Communication is absolutely vital--complex language skills are part of what make us human! And while Deaf people are a relatively small percentage of the global population, there is a large number of us right here in DC. We come from all over the world to attend what is, for now, the only Deaf university on the planet, Gallaudet. The likeliness that you will encounter a Deaf person here in Washington DC is greater than most other places. Knowing this, how beneficial would it be to be able to have some access to our language?
Starting in November, I will be teaching two ASL classes at Freed Bodyworks, one specifically for healers and wellness professionals, and another for the general public. Deaf individuals, especially those who also identify as LBGTQ, people of color, trauma survivors, or as part of other minority groups, have just as a great a need for safe, inclusive spaces oriented towards non-judgmental wellness and healing as our hearing counterparts. Language barriers can make fostering new relationships difficult, whether with professionals, or with potential new friends or associates.
Breaking down language barriers to foster friendship and healing is an incredible goal, but it’s not the only reason to take an ASL class. ASL is a proven tool for teaching young children language. Babies who learn to sign have better language capabilities than babies who don't, and becoming bilingual early can increase your level of opportunity later in life. For adults there are additional perks--being able to understand conversations at a distance or in a loud environment can be surprisingly useful. And, not gonna lie, being able to have private conversations in public doesn’t suck either.
There are so many reasons to come learn ASL at Freed, including wine. Did I mention there is going to be wine? Our general interest class, Sip and Sign, just might be the first ASL class that is set up to encourage learning while enjoying a glass of vino (or coffee--no pressure, no judgment). And while it definitely is not the only LGBTQ- or POC-friendly ASL class out there, where better to learn to sign then in a space that we have already made our home?
Sip & Sign is a 35-week class, beginning in November and held at 5:30 on most Fridays. It is broken in two levels which each class designed to be set up by subject. The first three classes are a foundational, so it’s highly recommended that you attend all three, but after that you can miss a class and not worry about falling behind. The foundational three classes will be offered again in the middle of the 35 weeks for those folks who missed the intro and still want to participate! The class will be priced on a sliding scale.
As mentioned, I will also be offering a two-part class specifically for health and wellness practitioners. This class is going to focus on getting your Deaf client from the door, through the session, and out again without having to rely on note passing. Basic ASL courses could take months to get to the specific vocabulary you use at work, so this class is designed with you in mind. ASL for Healers is happening on two Fridays, at 5:30, in November and costs $40.
Additional details to come! Sign up for our weekly events email to get the details straight in your inbox.