Deaf Day

      On Deaf Day, the hearing students at George Ranch pretended to be deaf for an entire school day to raise awareness of those who are hearing impaired. The students of the American Sign Language teacher Ms. Laura Bailes took on the responsibility to stay quiet from 8:15 a.m. to 3:40 p.m. If their fellow students wanted to converse with the students, they had to “talk to the hands.”  Karson Land designed t-shirts with this phrase on the back to keep the staff and the student body aware of Deaf Day. Not only is this to raise awareness, but it’s also a major class assignment. Ms. Bailes made earplugs available to the students, which gave them an effect of mild hearing loss. To make sure the students did not verbalize while in class, teachers signed a green log sheet.

      After the school day was over, they were allowed to talk. For some, this was a very hard task but for others it is pretty normal to stay quiet all day long.

      “I felt it was a good learning experience, because we got to experience how deaf people feel,” said freshman Alyssa Boulier.

      If you think about it from a deaf person’s point of view, they physically cannot talk all day for the rest of their lives. The only way to communicate with them is through sign language. Some students liked the concept of a real-life assignment to help them understand how those who are hearing impaired must communicate, as well as how they feel when they are around hearing people.

      “For the most part I felt my students took deaf day seriously, I heard quite a few positive comments from other teachers about how students were using ASL to communicate, it forced them to use the language instead of relying on their voices,” said Mrs. Bailes.

      “It was a good experience because we got to feel how deaf people communicate,” said freshman Haylie Devine. Deaf Day was a unique assignment that students in American Sign Language get to participate in annually.