By Sophie Landry / Features Reporter
The American Sign Language (ASL) club is scheduled to start meeting as a moon club in the new year following Winterim. Junior Grace Moran was inspired to create the club to share information about this language with those around her.
ASL is a visual language that uses hand motions, facial expressions and body movements to communicate. It is a separate language from English with distinct grammar and syntactic rules. According to the most recent U.S. Census, 11.5 million people experience some level of hearing impairment, though not all of these people use ASL. ASL is certainly not the only language used by the deaf and hearing-impaired community. It is predominantly used in parts of Canada and the United States.
“I wanted to bridge a gap in awareness at Harpeth Hall and spread new knowledge to the community,” Moran said.
She believes that ASL is sorely overlooked as a language and mode of communication, and the Harpeth Hall community should take action to acknowledge it.
Moran started learning sign language as a baby by watching “Sign Times”, an educational television show for kids to learn how to use ASL. She later lost her ability to sign, but decided to start again last year. “I wanted to reconnect to my childhood,” Moran said.
She has since been using tools like the ASL app in order to reacquaint herself with the ability. Now, over a year into this new process, she feels comfortable sharing it with her peers.
The teacher advisor for the club is Upper School World Languages Teacher Bela Lodygensky. “I commend Grace for using the knowledge she has to pass onto our school and our girls,” Lodygensky said.
The meetings will consist of watching movies featuring the deaf community, watching poetry by deaf people and learning basic sign language. There will also be optional meetings that take place in the morning on late start Wednesdays for any interested students to join.
“Joining the ASL club is a great opportunity to expand horizons and learn a new skill that will be very insightful, informative and meaningful to learn at Harpeth Hall,” Moran said.
The ASL club plans to bring a new experience to greatly enrich and educate about the deaf community, perfectly embodying our school motto of a global perspective. The ASL Club aims to help enrich the school community through offering a new outlook on the deaf perspective.