By Briana Woodruff
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – The American Sign Language Club, also known as the ASL Club, will debut family friendly entertainment on the life experiences with deaf parents through comedy, music and skits at Holiday ASL Palooza on Dec. 14 at Camden County College.
Chris Bahl, Wink and Keith Wann will infuse an amalgam of inspiration, humor and real life occurrences all people will relate to.
In 18th century France, sign language for the deaf became systemized by Abbot Charles-Michel I’Epee. French Sign language (FSL), as it became known, was then introduced to the United States by American School for the Deaf founder Thomas Gallaudet. Gallaudet fostered the growth of ASL and developed concepts and hand gestures.
Although ASL is thought to be contrary to spoken language, both languages grow over time, deleting or adding vocabulary. American Sign Language, however, does not imitate what it represents. For instance, the sign for dog can be demonstrated as slapping the right hand against the leg and then snapping one’s fingers.
Today, in the United States alone, more than 2 million people are deaf, meaning they are unable to hear without the use of a hearing aid or another device. However, thanks to ASL, both those who are deaf or hearing impaired as well as interpreters can communicate descriptive phrases and hand symbolism that are just as vivid as vocal language.
According to UCLA, ASL is the fourth most frequently studied language on U.S. campuses. The introduction of ASL instruction has spiked since 1998, giving the course an 800 percent jump.
Even CCC offers a two-year transfer program, which teaches hard of hearing, deaf and future interpreter students about American Sign Language.
Holiday ASL Palooza will take place at 7 p.m. Dec. 14 in the Dennis Flyer Theatre in Lincoln Hall on the Blackwood campus of Camden County College. All are welcome, even those who know little or no American Sign Language, for a voice interpreter will be present. Advance tickets can be purchased for $10 in room 202A in the Connector Building. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the event for $15.
For more information, please contact Catherine Poston at 856-373-5010.