Hey everyone! As of this week, I have finally wrapped up my independent study on American Sign Language. This has been one of the best learning experiences for me as I got to study something that really interested me, and work at my own pace, so I’m super sad that it’s ending. However, the one positive of this experience coming to a close is that I now get to show you all my final project! As I’ve mentioned in earlier blog posts, I decided to create an infographic dedicated to informing people about ASL as a whole, and a video component which touched more on my experience as an independent learning with the subject.
Before finishing my study, I wanted to take this blog post to thoroughly thank everyone involved in helping me along the way. First, Ms. Garci, my content advisor throughout this semester, who consistently gave me great advice, helped guide me through obstacles, and always made time in her schedule to meet with me every week! Also, Ms. Bessias for giving me this opportunity and facilitating the best learning environment for me, as well as all independent learners. Also, a huge thanks to Jan Withers, Susan Cataldo, and Catherine Hayward for meeting with me to provide outside opinions and perspectives as members of the Deaf community!
And also thanks to all of you who kept up with my blog throughout this semester! I really hope I was able to inspire you guys to learn more about ASL, or at least teach all of you about something that you didn’t already know about this incredible language.
Hey everyone! Just wanted to give one big final update on where I am in my study and my final project.
Tomorrow from 2-3, I will have the amazing opportunity to interview and speak with Susan Cataldo who is the Deaf Services Specialist at our NCDHHS! I’ve been preparing for this meeting since I first reached out in April, and we were finally able to coordinate a time and an interpreter, so I’m super excited for this!
Then, this coming Friday, I was also fortunately able to organize a meeting with Ms. Hayward, our, as far as I know, only hard of hearing faculty member here at DA. Ms. Hayward and I have been trying to coordinate a time to meet since the very beginning of my study, and it’s great to be able to talk with her as it is now coming to a close!
As for my final project (an infographic and short video presentation), I have successfully finished work on the infographic itself, and I am beginning work on perfecting the signing needed for the presentation aspect of this project. If everything goes according to plan, I’m hoping to have this final project done and perfected by the beginning of next week, so keep an eye out for both a digital copy of my infographic here on my blog, and a physical copy in the World Language Office if you happen to stop by!
This week I finally began work on my final project. After coordinating with everyone involved, I finally decided on an infographic as the best way to show my learning from the past semester. It’s in the works right now, with most of the written components already finished, however, I am still working on incorporating the video aspect via a QR code! I’ll update you all once I have more progress, or maybe even the final product!
With only about a month left until final projects, I decided to dedicate most of my time this week towards organizing, planning, and ultimately beginning work on my final project. Since creating my proposal, I’ve had tons of ideas swirling around about how I truly wanted to demonstrate the time I spent on this independent study. So far, I’ve considered:
A presentation to cover in detail everything I studied for the entire semester and my progress in learning ASL
A course guide (i.e. A written way to provide those interested in ASL with a brief overview of my experience so they don’t have to, as Ms. Garci would say, “invent the wheel” themselves)
An infographic detailing the important discoveries of my study as well as some of my future hopes for ASL at DA
Because the format of my final project is definitely still in the works, I’ll make sure to keep you all updated as I decide – so keep an eye out!
This week I had the great opportunity to open a conversation with Jan Withers, the director of the Division of Services for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing in NC, and her associate Susan Cataldo, the NCDHHS Deaf Services Specialist! Although we just began communicating, I’m incredibly excited to have the opportunity to discuss with them about various aspects of deaf inclusion, especially in our community of North Carolina.
In anticipation of a potential later interview with Susan, I’ve already begun thinking through some questions I want to ask:
How are deaf students/workers accommodated in predominantly hearing schools/workplaces?
How can we begin to incorporate ASL/any sign language into NC schools?
How can we increase access to interpreters in NC Schools?
Why is there such a critical shortage of Deaf interpreters in NC? in the US?
With Easter this Sunday, so far this week I’ve taken some time to study one of ASLDeafined’s unique lesson offerings centered around the upcoming holiday! Through the many activities and games under the Easter section, I learned tons of interesting signs. Some of these included Easter bunny, basket, holiday, chicks, egg coloring, and even jelly beans.
As blog posts about specific signs are becoming slightly repetitive, and as we get closer to April 15th, I thought it was important to take time this week to tell you all a little bit about National Deaf History Month.
It is celebrated from March 13th (which marked the first time that Gallaudet University, the only university in the world designed specifically for deaf learners, hired its first deaf president) through April 15th (the day that America’s first public school for the deaf was opened). Also included within this time period is yet another historical date which marks the founding of Gallaudet University: April 8th.
Before Deaf History Month ends, I hope you’ll take some time to learn more about the Deaf community and its significant history, as well as celebrate any Deaf / Hard of hearing members within your community.
Although I started my Georgetown course last week, this week I took a break from my focus on this course and continued studying through ASL Deafined. When I started thinking about what to study this week, I decided that it would be more beneficial to study conversation signs than to study through the Georgetown course. I made this decision as we have an upcoming assembly, where I and another student learning ASL, will have the opportunity to show off a small conversation. Since this is my first time showing the skills that I have learned so far, this week, I focused primarily on the “Meet & Greet” section offered by ASL Deafined, so I could be best prepared. Next week, I plan to continue with my online course, but for now, I’m mostly trying to make sure I’m comfortable with basic signing to start a conversation before the assembly!
This week, I finally registered and began taking an online “Sign Language Structure, Learning, and Change” course offered by Dr. Ted Supalla at Georgetown. Although I haven’t yet progressed far through the various modules that are a part of this course, I’m excited to finally branch off into learning more about the rich history and culture of ASL! The course covers topics from grammar and composition to the historical heritage of sign languages as a whole. In addition to starting that, consistent with much of what my study has been so far, I also spent this week continuing my learning with ASL Deafined (Specifically, I spent time learning how to sign household items and rooms, even including some less traditional rooms, like a “man cave” for example).