Sign up for this new Language Club

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Mackenzie Moore (12) signs the alphabet. Moore took a class in fifth grade where she learned basic sign language and the pledge.

Mia Martinez

On Wednesday, Nov. 28th, club leader Taylor Robinson (12) started up the new American Sign Language Club. Robinson began her interest in sign language through Merit and when she was presented with the opportunity, she took it. Although it was only an introduction to the language, Robinson was able to fingerspell conversations with her friends sparking excitement.

“[In one instance at a Taco Bell] I saw a deaf couple trying to order food and they weren’t able to because no one in there knew sign language so they had to write it down. I don’t think that it was necessarily an embarrassing thing for them, but it was sad to see that it was their norm and I know that people know Spanish and French sometimes, but no one ever seems to know sign language unless they’re involved in a special education class,” Robinson said.

Robinson believes that due to the lack of knowledge on the deaf community, that the club would help in raising awareness and bringing the community together. This hits home for one student who joined the club.

“[I joined the club because] my dad is going deaf and he’s been at least partially deaf as long as I’ve been alive. So when he gets to a point when he is completely deaf, I’d still like to be able to talk to him. I think I could make it easier for him in public places and for translating purposes. I’d also just like to generally know how to do this because it’s nice to be able to communicate with everyone, not just people who speak English,” Mackenzie Moore (12) said.

Moore found out about the club through the previous Tribe TV episode and was joyous to see that students now have an opportunity to learn American Sign Language.

“I know that people won’t be able to be fluent in sign language by the end of this. I won’t be fluent in sign language by the end of this. I do think it would be really valuable though if we knew enough basic sign language [and] enough conversational sign language to where we can just communicate with the people around us, whether that’s helping them order food or just saying hi, asking how old they are, what their hobbies are and what they like to do in their spare time. Then from there, I’m hoping that this will spark people’s interest in the language and inspire them to take courses online and possibly pursue it in college,” Robinson said.