ASLO Program connects with students through holiday activities

S. Davis

WKU’s American Sign Language Organization hosted an Ugly Sweater party for the holiday season on Thursday. Students from the ASL department and other community members were present at the event, which took place in DSU.

The event was the last Deaf Culture Event (DCE) of the year held by the group. The events are to help the students hone their sign language skills, connect with the deaf community and learn more about the unique means of expressions in the language.

Glasgow first year graduate student Rebekah Thompson helped with the event. 

“We host these events throughout the semester. They’re good for the students and the deaf community to get them together to sign,” Thompson said. “Students are required to go to so many throughout the semester just to get that extra practice. So at this DCE, and at most DCEs, are voice-off completely.”

Voice-off means speaking is not allowed during the event. Anyone who doesn’t know sign can communicate through typing on their phones or writing. Novice signers can fingerspell an unfamiliar word, signing the individual letters. Someone more skilled, usually a higher level student, will show them the sign for the word.

The party, however, was not dead silent. There was the shuffling of people moving about, the occasional buzz of a phone or someone snapping to grab attention, and, most frequently, laughter.

These events do give extra points to students in ASL classes, but were just at the event to de-stress before finals.

There were games of bingo which implemented Christmas signs, card games and coloring sheets. Past events have had attendees make Christmas cards for Kentucky School for the Deaf. Honors students make sign videos for Christmas songs for their final project. One such was shown at the event, an interpretation of “Santa Baby.”

The American Sign Language Organization will have more events next semester, and the classes are available for registration.

SarahBeth Davis can be reached at [email protected]