Students at Millersville University (MU) have the unique opportunity to learn American Sign Language (ASL) through the ASL club, a student-run organization that focuses on providing resources for MU students and creating a more inclusive environment.
ASL is a visual language. Rather than focusing on verbally communicating, ASL focuses on the shape, placement and movement of hands as facial expressions and body movements convey information. Just like verbal languages, ASL has parameters, grammar, diverse vocabulary and dialects.
Club President Alyssa Matchett founded the organization after attending an ASL-focused social event created by two of her residential advisors. It sparked an interest to learn more. With a petition filled with signatures, Matchett’s club was approved in the fall 2018 semester.
“One hundred people actually came to the first meeting, which blew me away,” she said. “I’m so grateful I started the club.”
The club uses online resources and regularly collaborates with online community members to create programs each week. Meetings focus on a new lesson in ASL and promotes conversations about the deaf community.
“It is important that we create an inclusive environment for all. Deaf and hard-of-hearing people are brilliant, funny, creative individuals who just express themselves in different ways. We can all learn something if we adapt,” Matchett said.
The ASL club meets every Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in Room 132 in McComsey Hall. More information about the club can be found at https://getinvolved.millersville.edu/organization/asl or by contacting the club by email at MUASLClub@gmail.com.