By Alex Broecker
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Camden County College’s American Sign Language Club on Nov. 29 hosted Sign & Switch, an event that connected deaf people to hearing students who are learning American Sign Language. Twelve people attended.
“The Sign and Switch ASL Club event has existed for over three years and takes place once a year,” Kerry Ceccanecchio, the deaf/hard of hearing program adviser, said before the event, which took place from 6 to 8 p.m. in the cafeteria. “Even though there is a smaller number of people this year, we are going to make sure to have a great time. The one thing we concentrate the most on for events like this is having people socialize with others whom they have never interacted with before.”
At 6:30 p.m., Ceccanecchio introduced a game called The Elephant by signing and speaking aloud to the attendees. The Elephant requires players to stand in a circle while one person stands in the middle. The person in the middle must point to a person standing around him in the circle, then the person being pointed at must give the sign for an elephant while the two people standing next to the “elephant” must give the elephant ears with their hand. Whoever does not follow the rules is kicked out of the circle.
At 7 p.m., Ceccanecchio instructed everybody in a game called Sign Charades. Students must sit across from each other while taking turns signing to the other. When the timer buzzes, students must move to a different seat to play the game with a different person.
Ceccanecchio said she ordered pizza and prepared drinks and snacks for the participants as a reward for attending the event.
Kayden Torres-Elwell, a freshman student enrolled in the ASL program, said she enjoyed the event. “It’s always great to interact with other people and everyone always has a different story to tell. The people are really nice and understanding even if you don’t sign very well,” Torres-Elwell said. “I plan on taking ASL 2 next semester to increase my fluency in the language. I have made a few friends through these events, thought I won’t name anyone specifically. They are very cool to hang out with and practice signing with, especially because they can correct your signing, so it becomes a learning experience.”