Deaf contestant on Chopped to help WWU celebrate Deaf Awareness Month

Irish ChefA contestant on the Food Network’s Chopped program will help American Sign Language students at William Woods University celebrate Deaf Awareness Month.

Several ASL-based activities and events are being held at WWU this week, including a visit from a fiery redhead known as Kurt “the Irish Chef” Ramborger.

“The Irish Chef” will be on campus Friday and Saturday, interacting eater-hottest-chef-america-2012-kurt-ramborger-2.0with the ASL interpreting students. Ramborger, who is Deaf, will cook with students, as well as lead other skill and language building activities.

Ramborger was named Eater’s Hottest Chef in America in 2012. In 2013, he appeared on Chopped and in 2014, he was named Deaf Person of the Year by Deaf Life magazine. He has spent 23 years in Flambe-up-the-absintherestaurants, starting as a dishwasher and working his way up, moving around from Seattle to California and elsewhere. Currently, he is lead chef at the Blind Squirrel Sandwiches in Round Rock, Texas.

On Monday, Becky Davis, ASL interpreting instructor, hosted an introductory activity focused on learning some beginner signs of the language. Davis taught basic signs, as well as the ASL alphabet. She also covered the manual alphabet, introductions, animals, colors, and other beginner knowledge.

An ASL Documentary, “Audism,” was shown Tuesday. The documentary described the Deaf experience in a world where sound is such a dominant part of daily routines, entertainment, employment and education of the “average citizen.” The event was sponsored by the ASL Honor Society and Shauna Ward, ASL instructor.

Ward also hosted a cultural simulation game event known as BaFa BaFa Wednesday. The game provided participants the experience of assimilation, and was followed by a discussion about how people own their own beliefs and how others with different values are viewed.

An ASL Literary Night is scheduled to take place Thursday. The event will include performances of group narratives, ABC stories, number stories and classifier stories.

The American Sign Language program at WWU is one of about 30 four-year degree programs in North America. The program offers students various experiences to use their skills, including interaction with students at the Missouri School for the Deaf, the local Deaf community, and Deaf instructors and tutors in a state-of-the-art interpreting lab.