American Sign Language interpreting students at William Woods University are asking people to go “Dining for Signing” next week to raise funds for much needed improvements to their interpreting lab.
The Charlotte Rose Hamilton American Sign Language and Interpreting Lab, located in the Burton Business Building on the WWU campus, is in need of new equipment. Currently, students are using five-year-old equipment that is based on VHS.
“When students found out the university was raising money to upgrade the lab, they wanted to get involved and support the cause, so they organized the fund-raiser,” Carolyn Ball, director of the ASL interpreting program and associate professor of interpreting at WWU.
“Dining for Signing,” a fund-raiser organized by WWU Hands Up Club, is a partnership with Arris’ Pizza in Fulton. The event is all day Thursday (Nov. 13). Customers will be required to present a “Dining for Signing” coupon when ordering. The coupon is online at TheWoods.edu/dining. Arris’ will donate 10 percent of sales from items purchased with the coupon.
“The lab has sentimental value; it was named after Charlotte Rose Hamilton, who was a renowned member of the community. She was one of the lab’s founders, and we want to continue her legacy by upgrading the lab,” said Ball.
The ASL program at WWU, which Hamilton helped establish in 1990, currently has more than 50 students enrolled.
According to Ball, students spend a lot of time waiting on the software, and are not able to get as much done in their lab time because of the outdated equipment. New equipment, including 12 work stations, networking equipment and a server are needed to make the lab fully operational using digital equipment. The new systems will require new software.
Faculty, staff and ASL alumni will be solicited for donations, and the university has spoken with major interpreting corporations about contributions. Any donation of $100 will be recognized on a plaque in the lab. For further information, or to make a donation, go to TheWoods.edu and click on “Giving to The Woods.”