William Jessup Hosts Third Annual ASL Day for All

ROCKLIN, Calif. – William Jessup University’s American Sign Language (ASL) club will host “ASL Day for All” on Saturday, April 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the growing university.

This is the only ASL Expo in the Sacramento area. Proceeds benefit two camps for Deaf children and the William Jessup ASL program.

“This event is geared toward bringing the whole community together for a fun day to support the use of ASL for all ages,” said William Jessup ASL program head, Bobbi Long. “We want to invite the Deaf and Hearing communities to join Deaf organizations to educate, develop and support the use of ASL.”

The celebratory day kicks off with morning workshops from 10 a.m. to noon,  covering ASL skills building as well as Deaf history and culture topics. There ae 22 various workshops offered, including Deaf sports history and signs, biblical ASL signs, essential oils in ASL, and “Signs Across the World,” a video comparison of three different types of sign languages from American to Ukrainian to Norwegian. Other topics include connecting families with Deaf and Hard of Hearing children and teaching ASL at the high school and college level.

Other activities include children’s crafts and activities such as face painting, science magic shows, a photo booth, table vendors, informational booths, a raffle, and a silent challenge asking participants to be silent for at least one hour while they only utilize ASL to communicate.

In addition, William Jessup ASL students will host a silent challenge that includes a self-walking poster tour of notable Deaf individuals and culture. The entire event will be Deaf accessible with interpreters at each station and workshop.

More than 35 William Jessup ASL students will utilize skills they’ve learned in the classroom and get more real-life experience interacting with the Deaf community while working at the event. The William Jessup students have reached out to other students studying ASL as well.

“We’ve invited over 10 high school and college ASL programs to join us to help increase their skills,” Long added.

Throughout the year, William Jessup students have numerous opportunities to utilize their skills, having participated at events held at the Sacramento Zoo and various camp facilities. The students also have the experience of hosting chapel services on campus.

According to the Hearing Health Foundation, one in five Americans have hearing loss in at least one ear and three out of every 1,000 children are born deaf.

Long has been teaching ASL for more than 23 years and began William Jessup University’s program in 2015 with 17 students. Enrollment more than doubled during her second semester. Currently the program has over 60 students.

“One of the benefits of studying ASL and Deaf Culture is that most people will meet a deaf person at some point in their life,” Long said. “Following the completion of just one course in sign language, most people are able to communicate with a Deaf person at a basic level.”

The university currently offers a minor in American Sign Language (ASL) and an ASL concentration under the Liberal Arts degree program. The program provides students a unique opportunity to participate in the only Northern California ASL program that is Christ-centered.

ASL can benefit students in their personal and professional endeavors in any chosen field. Today, some of the largest employment fields for skilled ASL signers are in the areas of education, including teachers of the Deaf, teachers of students with speech and language challenges, teacher assistants and sign language interpreting.

Tickets are available at the event. Cost is $15 per person or $25 per family. Kids 10-and-under are free.

For information on William Jessup University, visit www.jessup.edu or call 916 577-2200.