Whether you want to dive into a new language or simply brush up on your signing skills, the American Sign Language (ASL) Club just might be the organization for you. The reigning Diversity Student Organization of the Year welcomes all students, requiring no previous ASL experience to join.
The club meets at the beginning of the academic year, then plans ASL-oriented events throughout the remainder of the year. Past events have included a health care ASL workshop with instructors and tutors from Kent State University, a Silent Dinner and Lights-Out Dinner with the ophthalmology interest group, and deaf community events like DINGO (Deaf BINGO) and the annual DEAFair in Akron.
ASL Club president Patrick Handwork, who recently completed his first year in the College of Medicine, says the organization has high hopes to become more involved within the deaf community this upcoming year.
“ASL is beneficial to our careers in medicine in the same way as any other language, by providing us with new perspective on a culture we may never have experienced otherwise. I feel this is especially the case with ASL, as many people are unaware of deaf culture and the incredibly tight-knit community behind it. Even knowing a little bit of sign goes a long way in establishing rapport with someone who is deaf, and that trusting relationship is the cornerstone of medicine,” said Handwork.
Students interested in learning about deaf language and culture, or who want to gain a new perspective can contact Handwork at firstname.lastname@example.org or group adviser Rajini Poth, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmacy practice, at email@example.com.