Deaf Awareness Month celebrated on campus

Ms. Brittos ASL 2 class learning a lesson on ASL culture.

Emerson Muise

Ms. Britto’s ASL 2 class learning a lesson on ASL culture.

Emerson Muise, Staff Writer

American Sign Language has become a popular class on campus, even though it has only been here for 21 years. To educate people on sign language, the Deaf Community created Deaf Awareness Month, which is celebrated all throughout the month of September. 

“To celebrate Deaf Awareness month, we’ve done a couple different lessons. The students have read an article about Deafness to give them better understanding and perspective as hearing people. They learned about the 1988 Deaf President Now history movement in Washington D.C at Galludet University,” said ASL 1 Teacher Shannon Heller. 

Bringing awareness to the Deaf Community started in 1958 with the Deaf Community creating Deaf Awareness Week, September 18th-24th. In 1977, Deaf Awareness Month was officially recognized as a national holiday. 

“ASL first came to Amador in 2001[in my senior year. I didn’t take it then because they weren’t selling it as colleges would definitely accept it. Now, all of our courses that we offer are accepted,” said Heller. 

Around 250 students at Amador take ASL, but less than 1% of the U.S population knows ASL. With 3.5% of Americans being Deaf, the ability to learn sign language outside of school is limited. But it is certainly not impossible. 

“An important thing I have learned about the Deaf community is that it’s actually really similar to the hearing community and it’s really important to incorporate both in [your] daily life,” said ASL 4 student Sonni Gallo (‘23). 

In a world of sound, hearing people can help the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community by educating themselves about what it truly means to be Deaf. The more Deafness is discussed, the more typical it will become for Hearing and Deaf people to interact. 

“What I hope people can take away from Deaf Awareness Month and the Deaf community is awareness to access. Access to communication and language and captions,” said Heller.