Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Brashear Kids Learn to Sign

This Fall, at ALEC, students are learning a new way to communicate. Michelle Walker, the founder of Lend an Ear, is teaching our students American Sign Language through interactive instruction. Let’s give Michelle a big welcome!

On the first day of this new series of programming, Michelle entered the room and our students had so many questions they couldn’t sit still. Michelle, being hard of hearing herself, was excited to share personal stories and answer as many questions as she could for them.

Michelle explained to our students that she needed everyone to be quiet and to look at her when they speak. She said this is very important when speaking to someone who is hard of hearing, because loud noises distract and make it harder to decipher who is talking and what is being said. And by looking at her, students can be sure that they are being heard because Michelle reads lips! How awesome!

Next came the questions. Our students were quite curious to learn as much as they could. A few questions they asked included:
“How does someone become deaf?”
“Were you born deaf?”
“Are your children hard of hearing?”
Michelle shared her story, and explained that someone can become deaf or hard of hearing by a number of ways. Someone may experience trauma, be born that way, or lose hearing from listening to loud music. Students were shocked they can lose their hearing from listening to loud music with their headphones!

The next time Michelle visited, she began to teach our students how to sign in American Sign Language. This day we began with the alphabet.

First, students started slowly, spending a minute on each letter until everyone got it right.

Then, she picked up the pace and went a little faster. Students learned a couple funny sayings to remember some letters. “P is a K taking a nap.” “Q is a little bit, upside down!”

Finally, we all went through the alphabet at normal speed, which was really fast for us new learners!

The students can’t wait to learn more sign language from Michelle at Lend an Ear. Thanks Michelle!
You can find Lend an Ear Consulting on Facebook!

- Corey

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