COC’s American Sign Language club continued its week full of activities by hosting a dodgeball match on campus. Club members hoped their busy week, filled with flash mobs and comedy tours, would bring awareness to American Sign Language and the Deaf Culture.
Unlike the comedy tour, which featured one of the Deaf community’s biggest celebrities, Keith Wann, the dodgeball event was much more intimate. But according to the club president, Jessica Baca, the magnitude of the event is not what’s important.
“What matters is that people show up and get involved,” Baca said. “No matter the event, the goal is to expose people to the Deaf world, and I think and hope we do that successfully at every event.”
Admission to the dodgeball event was free, meaning anyone was welcome to walk in and participate. But what about those who only participated for the dodgeball, rather than showing an interest in sign language? Well, from ASL professor Brittany Applen’s perspective, “That’s totally fine.”
“That’s the whole purpose. That’s how you get the word out about anything,” said Applen. “If you have something that you want to raise awareness to, then you associate it with an activity that will attract people- and when they show up, they become exposed to it, and that’s how you get your support.”
COC’s ASL club continues to thrive as one of the college’s most successful programs, thanks in part to possessing a large Deaf community within the Santa Clarita Valley.