Learning With ASL Club!


Art/Photo by Luciana Gonzalez

Learn about the deaf and hearing impaired community with ASL club! They meet every other Thursday and practice ASL and engage in different activities and volunteer opportunities.

Luciana Gonzalez, Staff Writer

   Words, for most of us, have always been our way to communicate verbally with each other. But what about those who are not able to communicate verbally? Well, since its introduction in the 17th century, American Sign Language (ASL) has become the deaf and hearing impaired community’s way of communication. The world has also become a more inclusive place with the teaching and learning of ASL. 

    Six West High girls, Pranati Anna (10), Rithika Yalla (10), Hridhya Sakumaran (10), Samprita Chakraborty (10), Niharika Avvari (10) and Rachana Jestadi (10), saw the need and importance of teaching others ASL and created the ASL club. West High’s vision statement reads “Warriors will graduate balanced, well-rounded, contributing members of society.” This club is teaching students how to be “contributing members of society,” how to help, include, and work together with those around them even if it means learning new skills to accommodate their needs. 

   ASL club promotes the inclusiveness of the deaf community. “Our club is to spread awareness and advocate for the deaf and hearing impaired,” ASL Club’s Publicist Niharika Avvari (10) explained. Members of this club have relatives who are part of the deaf and hearing impaired community. So they know how important it is to become educated on how this community communicates, live their lives, and how we can help them out. “We want to help the [deaf and hearing impaired] and give them a voice,” Avvari added. 

   Besides learning ASL, students also get to participate in volunteer opportunities. “We are planning on actually going to the deaf hearing impaired community … and physically see how their lives are and interact with them one on one,” noted Treasurer Samprita Chakraborty (10). ASL club is not just a language club but also a service club. 

   As reported by the National Center for Health Statistics about 37 million deaf and hard of hearing individuals live in the United States. For so long, deaf and hearing impaired communities haven’t been given the importance they deserve. Learning about ASL and the community it serves will help students become more sensitive and aware of the issues regarding these communities. ASL club strives to reinforce the idea that it is important to learn how to communicate with the deaf and hearing impaired because they are an important part of our society. “They usually have a small group of people that they can talk to and by learning this [ASL] we are allowing them to have more people to talk to,” Co-President Rithika Yalla (10) explained. Diversity and inclusion are what make our student environment a friendly and safe one.      

   If you think this is something you would enjoy doing, don’t hesitate, and join ASL club. They meet every other Thursday in room 5108. Also, follow them on Instagram @westaslclub.