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ASL workshop to bring communities together

by Tegan Mazur- Copy Desk Chief
Tue, Sep 26th 2017 06:00 pm
Photo from wikipedia commons 
It comes in handy: According to Gallaudet University, approximately one million people in the United States are `functionally deaf.` ASL is a common way for deaf people in America to communicate with each other and with the hearing community.
Photo from wikipedia commons It comes in handy: According to Gallaudet University, approximately one million people in the United States are "functionally deaf." ASL is a common way for deaf people in America to communicate with each other and with the hearing community.

The Brockport Advocates for Students with Disabilities (BAD) is planning to host a workshop on Thursday, Sept. 28, in room 220 in the Seymour College Union at 5 p.m. The workshop will center on American Sign Language (ASL). According to the group’s myBrockport page, it will give students an opportunity to learn some basic sign language as well as learn about deaf culture from Modern Language Professor Amy Crockford. 

According to Amelia Hallac, the president of BAD, the event will be set up much the same way it was last year on October 3. The group will sit in a half circle, so that everyone can see everyone else signing, to better interact with the learning material. Hallac also explained that they have asked Crockford to sign more during the event and speak less, to better give any and all attendees a better immersion and understanding of speaking with sign language. 

Hallac also explained the goals of the event. BAD is hoping that those who attend the workshop will be able to walk away feeling as though they learned some of the basic phrases and letters needed to say at least one phrase in ASL. Hallac and BAD want people who are not deaf to be able to better interact with those of the deaf community. 

“Sure, there are other ways to communicate, but simply knowing ‘how are you?’ and how to finger spell words shows your interest in the ASL culture,” Hallac wrote in an email. 

To those unsure about attending the event, Hallac is still optimistic. Hallac stated that even learning the letters of the ASL alphabet can grant you the ability to communicate with someone who is deaf. That is the goal of the workshop: To bring those who are deaf and who can hear closer together. 

“The hearing world and the deaf world should not be separate, they should be together.” Hallac wrote. “Overall, we feel as though it is an opportunity for diversity and advocating.” 

There is a large deaf community surrounding the Rochester area, and BAD is hoping to bring it a bit closer to the hearing community in Brockport this Thursday night. 

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