San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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March 24th, 2008
American Sign Language Club hosts Deaf World 2008

By Philip Hadley
The Texas State University-San Marcos American Sign Language Club is hosting Deaf World 2008 on March 25, at 5 p.m. in the LBJ Student Center Ball Room. The event’s purpose is to spread awareness of the language and culture of the deaf community.

The event will feature an expo of sign language clubs from Austin and San Antonio. The “Battle of the Hands” competition will begin at 6 p.m. Groups will have the opportunity to use American Sign Language to sign their favorite songs and win prizes.

Comedian Keith Wann will perform his headlining act at 7 p.m. Wann is a well-known comedic figure in the deaf community. His performance, entitled “Watching Two Worlds Collide,” is based on his experience growing up hearing in a deaf household. He uses sign language during his act with the help of a voice interpreter.

Rudie Spigarelli, a pre-physical therapy junior and sign language club president, encouraged everyone to attend and discover the little know but prevalent culture.

“Deaf culture is a whole culture within the U.S., with its own language and individual communities,” Spigarelli, a Manor native, said. “It’s a collectivistic culture with its own history and popular icons. Anyone can experience Deaf culture because it’s in every city.”

Spigarelli promises an experience that will appeal to all people and an opportunity to learn sign language.

“Deaf World would be great for anyone, from people who have never heard of Deaf culture, to Deaf people,” Spigarelli said. “If you’re interested in learning more about Deaf culture or sign language, Deaf World is the place to do it. It’ll be very communication-friendly for everyone.”

The American Sign Language Club has weekly meetings every Wednesday night. It is a social club where members can come and use sign language or learn it.

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