Deaf Cafeteria Worker Is All Smiles When Students Learn ASL For Their Lunch Orders

Language comes in many different forms and if you don’t speak the language, you are not going to understand what someone is saying. This is also true of ASL, the language that is spoken by the deaf community in the United States.

Over the years, some efforts have been put forth to teach people how to sign in this way. Even on a personal level, my wife knows sign language but I don’t, so we still can’t communicate in that way, even though she signs to me all the time.

Photo: Pexels/RODNAE Productions

It is also seen in other areas, and sometimes people go out of their way to learn this type of communication so they can just have a conversation with somebody they know. The students at Nansemond Parkway Elementary School are included in that mix. That Elementary school in Suffolk, Virginia, is the site of a very interesting educational system.

It all started because a woman worked in the cafeteria. The school shared on Facebook that Leisa Duckwall had been working at the school for a number of years and she served both breakfast and lunch to the students. She is deaf, but the students wouldn’t speak to her using ASL, they would simply point to what they wanted and shake their heads to agree.

Photo: Facebook/Nansemond Parkway Elementary School

That is where Kari Maskelony got involved. She knew ASL, so she went up to the cafeteria worker and started signing a conversation during lunchtime. According to Pilot Online, the students were instantly pulled into the scene, and they loved what they were seeing.

Maskelony asked the students if they wanted to learn how to sign and they agreed. She started teaching them sign language and before long, they were having brief conversations with the cafeteria worker, which the school was proud to display on Facebook.

When the school principal, Janet Wright-Davis, saw what was going on, she knew that she had to step in as well. She decided that the entire school could learn sign language, so they began teaching a new sign every week during the morning announcements.

According to Pilot Online, the principal said: “Not only is it great for the kids because they can learn a new skill that they can carry with them and actually use with other people that they meet.”

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