Learn American Sign Language

Sign Language helps those people in need of translators.

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Learn American Sign Language

Mari Faufata-Pedrina, reporter

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American Sign Language is an expressive language that uses hands, body emotions and facial expressions and is for the people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing to communicate with other people.

Dusty Santos is the adviser of the American Sign Language Club and has been teaching ASL for 10 years. He took ASL classes at Kapiolani Community College and continues to learn through teacher workshops, conferences and through the University of Hawaii. 

“Sign language has plenty of jobs,” Santos said.

Some jobs are translators, teacher, lawyer, court workers, service providers, and church employees.

He said depending on one’s interest one can learn sign language in 1-2 years with daily practice.

“The community needs interpreters and teachers and invites students to join American Sign Language Club if they want to learn American Sign Language,” Santos said. 

Junior Pumehana Holmes has known ASL since she was young. Holmes has understood sign language since she started talking. She started using complete sentences in sign language in elementary school.

“My parents are deaf and my parents would sign to me and I would sign for them to understand and get what I want or need,” Holmes said.

She said she wants to be able to communicate with her parents in a language they understand and are comfortable with.

Holmes learned sign language from her parents and other deaf people. She would watch the people signing and be able to understand what they were saying.

“I also think that sign language is really cool,” Holmes said.

For more information about sign language, go to room E102 and see Santos.