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ASL Club comes to Ashland University

Nickolaus Jacobs

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Ashland University’s American Sign Language Club, other known as the ASL Club, met for the first time in hopes of teaching future educators the skills needed to communicate with students who suffer from hearing disabilities.

ASL Club founder and president Maggie George are aiming to fill a void in student life at Ashland as there are no sign language classes or certification courses currently available.

“I decided to start this because I thought that it would be really cool to have that on campus and I feel that it is a very important issue that people need to be more aware of,” said George before Monday’s inaugural meeting.

George, who is a freshman Music Education major, is not new to the world of sign language.

She studied ASL for two years during high school. She furthered her knowledge of the language when she taught her friend Nikki, who is 100 percent deaf, to sign.

Prior knowledge of sign language is not required to attend ASL Club meetings, and students of all majors are welcome. According to George, the club will first focus on basic ASL, then move on to advanced sign language and deaf culture.

George and her fellow co-founders feel that sign language is a very important skill to share with future educators. As the large room began to fill with students, it became apparent that their peers feel the same way.

Sophomore co-founder Melanie Armstrong pointed out that, because this club is not an official class, students are coming to learn and not to get a grade.

Armstrong, who is a Special Education major, commented on the importance of sign language to her.

“For special needs teachers, communication is not the easiest, especially with kids that have cognitive disorders or can’t speak well. Just simple signs like wait, or stop, or please, or food, or drink are huge”

American Sign Language Club is held weekly on Mondays at 9 p.m. in room 231 of the Recreation Center.

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