Quincy University’s Interpreter Training Program celebrated its 7th annual Deaf Awareness Week.
The group of students in the program started off the week with “ASL Only Monday.” Students were required to use only sign language all day in their classes and in any other conversations. Then Monday evening they hosted “ QU Signs @ The Abbey.” It was a silent dinner at the Abbey, which encouraged people to sign all their conversations. They also performed the National Anthem at QU’s homecoming football game.
“Students learned the National Anthem during class time and practiced with their group of three on their own. Every April we sign the National Anthem at the field at Busch Stadium at the Cardinals QU Alumni day,” QU’s Interpreter Training Program Director Jane Meirose said.
When preparing to perform the group members practice as many times as possible to make sure that everyone is in sync.
“Freshman year I would have told you yes signing the Anthem was hard, but after signing it for a few years, plus on the Cardinal field in front of the whole stadium, this was easy,” senior Micki Brehe said.
QU students are very involved in the Deaf community by attending on and off campus events. They host parties, silent suppers, movies all in ASL and attend monthly Deaf club meetings. The Quincy Deaf community supports the students in the classroom as well. Students are encouraged to sign with each other in the classes, halls and dorms.
“My senior year of high school I volunteered at a developmental preschool and they used sign language with the nonverbal students. I fell in love with the language and so here I am now getting a degree in it,” Brehe said.
The interpreting program’s next big event will be performing “Tarzan,” with the Quincy Community Theater, Feb. 2017.