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American Sign Language: ASL Clubs

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Advice for ASL Club communication policies:

Dear ASL Club President,
Communication Approach:  Do not get hung up about a communication policy. Refuse to let it become an issue.  Simply set a goal to eventually be bilingual / bicultural to the extent that if a Deaf person showed up he or she would feel comfortable.
But remember a large part of the club's reason for being is to assist hearing newbies to pass their classes. So it is critical that if a hearing newbie showed up he or she would feel (reasonably) comfortable.
An idea: Officers are encouraged to practice their remarks prior to the meeting so they can sign them in ASL. Then a fellow officer interprets for them during the meeting.

An idea: With today's technology it would be relatively easy to have a "no-voice" meeting, but have someone type notes and project them onto a screen. That would allow the club to function in a signing environment but still help the newbies to know what is going on and not miss critical information.

Involvement and recognition:
Get each member of the club involved in something at each meeting so they walk away feeling like: I belong, I learned something, I contributed, they like me.

Decide what you are about and what you are not about.
Who is your audience? How do you serve them?
How do you get respect from the Deaf Community?
How do you get respect from the college?
10 years later looking back what do you remember about your involvement with this club.
10 years later looking back how did this club benefit your career or your life?
What sort of value do you provide your members? Documentation? Practice opportunities? Hand holding? Insider tips? Resources? Discounts? Materials?
What sort of value can your advisor provide? Expertise? How about the college? Rooms? Funding? Clout?
How can you set up major win/win scenarios? Provide free rooms for Deaf people to come present and earn money then split the proceeds? Set up video studio opportunities for Deaf "producers" to create products using your college's equipment then co-own the product and sell it for fund-raising? Provide name recognition by cosponsoring other organizations' activities? Provide advertising by using your college's media machine?
--Cordially,
Dr. Bill Vicars

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