ASL Club immerses members in sign language

One of Craig’s growing organizations is the American Sign Language (ASL) club.

Math teacher Emily Knoerr is the advisor. Currently, the club has 28 members. 

A few years ago, some students asked Knoerr to start an ASL Club. 

She agreed to be the advisor immediately. 

“I was very excited to learn sign language,” she said.

They’re currently learning the alphabet, the colors, numbers, question words and some other common phrases and expressions.

“I am learning along with the students,” she said.

Her interest in ASL began after a shopping trip.

“One of my cashiers was deaf,” she said. “I froze because I didn’t know how to communicate with her. I felt awful.”

When she got home, she learned some basic signs, like “hello”, “thank you”, and “how are you?” “When I returned to the same store, I could communicate with her,” she said.

The club’s goal is to create a comfortable space for students to learn ASL with no judgment. Their students come in varying levels of knowledge about ASL. 

Knoerr said, “It’s fun to learn and teach each other.” 

ASL club is only on Monday from 3:30-4 PM in Room 522. All students are welcome to the ASL club. 

My Experiences as a Student Who Is Deaf

Before coming to Craig, I attended the Wisconsin School for the Deaf in Delavan, Wis.

I took some required classes like math, English, and other classes. But in that school, they can’t really provide some classes due to the small school and few numbers of students. 

It’s hard for us students who are deaf and in a hearing school. 

We have to use the interpreter to learn and it’s harder for me to understand because I can’t really be able to ask for help. 

I don’t really have enough access to some things, like watching YoutTube, writing notes, and other basic things that others can do with hearing. 

I was supposed to be born hearing, but I didn’t get enough oxygen and got sick. That’s how I got my hearing loss. 

I want other people to understand what it is like to be deaf. I just want others to treat me like other people. 

I don’t feel comfortable being called “hearing impaired.” This is because there is a history of people treating the deaf community horribly. People keep believing that we should not do some things because of our deafness. 

I’m not special or anything like that. I’m a very open book so feel free to ask any questions. 

Students can come up to me and write on paper or text to start the conversation or get to know about me. I love meeting new people and making new friends.