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Deaf Culture Takes Hold of Brazoswood, Club Grows

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ASL Club members enjoy a game during the first meeting of the year.

ASL Club members enjoy a game during the first meeting of the year.

Lee Ann Boudreaux

Lee Ann Boudreaux

ASL Club members enjoy a game during the first meeting of the year.

Kaitlin Nguyen, Staff Writer

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To spread awareness about Deaf Culture, The ASL (American Sign Language) Club will be holding meetings every Tuesday after school in room 204A. The club gives students a chance to gain knowledge about Deaf Culture and learn how to sign or learn how to sign at a more advanced level.

Over the past years the number of club members have grown.

“In the past we have had around 8-20 students regularly show up, this year we’ve had an astounding amount of more than 40 students showing up. It is very exciting,” ASL teacher Cory Crow said.

Though the club have many students eager to join this year, many of them were students who took ASL as their LOTE.

“I found out about the club from my ASL teacher. The only people who really know about the club is people who’s already taking ASL as a class,” sophomore Julia Duggan said. “I feel like many people fear joining the club because they don’t know the first thing about ASL and Deaf Culture. They shouldn’t be afraid to join, after all this club can help them by teaching them.”

As for the events, the club plans to do a lot this year for the members that will both benefit them and give them more exposure to Deaf Culture.

“Every month we plan on having a silent dinner. In October we do an all-day trip to TSD (Texas School for the Deaf) in Austin to take in the Homecoming festivities and Deaf Culture. We also will put on a Christmas show and Spring show in which we will showcase our students’ skill,” Crow said. “

Duggan, being someone who joined when she was a freshmen, has experienced all of the events the ASL Club has done already.

“The TSD trip is something I look forward to the most this year. When we went on the trip to TSD last year, It was so exciting I can’t wait to go again,” Duggan said. “And for the silent dinners, it’s really fun to go to restaurants and act like you deaf with a whole group of people and its spreading deaf culture awareness and its just a lot of fun to not talk and it gives your voice a rest.”

Deaf Culture may be a big part of the ASL club but it’s a bigger part of who Cory Crow is.

“What Deaf Culture means to me is a place I feel I have complete access to everything around me. I am hard-of-hearing and what that means is I don’t always understand what happens around me. I am constantly having to make assumptions and deductions of things that go around me. I am watching body language to see what others might be talking about and what mood they are in, because I can’t hear their conversation. That would be an example,” Crow said. “However in Deaf Culture there is an emphasis on inclusion and access. It is opposite of the individualistic society we have here in America in which everyone looks out for themselves first. In Deaf Culture, they take care of each other, the focus is more on the “we” ideology.”

Although Deaf Culture seems like something that’s enclosed only for deaf people, ASL teachers says otherwise.

“Deaf Culture is not only for deaf people. There are many things we as a society or a person can learn from it. It is like that with any other culture. I know there have been significant issues in the past in regards to culture appropriation, but Deaf Culture can include many people,” Crow said. “When we teach it in our classrooms, we teach Deaf culture is like an onion. There are many layers, and through these many layers, there is always a place for everyone.”

Not only do teachers believe this but as well as the students.

“Deaf Culture is definitely not just for deaf people. Deaf culture is something that needs to be spread around more so more people can learn and enjoy new things they never knew about sign language,” Duggan said.

Students and teachers involved with the ASL Clubs seems to be ready for the new school year and everything that’s planned to come.

“I’m very excited for this year, we did a lot of amazing great things last year. I can’t wait to see what happens this year,” Duggan said.

“I am stoked for this year. There is an incredible amount of students interested, and it warms all of our hearts. We are always excited to see students develop a passion for ASL and Deaf Culture,” Crow said.

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Deaf Culture Takes Hold of Brazoswood, Club Grows