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American Sign Language Students Interpret National Anthem at EKU Football Games

EKU ASL Students Interpret National Anthem at EKU Football Game

EKU’s American Sign Language students and EKU Football began a new tradition at the opening game on September 18. For the first time at an EKU home game, the National Anthem and My Old Kentucky Home were interpreted into American Sign Language.

Chair of the Department of American Sign Language and Interpreter Education Vicki Brashear said, “This is important because it provides an opportunity to highlight our students, the programs in our department, and the important work of ASL interpreters. The EKU Football program is highlighting the academic colleges at each home game, so this was a great way for Colonel fans to see what we do.”

 A total of twenty-three students volunteered to perform the two songs at 2021 home football games.  Word-for-word translations are not always possible between English and American Sign Language, just as with any foreign language. Songs are especially difficult in American Sign Language because the meaning and message of the song is often found in symbolism and imagery. EKU ASL students took time to research the songs and the meaning behind the lyrics so they could conceptually convey the message in American Sign Language. 

“The students have worked hard and are enjoying this opportunity to show their skills to all in attendance.  Hopefully, this will spark interest in others wanting to pursue a career in American Sign Language interpretation.  Our program is the only nationally accredited program in Kentucky and we are one of only 16 bachelor degree programs in the nation with Commission on Collegiate Interpreter Education (CCIE) accreditation,” said Brashear.

EKU American Sign Language Students in photo: Danielle Burton, Taylor Maness, Zach Hodge, Haddie Ponder, and Rachel Williams

Published on October 27, 2021

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