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ASL Tours:

"ASL tours" for the Deaf are tours of popular tourist attractions that are that are conducted in American Sign Language (either by signing docents or are interpreted) and are intended for Deaf participants.

ASL tours of Deaf exhibitions are generally "not" appropriate to use for "Deaf Event attendance assignments" for students.

Some of the reasons why such tours should not be used as class assignments:
* If Hearing students or other Hearing people attend an an ASL tour they might displace prospective Deaf attendees by taking up tour slots that that could have been assigned to Deaf people.
*  The participation of ASL students in an "ASL-tour for the Deaf" reduces the quality of the "Deaf space" and potentially reduces the enjoyment of the Deaf participants.  For example:  Deaf spaces provide valuable opportunities for Deaf people to meet other Deaf people.  If Deaf spaces are filled with Hearing people there are then fewer Deaf people available to meet.  If you go to the store looking for apples and a stock clerk filled up the apple section with oranges -- the apple section would be less valuable to someone looking for apples.

* If students ask the docent questions using rudimentary signing skills it slows down the tour and displaces potential questions from Deaf participants about topics or matters pertinent to Deaf people.

* If students behave badly or in a disruptive manner -- onlookers may mistakenly believe the students are Deaf and ascribe the behavior to Deaf people.  The administrators of the event will be less likely to want to sponsor ASL tours in the future.

Of course there can be win/win scenarios.  For example "special tour" sections could be set up to which students are "intentionally" welcome to attend.  It would be important to label such tours in a way that makes it clear there will be a variety of attendees.  An approach to this would be for an instructor or group of instructors to arrange special tours specifically for their class and then attend with the class and invite any Deaf who may be inclined to attend as long as it is clear that it is a class trip and will be full of Hearing students (prior to the Deaf person making the decision to attend).  Why is this a win?  It helps support Deaf artists!  Having well attended events means that an artist is more likely to be invited back or invited to other venues.




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