In the United States, American Sign Language is the third most widely-used language after English and Spanish.
American Sign Language is taught at The University of Akron through several courses with a wide range of instructors. There are also deaf culture courses students can take, but aside from these, there’s ASL Club here on campus that is a fun and interactive way for students to learn American Sign Language.
ASL Club welcomes all levels of signing experience and members encourage everyone to come and learn a new language. So if you have no background with ASL, if you’re a fluent signer, or if you’re somewhere in between, everyone is welcome to attend meetings.
“The purpose of ASL Club is to have a different way of learning rather than just in the classroom setting. We try our best to relate what ASL students are learning in the classroom with what we do in club meetings to have them learn in different and fun ways. At meetings, we play games, socialize with all members, learn relevant signs (holiday signs around the holidays, etc.), study for finals, and can answer any questions students or general members have for us,” President of ASL Club, Jack Weber, said.
Attending meetings is free of cost, however, if you want to become a full member the cost is $5 per semester. This $5 fee will enter you into a raffle for a gift card and allow you to vote in elections and run for office if you wanted.
President Jack Weber and other members have a lot of exciting plans for this year. One of the most anticipated events is signing the National Anthem at a Zips football game this semester and welcoming a signing choir for a holiday choir performance.
“We also plan to attend ‘Deaf Night Outs’ as a club to socialize with the deaf community in a more relaxed setting at Summit Mall, Buffalo Wild Wings and Panera Bread all in the Akron area. These give students a more conversational setting rather than just learning vocabulary words in a classroom,” Jack Weber said.
Perhaps the most exciting event for ASL Club, “Deaf Prom” is a night filled with dancing, food, music loud enough to feel with lyrics on screen, ASL focused games and fun all around for everyone.
Meetings are in room 312 of the Student Union at The University of Akron. Meetings will be held at 8:00 p.m. on the first and last Tuesday of each month. The dates for meetings this upcoming semester are Sept. 5, Sept. 26, Oct. 10, Oct. 24, Nov. 7, Nov. 21 and Dec. 6.
For more information and to keep up to date with news about meetings and events, follow the ASL Club on Twitter at @ASL_Akron and like their page “ASLA (University of Akron)” on Facebook.