LUFKIN Texas (KTRE) - Lufkin ISD students are learning about deaf culture this week.
September is “Deaf Awareness Month” and the week of September 23rd-27th is national “Deaf Awareness Week”.
Students are creating art on Monday which illustrates American Sign Language on canvas. Their art will be on display later this week at Lufkin High School.
Sergio Hernandez, 18, lives an hour away in San Augustine. Hernandez travels to Lufkin High School each day with his siblings, two of whom who are also deaf.
“So my mom, my dad, they speak but they know a little bit of sign language and they know Spanish but I don’t understand it. My uncle other family members know English as well,” Hernandez signed, and his teacher Justin Kirk interpreted.
For Hernandez and his family, the high school provides resources for him to learn sign language. Access he’s not able to receive near his home, making it difficult how to learn to communicate or even sign.
“Communication is hard. Sometimes they write it down. But I help my uncle. We’ll just text and he’ll learn how to sign too,” Hernandez signed.
Part of deaf awareness week, lessons in the LISD art classroom involve sign language which started last week.
“We learned the alphabet, we learned some sayings, we looked at some deaf artists and now we’re trying to implement what sign language we’ve learned deaf culture into the piece. So we’re trying to turn movement into a flat art piece which is kind of challenging,” said Jessica Massey, art teacher.
The lessons are tailored to create an inclusive environment for people who are deaf.
“So for me it’s really important for Lufkin to have more of a understanding and knowledge of deaf community because they’re going to be integrated into the population here at the school,” Kirk said.
Since Hernandez’s freshman year, he’s grown in his ability to sign and now teaches his fellow classmates.
“It’s really fun and it’s fun to teach them how to sign and Ms. Massey, she’s really fun and I like that she’s learning how to sign too. So I really like that,” Hernandez signed.
Lufkin High School officials said they will start a sign language club this year. So far, the school has 100 students already interested in it. The first club meeting will be on October 3 after school.