July 19, 2018

Cayman Islands: Second cohort graduate from American Sign Language Course

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The hard work and application needed to master a new skill has paid off for several students who have passed an American Sign Language () course thanks to the Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS).

The nine graduates of this year’s Intermediate ASL Level 1 programme included staff from the Ministry of Community Affairs and the Ministry of Education, teachers, one teacher’s aide and nine-year-old Red Bay Primary School student Ronald Simpson. The graduation ceremony on Thursday, 5 July was held at George Town, Town Hall.

Taught by Norma Ferryman, the course ran from October 2017 to June 2018. Course content comprised of a number of modules including mastering a range of gestures, handshapes, movements and facial expressions. The students also learnt basic greetings, introductions, farewells and expressions of courtesy.

In the ceremony’s opening address, DCFS Senior Social Worker Leanora Wynter-Young said that ASL is the fourth most studied modern language in American universities. She advised attendees that this was the second cohort to enroll and to date 30 candidates had successfully completed the course, which was set up by the Department to better serve the local hearing-impaired community.

Ministry of Community Affairs Chief Officer, Teresa Echenique, congratulated the graduates and extended her appreciation to Mrs. Ferryman for sharing her talent and taking time out of her busy schedule to teach these classes. She encouraged the graduates to use their newly-learnt language and inspire others to learn ASL. “To gain proficiency in any new language is challenging but is always a highly rewarding and culturally-enriching achievement,” she said. “I commend you all on your determination and dedication and am certain that the benefits of being able to sign will make a great difference to the lives of those in our community who can now access your skills.”

“Mastering the rudiments of signing is empowering and increases the emotional intelligence of learners,” noted DCFS Director Felicia Robinson. “Knowing sign language is an invaluable asset for anyone whose job involves interacting with members of the public, as several of my staff fully appreciates.”

The graduates signed songs using their newly-acquired language and received their graduation certificates from Ms Echenique.

“As a teacher’s aide, I feel blessed not only for being given the opportunity to better interact with hearing-impaired students but also for the enormous sense of achievement learning ASL has given me,” said . “I can honestly say that the course was well worth the effort and signing will add to the learning and teaching strategies I already use both in a classroom setting and outside of it.”

The Intermediate ASL Level 1 Class of 2018 included Tamara Davis, Ronald Dylan Simpson, Lorna Palmer, Florence Solomon, Leisa Welcome, Idania Simpsom, , Dalacia Wright and Suzette Donaldson.

 

 

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  1. […] Source: Cayman Eye News The hard work and application needed to master a new skill has paid off for several students who have passed an American Sign Language (ASL) course thanks to the Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS). The nine graduates of this year’s Intermediate ASL Level 1 programme included staff from… Link: Cayman Islands: Second cohort graduate from American Sign Language Course […]

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