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The Beauty of ASL

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American Sign Language is defined as a visual language.

With signing, the brain processes information through the eyes. The shape, placement and movement of the hands, as well as facial expressions and body movements, all play important parts in conveying information when it comes to ASL.

All throughout Katy ISD, ASL club and classes are offered in school for students to actively participate in learning and appreciating the language and its importance.

Lindsey Fortney, the Morton Ranch High School ASL club sponsor, said it is so important to connect with those who don’t verbally speak.

“To me, educating people about the culture, giving them knowledge and proper terminology is so important,” she said. “And teaching them it is better to use deaf than hearing-impaired, because a lot of people use hearing-impaired to be politically correct or nice about it. But they prefer to be called deaf, because they are proud of it. The hearing world looks at it as a bad thing and it isn’t.”

There is a lot of tedious details that go into learning ASL, and a lot of time and patience to become fluent in the language and signing seamlessly. The students active in learning ASL love it, because it’s different than other languages offered at school.

Senior Elisabeth Lopez loves the language because of its uniqueness.

“I wanted to be different and not be like everyone else,” said Lopez. “It really caught my eye when I would watch students sign the national anthem before football games, and I knew then I wanted to be a part of it. The language has always captivated me. I love learning it, and I’ve had a lot of fun.”

To celebrate the students with exemplary grades and extraordinary progress in learning the language, MRHS offers the ASL Honor Society. Being initiated into this group of students is a high honor. They hold themselves to high expectations and only want to continuously improve and encourage other ASL students to do the same.

Senior Alexandra Rizzo said being involved in a different community is very important.

“I wanted to do something different, and I feel like with other people who can’t communicate or have a hard time communicating with words should have a way to easily speak with others without the need of verbal words,” said Rizzo. “No one should have to be divided because of a language barrier, so I think it is amazing to be inclusive and to be a part of it.”

Teaching students that they can make a difference in the lives of those who are deaf is important, and it has made a huge impact on the way this generation views the deaf community.

Those who are different deserve the right to freely communicate and have access to ASL classes. More students are encouraged to expand their knowledge in diversity and the beauty of ASL.

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The Beauty of ASL