2010 — ASL English Interpreting Program Class of 2011 Service Learning Projects
June – August
Service Learning and Braille
Service Learning enhances the community and has powerful learning outcomes for the students and others participating, impacts young people and their development in valuable ways, and interweaves students’ personal and social growth with their academic and cognitive development.
ASL/English Interpreter Program: Service Learning Projects
Iraqi Deaf School
Ghana Deaf Schools
Language Media Center
Night Strike-Bridgetown Ministries
Fearless Avenues-Deaf Blind Bingo
Di Finklein Memorial Scholarship
Service Learning is diverse, meaningful, promotes teamwork, creates opportunities for problem-solving through critical thinking, and supports social, emotional, and cognitive learning and development.
“Fearless Avenues [is a] social network of Deaf-Blind individuals, their family members and friends in Oregon and Southern Washington State. Our purpose is to combat isolation, develop friendships and support one another; through social activities and building an online discussion group.” ~Heather Schoenwald
– Ghana Deaf Schools include the Senior High Technical School for the Deaf in the Eastern Region, Demonstration School for the Deaf in the Eastern Region, and the Volta School for the Deaf in the Volta Region.
– Fundraising Efforts for Ghana Deaf Schools included door knocking, bake sales, cans, and wristbands.
Fearless Avenues Deaf-Blind Service Learning Project by Kaila Allen, Rachel Walker, Jamie Smith, and Charisse Josi
Louis was from a small town called Coupvray, near Paris, France. In 1821, a former soldier named Charles Barbier who created “Night Writing,” a code of twelve raised dots that allow the soldiers to share top-secret information on the battlefield without having to talk. The code was very complicated. Mr. Barbier shared his idea with twelve year old Louis and he made Barbier’s twelve dots into six dots. Louis figured out the system by the time he was fifteen, and published the first Braille book in 1829.
Two Types of Braille
The first type of Braille is Grade 1. It includes full spelling alphabets, punctuation, numbers and a number of composition signs which are special to Braille. The second type of Braille is Grade 2. This form of Braille combines Grade 1 with 189 contractions and short-form words. This form should be known as “English Braille.”
“Unaware that I had personal stereotypes going into this project, I was shocked when none of my predictions about the night came true. I figured that surrounding myself with numerous strangers, most of whom I figured were homeless, therefore desperate, would make me feel unsafe or uncomfortable, but the complete opposite was true. The people I met were by far the nicest, most genuine individuals I have ever come into contact with. I learned that by judging them unknowingly I was closing myself off to having the most open, growing experience possible.”
“I am also learning that it really isn’t fair to judge people until they have been given the chance to shine.”
What did you learn about yourself through Night Strike?
“I have learned I have been setting my goals too low. I was basing my goals on reality, not factoring in the generosity, hard work, and hope of others. Logic and reasoning limited my vision. No more…that changed spring term as we created some lofty goals. We did not meet them, but still accomplished a lot. Now, I am not allowing logic to limit what I aim to do.”
What perspectives and attitudes did you have before doing your Service Learning Project? How did they change after you completed your Service Learning Project?
“The first time I went to Night Strike, I went in with the mindset that the homeless were dirty and scary people who needed help. My eyes have been opened again and again with each visit. The people may be dirty, yes, but they too are human. They have a story. They have a life. I was humbled when I realized God did not need me to help these people, but he was allowing me to be a part of His work with these people—to be part of showing them love and compassion.”
~ Andrea Franks
What was your overall experience with Night Strike?
“I learned that one person, one smile, really CAN make a difference. Anyone who tells you otherwise has never given a simple pair of socks to a homeless person on Burnside in the pouring rain and seen hope magically appear in their eyes. One man called us angles…that’s saying something when all we did was treat them like human beings.”
~ Erin Barrett
What was the most exciting part about Night Strike and your efforts?
“The most exciting part was seeing the faces on the individuals we helped. Their smiles and bright eyes after handing them a pair of new socks or some hot cocoa was priceless.”
~ Kara Swenson
Night Strike is a unique opportunity for people to gather under the Burnside Bridge on the park side of Naito Parkway every Thursday night and love people because people matter. It’s an opportunity for members of Portland’s homeless community to hang out, enjoy a hot meal, receive a free hair cut, shave, have their feet washed and have their old shoes, clothes, and sleeping bags replaced. It is also a chance for you to come down and share in the experience, help serve the needs of the homeless in our community, and more importantly, invest in lives and build relationships with the people you meet.
Sock Display-Night Strike uses 250 pairs of socks every week. Please join us in our efforts to fulfill their weekly needs by donating new white socks to our student exhibit.
WOU Students: Erin Barrett, Ryan Davis, Andrea Franks, Lacy Hood, Briana Moulton, Kara Swenson
LOCATION: 1sr floor lobby & 3rd floor galleries
Curators: Jill Baker, WOU ASL English Interpreting Instructor & WOU ALS English Interpreting Students