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American Sign Language now offered to ClemsonLIFE students

Professor+Tasha+Goodrich+%28right%29+and+Taylor+Freeman%2C+a+ClemsonLIFE+student%2C+practice+ASL+skills+in+class.
Tasha Goodrich // Provided
Professor Tasha Goodrich (right) and Taylor Freeman, a ClemsonLIFE student, practice ASL skills in class.

Correction: An earlier version of this article said that ClemsonLIFE students “sang” the national anthem instead of “performed.” The earlier version also said Olivia Keubler is a volunteer instead of an advisor. The Tiger regrets these errors and has since corrected them.

Clemson is now offering American Sign Language courses to students who are a part of the ClemsonLIFE program, according to Tasha Goodrich, a Clemson ASL professor.

Goodrich originally attended a ClemsonLIFE talent show on the recommendation of a student in her ASL1010 course last semester, where she saw a ClemsonLIFE student using ASL during her performance.

Taylor Freeman, a current ClemsonLIFE student, was using ASL during the talent show and was then introduced to Goodrich.

“Her language skills were beautiful and very artistic,” Goodrich said in an email to The Tiger. “That night, I was introduced to Taylor’s family and suggested Taylor take ASL classes with me in Fall 2023. From there, ClemonLIFE volunteers and ASL Faculty met to determine how to better include ClemsonLIFE students into our ASL program.”

Freeman is currently enrolled in ASL1010 and has Olivia Kuebler, her advisor, help out when needed with homework assignments and exams, Goodrich added.

ClemsonLIFE offers a collegiate experience to students with intellectual disabilities to prepare for competitive employment and independent living through a combination of academic coursework and career exploration.

Other ClemsonLIFE students also participate in ASL social events such as pickleball and meetings at Starbucks to practice their skills.

“Students with disabilities should always be included and it has been such a positive experience for not only Taylor, but her classmates as well,” Goodrich added. “As a faculty member, I am so very proud of all my students for how they have made Taylor feel respected and accepted.”

ASL has been offered at Clemson since 2000 and as a Modern Languages major since 2008, according to the curriculum history.

During the Clemson and Notre Dame football game last weekend, the ASL Club, which included Freeman, performed the national anthem in Memorial Stadium.

Clemson continues to have the largest ASL facility in South Carolina, with plans to expand the program and collaborate more with the ClemsonLIFE program.

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