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American Sign Language Club Promotes Inclusion

Bernadette Sembrano (left), Komal Sharma (middle), Alejandro Chan-Artiga (right)

By Krista Chouang
Co-Editor | The Pacific Times

The American Sign Language club is a new club that hopes to create a connection within members of their club through teaching people a way to communicate with the deaf community.

Founded by sophomores Bernadette Sembrano and Komal Sharma, American Sign Language club, also known as the ASL club, meets in H-4 on Friday during lunch or Thursday after school. The club is overseen by advisor Alejandro Chan-Artiga.

Chan-Artiga said he learned sign language in high school when he was bored so he could express himself in a different language.

Sembrano and Sharma do not know sign language themselves, but they started the club because they found ASL and signing interesting and wanted to learn it and teach others. They also wanted to be able to communicate with the deaf and hard of hearing community.

“I remember seeing a video of a deaf person going into a store and there wasn’t anyone who knew sign language,” said Sembrano. “I honestly just want more people to learn sign language in order to help and connect with the deaf community.”

Sembrano and Sharma plan to teach ASL using the same websites and videos Chan-Artiga used when he learned ASL, along with games and activities to help people practice their skills in a fun way.

“Every meeting we hope people take away at least one sign, so they can show others,” said Sharma.

The club’s meeting times are based on dividing the participants into two groups due to an abundance in members. The groups will alternate between meeting on Thursday for one hour after school and Friday during lunch. According to Sembrano and Sharma, this system is to ensure everyone learns the same amount of information and homework will be assigned only to those who miss meetings.

“There are definitely a lot of differences in availability now, since school is tough, so that’s why we added that homework requirement only if someone misses a meeting,” said Sembrano.

The club will begin meeting after conference week, during the week of Oct.18.

“We’ll do fun activities in the club and meet new people in a non-judgemental environment since we are all learning together and mistakes are okay,” said Sharma.

Join their Google classroom using the code bmo6kjo or contact Sembrano at [email protected], Sharma at [email protected], or Chan-Artiga at [email protected].

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