Written by Grandview Kids Speech Language Therapy Assistant (SLTA), Nicole N.
On September 23, we recognize and continue to raise awareness of the use of sign languages around the world, the importance of protecting the linguistics surrounding it, and respect for deaf individuals and their culture. Today there are over 300 different sign languages used globally within the Deaf communities. For this, we celebrate ‘The International Day of Sign Languages.’
This day is not only significant to deaf individuals but also to those who are allies in the Deaf community. Here at Grandview Kids, I take great pride in being an ally by educating others about the Deaf community, being an advocate for equality of language rights and sharing my knowledge of using American Sign Language (ASL). In 2019, I graduated from George Brown College with the American Sign Language and Deaf Studies Program, which taught about past and current social issues the Deaf community faces, how to communicate through ASL, and provided practical opportunities to connect Deaf individuals within the surrounding community.
In my role as a Speech Language Therapy Assistant at Grandview Kids, I am able to share my ASL skills and experiences with clients, families and colleagues working in the Infant Hearing Program (IHP) and Preschool Speech and Language Program (PSL). This unique language allows for inclusive learning and can include a total communication approach, meaning finding communication methods that work for each individual, which can include ASL signs.
Within a session, I can connect with caregivers, families and clients to provide and model specific ASL signs/words to support clients’ communication for requesting, commenting and protesting, as well as provide a language-rich environment that can transfer outside of the sessions to daily opportunities. Supporting clients’ independence and confidence to communicate through ASL, watching vocabulary grow and develop from sign approximations to 1-word signs and move into 2+ word signing combinations is something I am grateful to watch and experience.
ASL will continue to be an ongoing learning journey for me as I grow personally and professionally, which I am proud to share within Grandview Kids!
Check out more Grandview Kids articles
- World Teachers’ Day
- October is Islamic History Month
- World Cerebral Palsy Day
- Grandview Kids and Ontario Tech University secure prestigious research grant
- International Sign Language Awareness Day