RIT’s ASL and Deaf Studies Community Center (RADSCC) has relocated to the first floor of the Wallace Center. The RADSCC is a place where faculty, staff, and students can gather to learn about Deaf culture, Deaf heritage, and American Sign Language (ASL). The Center serves as a resource for community, national, and international outreach activities that enrich and celebrate the talents and achievements of the Deaf community. In addition, the RADSCC supports advocacy and education for Deaf, hard-of-hearing, and hearing individuals. The RADSCC aims to encourage interaction and collaboration within an educational context.
The Center opened in January, 2011 as a partnership between RIT and NTID and was originally located on the second floor of the Student Alumni Union. In September, 2013, the RADSCC moved to its new home in the Wallace Center. Jeanne Behm has been RADSCC’s Coordinator since it was established. The new location makes the RADSCC more accessible to the RIT community and provides a comfortable environment for interaction between Deaf and hearing individuals. There is an open seating area and a classroom for hosting presentations, classes, and meetings. Jeanne said: “it’s a nice space for large presentations and events such as NTID’s 45th Anniversary Reunion and the upcoming Book Signing with Maxine Childress Brown.” She added: “The best thing about the new space is the exposure to the whole community.” The increased exposure has resulted in more collaboration between the RADSCC and Library staff. It has also resulted in more support from the university in fostering a collaborative educational environment.
With over 3,000 patrons visiting the Library, Jeanne said the new location makes her “feel alive because there are more people here!” Students often stop by and ask: “what’s the sign for…” or ask for help translating words and songs. Library staff are developing their conversational skills by learning common phrases and greetings (such as “may I borrow laptop?” or “may I see your ID?”). Students from the Interpreting program serve as assistants and gain valuable practice for their studies. Plus, the visibility provides good exposure for ongoing programs such as ASL at Lunch.
The RADSCC holds ASL classes for the College of Liberal Arts (COLA), Academic Advisors, and NTID’s Faculty & Staff Sign Language Program. Other activities include presentations on ASL and Deaf culture, ASL tutoring and practice for RIT faculty and staff, and displays of various works of art by Deaf artists from the community and around the world. RADSCC’s website (www.rit.edu/radscc) has a comprehensive list of resources relating to Deaf culture and ASL including an ASL Dictionary and Inflection Guide, RADSCC’s Event Schedule, and News Spotlights. In the future, Jeanne hopes the RADSCC will offer live streaming of special events and explore using video technologies to collaborate on a regional and international level.
Be sure to visit the RADSCC! It is open from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday; closed Saturday and Sunday.