ACU will offer American Sign Language in the fall of 2016 for the first time in a decade through the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.
The American Sign Language course will be offered to all students interested in learning the language and culture. It will provide students with the opportunity and ability to communicate with people who do not have the ability to hear or speak.
“It helps meet the mission and promise of the university,” said Dr. Terry Baggs, chair of the communications sciences and disorders department. “It will provide necessary skills to pre-professional students who will likely meet deaf individuals in the future profession.”
ASL has not been offered on campus since 2007. As a result, students who wanted to take the course took it at Hardin-Simmons University. ASL is currently not considered a foreign language credit but will provide students with a skillset that can be used in many different situations.
“ASL is the language of a culture so unique, it provides its users a perspective so unlike their own,” said Cassandra Knutson, instructor of the ASL course.
Each class will review signing the letters of the alphabet to spell words out and review old signs and phrases as well as new ones. ASL courses will show videos of signers, open students’ eyes to deaf culture, and will require students to practice signing inside and outside of the classroom.
“American Sign Language is a ‘pass’ to make faces, hand shapes and movements you would typically feel silly doing,” Knutson said.
The course is expected to grow in popularity within the ACU student population and offer a new experience for most students.
For further information on the ASL course at ACU, contact an academic adviser or the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.