By Amir Q. Lewis
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – The Camden County College ASL Club on Nov. 18 hosted a Sign & Switch event for club members, friends, relatives and sign language users to meet and converse in American Sign Language.
The event, which drew about 30 participants, began with guests signing and then sitting in lined-up chairs resembling a speed dating situation. The guests ranged from teenagers to adults, all with varying knowledge of sign language. After every three minutes, the guests rotated to talk to someone else. Because the guests came from different classes, homes and schools, some had to go through introductions before getting into detailed conversations.
After this, the participants played sign games. The first game was a sign variation of whisper down the lane, a game that shows how words can be twisted when told from person to person. In this variation of the game, everyone signed to the next person. As in the spoken variation of the game, the messages got changed as they moved down the lane.
After this, the participants were served pizza.
Finally, everyone broke into smaller groups to play more ASL games and to talk to one another.
ASL Club President Amanda Brielle Adens said through a translator, club adviser Kathy Earp, that she wanted to make sure everyone who came felt welcomed and had fun. She stated she’s planning more events for the spring semester, including an interest meeting. In December, she said club members will be collecting clothes to donate to deaf people in Haiti.
The ASL Club has hosted the Sign & Switch event every semester since 2008. The club was founded in 1990.