Student Clubs for Learning ASL and Understanding Diversity


by

Ms. Jen Jaime, Middle School ELA Teacher

Our Lady’s School, San Diego



I feel so fortunate to be a part of the University of San Diego Johnson Fellows Program for a second year. Through this work, I provide inclusion support and programming for staff, students and families. In addition to starting our school’s Student Success Team and a small community literacy program, I’ve created several clubs for students that promote inclusion and diversity: Our Lady’s School Book Club, Youth Activist Club, and A.S.L. Club. As I focus on access, I am also making sure each teacher, TK-8th grade, has an amplifier for their classrooms.


Through our clubs, we are discussing ideas of inclusivity, encouraging authentic self-reflection and dialogue. Our ASL and Book Clubs have brought our student body together, fostering a spirit of understanding and positivity. We have read several books about characters who experience disabilities. Students are making powerful connections with characters of a similar age and sometimes ethnic background. Although I am not fluent in ASL, I have found wonderful Youtube videos for our ASL Club. Together, we are learning another way to communicate and the importance of accessibility.


It is a joy to see students develop a deeper awareness of ableism in our society and what we can do to create inclusivity and accessibility for all. I hope to continue affecting change within the Our Lady’s School community and help to create paths and resources for students experiencing challenges as well as enrich the lives of our students with positive literature and educational experiences.