GREAT FALLS — American Sign Language has evolved over decades and helped the Deaf community be able to communicate with expressive and receptive signing.
For someone who is deaf, there are everyday tasks that can be made more difficult when they can’t easily communicate.
Conservatory ASL Northwest is trying to build a bridge by offering American Sign Language classes tailored to help specific business owners and employees understand the basics, and how they can implement ASL in their day to day business.
Amee Sevrie signed, “We’ve noticed that sometimes Deaf people have conflict with businesses, so we’d like to change that. And to encourage that partnership between both the business and the Deaf community, and to learn how to work together.”
The classes will be offered in sessions of six classes starting very basic and getting more involved with each class. Tuesday’s class hosted employees from several organizations, including including the Great Falls Public Library, KRTV, the Children’s Museum of Montana, and Centene.
But if you didn’t get in on Tuesday’s class another session will be offered in the future. Their full schedule can be found here.
“We will be very willing to set up classes with individual businesses If they want to invite us to their place of business, we can set up classes for that particular business and yes we will be offering other classes in the future,” signed Amee.
The group also offers classes for beginning ASL, as well as classes for children or parents who are interested in learning ASL - click here for more information, or click here to check out the Facebook Event page.
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From the Facebook Event page:
- This six week American Sign Language class is tailored to business owners and their employees. The concepts, vocabulary, and grammar will empower attendees with tools to attract, include, and retain Deaf customers and employees, increasing the diversity and value of the business environment in Great Falls. The cost for the 6 week class will be $75 per person or $200 for three people from the same business.
- For students who successfully complete the course, a window decal will be awarded to display at their place of business. The decal will notify the ASL community that their business is accessible and ready to accommodate deaf customers and employees.
- This is a “no-risk” class. You may attend the first class at no-charge. If you decide the classes are worth the time and money, you can pay the registration fee at the end of the first class for the remaining five classes. Any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com