Friday, April 13, 2012

Mix and Mingle event at RIT

I just came back  from a  fun and  enjoyable event “Mix and Mingle” at RIT ASL and deaf studies community center(RADCC). The event was organized by me and other student at RIT. It was sponsored by RADCC. Our main goal was to break the communication barriers and  encourage integration between deaf and hearing students at Rochester Institute of Technology. Our goal was to show that deaf and hearing  people can socialize and have fun with out difficulties.

We had fun games that everyone could enjoy with themselves. To break the communication barriers, we gave  papers and pen to those who don’t know ASL. This has enabled hearing and deaf to communicate by writing. This is what I usually do to communicate my friends and my coworkers who don’t know ASL. This way of communication has always been useful to me. In fact, I prefer communicating via note writing than communicating through interpreters when I am socializing with hearing people.

We “event facilitators”, typed on the computer with projector, so all people could see what we were typing. We put all the instructions of the games on the PowerPoint so that everyone could read it. I told people that to have a fair communication, I will not sign or voice. Instead I would  type everything on the board  and let everyone read it. This was so interesting, because we had many hearing students who did not know ASL.  No one felt left behind in the game unlike what happens most of the time when deaf and hearing people are in an event together. It was  great learning environment and everyone seemed enjoying  being there.  I was impressed how effective was to use this kind of communication.

One important thing that I learned tonight is that people just need encouragement to break the communication barriers between deaf and hearing. In fact, hearing and deafness cannot be a factor to separate our community  unless we want it to be so, specially at RIT which has a huge diversity students,. We should not let having a communication barriers stop us from socializing as community.  We are hoping to do more of this event in the campus. I hope a lot of deaf and hearing students in other colleges across the country could do too. This is  best way to educate people about sign language and the importance of the community integration.