For the third year, Western has hosted Deaf City: an event made to raise awareness of the (D)deaf culture. As part of their class, ASL 435 students are in charge of hosting this event for students of WOU as well as community members from the surrounding area, who are encouraged to participate whether they have any signing experience or not!
In order to raise awareness, booths are set up from various organizations from on and off campus!
Here’s a list of the fun booths!
Gestures Booth: A booth where we played games using only gestures (like charades!) to communicate something! Did you know that 1/3 of American Sign Language is made up of gestures?!
ASL School: This booth had students from the Oregon School for the Deaf (OSD) teaching beginner and intermediate signers useful signs! For more advanced signers, there was ASL trivia to be answered!
Deaf Blind Booth: Ever wonder what it would feel like to be Deaf and Blind, like Helen Keller? At this booth, I was blindfolded and then my hands guided into bags with mysterious things inside! My goal was to guess (by signing, of course because I’m deaf, as well as blind now) what I was touching!
World Wide Booth: Is ASL used worldwide? Let me give you a hint…AMERICAN Sign Language 🙂 Did you catch it? At this booth we learned how to fingerspell our names in Brazil Sign Language (BSL)! It was VERY different from what I’m used to!
History Booth: This booth gave us a brief history of how ASL came to be and where it has gone from there to become what we know it as today!
Deaf Media: Before the event, ASL students from Western were asked to compile their favorite YouTube clips of their favorite Deaf performers and artists. During the event, these well-loved videos were playing on the projection screen for everyone to see!
Photo Booth: How can life be complete without taking a silly picture with silly props!? Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten my picture back yet so it couldn’t make it into this post!
This event was a great way to let people know how amazing American Sign Language is, as well as how great Deaf Culture is! I can’t wait until next year’s Deaf City!
By Gabrielle Boyle