by Connor Vasu
Students enrolled in American Sign Language classes and student participants in the EDCO Program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing shared their experiences and stories during a Deaf Culture Day presentation yesterday F-block in the little theatre. Junior Brian Podlisny moderated the panel.
Most of the EDCO students on the panel described the tumultuous education and life they had before coming to this school.
Senior Kelly Gomez said, “The services at my old school were awful. Sometimes I didn’t have an interpreter, and the teachers never had any patience. As a result, I didn’t have many friends. The best decision I ever made was to come to this school.”
Senior Reginald Joesph originally went to the Horace Mann school in Allston, and then transferred to this school because Horace Mann was not up to his educational standards. Horace Mann did not have the interpreters or services necessary to properly educate deaf students.
Then, a group of four students who are currently taking ASL spoke. ASL is a language class offered at this school for all grade levels.
Sophomore Sunny Lehmann said, “This class has opened a new world for me. Now, when the deaf students come to the class, that’s really neat that I can communicate with them.”
For junior Kyle Hartman, learning ASL has “allowed me to become friends with so many people.”
Hartman also cleared up a common misconception among hearing students. “Many people don’t know that there are many different sign languages, the same as hearing languages,” he said.
The four students on the panel all recommended the ASL classes. Junior Eliana Accomazzi said, “I decided to take the ASL class because I knew a lot of the students. It’s been a wonderful class. I would recommend it for any of you.”
At the end of the presentations, the crowd clapped with jazz hands, the sign language form of applause, creating an inclusive atmosphere for all of the students in the little theatre.