What is it like to be Deaf in a hearing world? The American Sign Language interpreting students at William Woods University are observing Deaf Awareness Week with various events, culminating in an experience called Deaf City.
Participants in Deaf City will enter a world where everyone uses sign language and tourists have to learn how to make their way in a Deaf world—banking, buying, getting a ticket and eating at a restaurant. The exercise will be conducted at 6 p.m. Thursday in Burton Business Building room 006.
Earlier during Deaf Awareness Week, also known as the International Week of the Deaf, participants received an introductory lesson to American Sign Language and Deaf culture Monday.
Tuesday they watched “The Hammer,” a story of a Deaf UFC fighter, and Wednesday, during Deaf literacy night, participants were exposed to different language play art forms in the Deaf community using American Sign Language.
William Woods University is one of about 30 schools in the United States and Canada that offers a four-year degree in American Sign Language interpreting. Approximately 70 students are either ASL interpreting majors or minors, and more than 100 students currently take ASL classes at WWU.
One of the unique features of the WWU program is the Charlotte Rose Hamilton ASL Interpreting Lab, a state-of-the-art all-digital interpreting lab where students may enhance their signing skills by watching and recording videotexts. Members of the Fulton Deaf community serve as tutors in the lab, assisting with assignments and individual practice.
For more information, contact the ASL interpreting program at (573) 592-1123.