The SUNY New Paltz American Sign Language (ASL) Club held it’s second movie night of the semester on December 3, 2016. The movie shown was “The Hammer” – the biographical film of Matt Hamill, the first Deaf wrestler to win a National Collegiate Wrestling Championship. ASL Club movie night audiences tend to be students fascinated by Deaf culture and American sign language, with occasional attendance from members of the Deaf community. For the movie night events, the ASL Club selects movies where the protagonist is a Deaf individual. This is done not only to show Deaf individuals’ use of sign language but also to demonstrate what Deaf life is like, and what better way than to do so from the perspective of a Deaf protagonist?
The ASL club has also shown “The Miracle Worker” – the classic story of Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan. These two movies portray the frustration, struggles, and great achievements of two vastly different Deaf individuals. I can confidently say that following the movie showing, attendees leave with a greater appreciation and better understanding of the Deaf community.
On behalf of the ASL Club, we would like to again thank everyone who has attended a movie night event. We intend to do more events like these in the future and look forward to having more students and other members of the campus community and wider community in attendance. We hope everyone will enjoy themselves and learn something new! Also, a special thank you to our supervisor, Rebecca Swenson, and the staff of the Communication Disorders Department and Deaf Studies Department for spreading the word about movie night. Until next time! -Jillian Quirante, Public Relations, SUNY New Paltz ASL Club