ASL workshop fosters inclusion

Kassidy Taylor

In efforts to bridge the gap between the hearing and deaf communities ULM students and faculty attended an introductory sign language workshop. The workshop was hosted by the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion on Monday. 

The event was in collaboration with Tracee Albert, a ULM alumna and occupational therapy graduate student. Albert is the founder of Feel Seen’s American Sign Language learning program. 

Albert designed Feel Seen to help educate the hearing community about how the deaf communicate to bring about a sense of togetherness. 

Albert began the workshop by teaching the audience to fingerspell. The deaf community often uses fingerspelling to describe proper nouns or words that may not have a designated sign. 

Then she moved on to beginner vocabulary by teaching the audience to sign greetings and other commonly used statements. Following Albert’s example, the participants practiced each sign. Everyone also learned the importance of facial expressions in sign language. Facial expressions add context to statements. 

Freshman psychology major Dylan Lyle was surprised by how much knowledge the short workshop offered. “We were able to learn so much in such a short amount of time,” Lyle said.

Though sign language may be hard to master, this workshop offered the community at ULM the unique opportunity to learn.

Pamela Saulsberry, the director for the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, was in attendance and she emphasized the importance of making sure people always feel they have a place at ULM.

“Having just a little bit of this knowledge, you could make a difference in someone’s life, and they will know that ULM is a place where they belong,” Saulsberry said.

The Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion has a recording for those who may have missed out on this workshop.