I attended the Deaf Coffee Night held in the Starbucks at the Outlets of Orange. At the event, a combination of ASL, SEE, the use of facial expressions, and improvised sign as means of communication between hearing people, ASL students, Deaf people, and casual Starbucks patrons. The intricacies of Deaf culture that differentiates itself from the hearing world made itself known through subtle differences in interaction. To exemplify, groups conversing congregated in circles, as opposed to arbitrary seating arrangements, individuals tapped each other on the shoulder or waved politely to get another’s attention, and eye contact was unbroken throughout conversations. To my knowledge, an interpreter was not present at the event within the timeframe I attended. Despite the lack of an interpreter, I feel as if I understood introductory and basic conversational signs such as “Hello”, “How are you”, and “Nice to meet you”. Unfortunately, I did not feel comfortable nor confident enough in my knowledge of ASL to sufficiently carry a conversation using sign. However, as there were large amounts of ASL students attending the event, the general atmosphere was open and amiable, with Deaf people gladly engaging ASL students in conversation. Through the event, I have learned that the distinction between an ASL student’s and a Deaf person’s signing is easily made, for Deaf people sign with natural ease, whereas most ASL students at the event signed slower and more deliberately, weighing their words with a slight deer in the headlights look. This event is unlike hearing people events in that the atmosphere is influenced by Deaf culture, with ASL being the primary form of communication between individuals.
The Deaf Event:
You are required to attend one Deaf event each semester. Deaf events will be announced and posted in class or on our class website. If you are aware of an alternative Deaf event, it must be pre-approved.One Page Reaction Paper:
Reaction paper must be typed 12 pt., double spaced. ( /5)
Include the date and location of the event. ( /5)
Must include proof of attendance! I.E. – ticket stub, receipt, etc. ( /5)
You are there to observe sign language and Deaf culture. This is what your one page reaction paper is about. Do NOT include a summary of a performance, movie or tell me what you ate.
Things to Look for:
Communication styles (ASL, SEE, and facial expressions) ( /5)
Cultural behavior: How did they get someone’s attention, say hello and goodbye, interrupt conversation, order food, applaud, was the environment loud or quiet etc.? ( /5)
Was there an interpreter at the event? How did they utilize the interpreter? What was the interpreter wearing? Did you observe any other behaviors between the interpreter and the deaf? ( /5)
Were you able to understand any signs? Which ones? ( /5)
Did you sign with anyone? How did they react to a hearing student learning ASL? ( /5)
What did you learn from this experience? ( /5)
How was this deaf event DIFFERENT from any other events (all hearing people)? ( /5)
The Deaf event paper is due by the Friday following the event. Attach your paper to this handout with the event information filled out below.