American Sign Language Event at Jessup

In partnership with Nor Cal Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, William Jessup University’s American Sign Language (ASL) club will host “ASL Day for All” on Saturday, April 9 at the growing university. The day includes workshops, ASL demonstrations, sports clinics, a children’s activities area and stage, Jiu Jitsu demonstrations, STEM science projects and more. The entire event will be Deaf accessible with interpreters at each station and workshop.

“We are striving to create an event geared toward bringing the whole community together for a fun day to support the use of ASL for all ages,” said Jessup’s ASL program head, Bobbi Long. “We want to invite the Deaf and Hearing communities to join Deaf organizations to educate, develop and support the use of ASL.”

The event takes place across the 125-acre Jessup campus, featuring golf and basketball clinics with Jessup athletics coaches and players. ASL and Deaf Culture workshops are slated from 10 a.m. to noon and include topics such as ASL skills development, fingerspelling, and a panel discussion regarding hearing parents raising Deaf children.

Approximately 50 Jessup ASL students will utilize skills they’ve learned in the classroom and get more real life experience interacting with the Deaf community while working at the event.

According to the Hearing Health Foundation, one in five Americans have hearing loss in at least one ear and three out of every 1,000 children are born deaf.

Long has been teaching ASL for over 21 years and began Jessup’s program last fall with 17 students. Enrollment has more than doubled during her second semester.

“One of the benefits of studying ASL and Deaf Culture is that most people will meet a deaf person at some point in their life. Following the completion of just one course in sign language, most people would be able to communicate with them at a basic level.”