Clark State Community College hosted two new events at the Springfield campus aimed at training faculty, staff and students to learn more about the hearing impaired and LGBTQA communities.
An American Sign Language (ASL) event was held on Friday, April 21. The event allowed Clark State students enrolled in ASL courses to interact with the deaf community.
“It was a voice-off event,” said Mike Cuffman, dean of arts and sciences at Clark State. “There was no speaking. All communication was by sign.”
The event was the first of its kind at Clark State and is the “brainchild” of Clark State’s ASL instructors. The goal of the event was for ASL students to engage with members of the local, deaf community.
“There were a number of structured activities and games,” Cuffman said. “There were many opportunities for students to interact with the deaf community.”
Clark State currently offers four ASL courses. “These courses are beneficial to help students engage with the deaf community they may encounter at hospitals, in police work and more. The ability to converse with ASL will be beneficial,” said Cuffman.
The ASL courses are offered on Clark State’s Springfield campus and will be available at the Greene Center on the Beavercreek campus this fall. Several local high schools also offer ASL through the College Credit Plus program.
Likewise, the Clark State Diversity Committee again partnered with Wright State University’s Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Ally (LGBTQA) Affairs on April 7 to offer faculty and staff training on supporting the LGBTQA community.
The Safe Space Ally Development Network helps transform the campus environment for LGBTQA+ students, staff and faculty through skills-based training focused on social justice, allyship and active bystander intervention skills. Attendees received training on how to provide a network of support for the emotional, psychological, social and physical well-being of our LGBTQA+ community.
Petey Peterson, director of LGBTQA Affairs at Wright State University facilitated the event.
Clark State partnered with Wright State in January to offer the training at the Greene Center on the Beavercreek campus. Taylor Bugglin, grants writer for Clark State, attended the January session and recommends the training to anyone interested in gaining insight on how to better support Clark State’s diverse student population.
“The Safe Space training helped me gain a better perspective on interacting with LGBTQA students and understanding their needs,” said Bugglin. “It will help employees learn to be better allies so that students know that they have friendly, non-judgmental ears on campus.”
The Safe Space Training is a comprehensive, three-hour Ally Development training that teaches potential new allies skills on how to serve and support the LGBTQA+ community at Clark State Community College.
Allies who attended the entire training session had the option of completing a Safe Space Ally Action Plan and were provided with the Safe Space emblem to display inside or outside of their offices and/or bags or computers.