Deaf Awareness Month
By: Belen Robles
September adopted a national awareness day for the deaf and hard of hearing. Specifically, September 20th through 29th was a week where communities were encouraged to educate people on how to better communicate with the hearing and deaf community.
Here at Ayala, deaf culture and sign language are exemplified through the American Sign Language (ASL) Program, ASL club, and Annual Variety Show. In levels 1 and 2 of the ASL program, the initial ban of sign language for deaf individuals to the first school utilizing sign language is just one of the many history lessons highlighted in the courses.
Also, the club constantly pushes the use of the language through unique games, silent dinners (where students go to a designated restaurant and communicate using only ASL for an hour), and participate in a club song for the annual variety show in March.
Social media platforms like Instagram have shown great support from its own Deaf community as they post encouraging reminders of what the month and day means to our deaf individuals. Snapchat has also taken to spreading Deaf awareness through various filters.
As social media and schools take advantage of their connections, awareness for all types of organizations and needs are made available. However, the ASL teacher here at Ayala still believes that a lot more can be done to spread the word aside from social media.
Ms. Marina Williams said, “Those without social media may have no clue what international day it is” and recommends “that posters and signs” should be all over the school, too. Although Deaf Awareness may be thriving on certain social platforms, it can still use an additional boost into the spotlight.