Spotlight on Youth: Local group of teens learning to communicate without words to include peers

KTUU: Spotlight on Youth: Local group of teens learning to communicate without words to include peers

By: Ariane Aramburo

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) – When it comes to communicating with others, there are a lot of ways. Youth like Ace Brown are part of a program with Hope Community Resources in which they’re learning American Sign Language.

It’s an inclusive program specifically for teens, that started in October.

The goal is to have young people fully engaged and challenged to create relationships based around the foundation of one central language, sign language.

“I hope they can, as I mentioned, kind of build those relationships, but meet people their age, develop those friendships, increase their comfort level around other people they wouldn’t necessarily be around had it not been for this class,” said Molly Horton with Hope Community Resources.

The class has helped Brown communicate with his friend who is hard of hearing. It also helped Bianca Pagel Miller’s relationship with her mom.

“My mom is deaf on one ear and hard of hearing on the other, so as she gets older, she can’t really hear a lot, so I liked to learn sign language so I can communicate with her still,” said Miller.

The class was started through a grant with the Youth Development Coalition. Anyone can get involved, you just have to sign up.

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