The Jacksonville Area Center for Independent Living is offering the public the opportunity to be a little more inclusive and learn more about some of their neighbors.
JACIL is again offering a Spring round of American Sign Language (ASL) classes in February and March.
Roger Deem with JACIL says that the classes are a great opportunity for residents to not only learn more about the people they live with, but learning ASL could also lead to employment opportunities as well.
“It’s becoming more important all the time as the deaf community is pushing forward on wanting communications to be more smooth within the public sector. And there is a growing need for American Sign Language interpreters, which is actually a very lucrative field for those who want to get into it. There are a lot of restaurants and businesses that are hiring people that will have more ASL skills so that they can communicate with customers. In this particular area it is very important because we have a large deaf population here.”
The first session will be at the ASL I level for beginners. Deem says that the class offers more to learn than just the basic signs and alphabet in ASL.
“The ASL I classes will focus on basic American Sign Language signs, the word order, common functional usage of sign language, and the class includes making introductions, exchanging information, talking about family and activities, and include the discussion of characteristics of the deaf community and deaf culture.”
Classes will be held on Tuesdays from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. February 11 through March
21 at the JACIL office located at 15 Permac Road in Jacksonville.
The cost for the class is $134.85 for the class which includes the book that is used in both level 1 and level 2.
Deem says that the Level II class continues the lessons learned in Level I, but goes much more in depth into ASL signing.
The first ASL II class will be held Thursday, February 13, 6:00 – 7:45 p.m., then all other ASL II classes will be held on Tuesdays, 6:00 – 7:45 p.m., February 18 through March 31. The cost for the level 2 class is $40.00.
To register for classes or for more information about the program, contact the JACIL office at (217) 245-8371