Deaf awareness highlighted

Antonio Mendez

Cassandra McGowan, Reporter

International Deaf Awareness Week took place between Sept. 20-26, and the newly formed American Sign Language Club at Bakersfield College was out raising awareness for the deaf community.
The club hosted various activities throughout the week. They sold T-shirts Sept. 22 at their booth, which also had information regarding the deaf culture and famous deaf people. The club had their booth at BC’s Grow and Go event Sept. 23, held a bake sale outside of the entrance to the Campus Center on Sept. 24, and also hosted a movie night that featured an ASL movie called “In the Can” on Sept. 25.
These events were put on in order to raise money but also awareness for the club and for deaf people and their culture.
Lei Lani Davis, the president of the ASL club, who is majoring in Ppychology as well as ASL, said “It’s International Deaf Awareness Week around the world. It’s just a week to spread awareness for deaf people and deaf culture.”
Davis also said that the ASL club is a brand new club and the money raised during the events will be used to host larger events to bring more attention to the deaf community in Bakersfield and at Bakersfield College.
“Eventually, if we have a good amount of money, we want to be able to do maybe some charity for one of the deaf corporations here in Bakersfield,” said Davis.
Dulce Olivas, treasurer of the ASL club and liberal studies major, who is deaf, hopes that the forming of the ASL club will “bridge the gap” between the deaf and hearing communities.
The ASL club hopes to host more events in the future to keep on raising awareness.
Alex Vanderpool, inter-club council representative for the ASL club, an ASL major, said they have a raffle as well a deaf bingo night planned.
“We’re hoping to plan a barbecue for the middle of October,” he said. “We’re going to have a professional cook out there. He actually agreed to do it pro bono. He’s even bringing his professional pit.”