professor Lisa Chahayed, “There is no better time than now to take a moment to learn a sign or two. Don’t be shy. Let’s do this in honor of and celebration of the 200th Anniversary of American Sign Language.”