International Day of Sign Languages

International Day of Sign Languages

This Sunday, September 23, marks International Day of Sign Languages. Being home to the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), one of nine colleges here at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), we have quite the reason to celebrate! With more than 1,100 deaf or hard of hearing students that come to campus every year, getting involved in deaf culture is easier than you think here at RIT. There are countless resources available to students to learn not only American Sign Language (ASL), but various factors of deaf culture. Here are some ways for you to get involved and celebrate International Day of Sign Languages:

No Voice Zone

No Voice Zone is the perfect opportunity on campus for students to learn American Sign Language. Whether you have never signed in your life, or if you are fluent, No Voice Zone offers something for everyone. Hundreds of deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing students gather Wednesday evenings at 10:00 p.m. to learn how to speak, without talking. No Voice Zone occurs in the base of the CSD Student Development Center (outside of the College Grind), and lasts one hour. Beginning in the year 2000 by former resident advisors, No Voice Zone has remained as an important educational experience on campus ever since. There is no need to register for this weekly event. Everyone is welcome to show, and begin learning the language!

Declare an American Sign Language and Deaf Cultural Studies Minor or Immersion

Do you find yourself extremely passionate about deaf culture? Or perhaps you want to pursue learning American Sign Language (ASL) even more. If so, consider declaring an American Sign Language and Deaf Cultural Studies Minor. This minor is open to both deaf and hearing students, in all bachelor’s degree programs at RIT. Once declaring this minor, you will learn not only the study of ASL, but also ASL literature, the history of deaf people in the United States, and much more! If interested, reach out to minor advisers, Sandra Bradley ( or Patti Durr (

NTID Performing Arts

Whether you are celebrating International Day of Sign Languages or have never seen an NTID Performing Arts show, it is a must for all RIT students. Established in the Fall of 1974, NTID Performing Arts offers multiple theatre courses, and even produces multiple productions throughout the year. Although productions occur in multiple areas of campus, most can be viewed at Robert F. Panera Theatre. Look out for Cabaret, put on by NTID Performing Arts between November 30 and December 2.

Whether you are passionate enough about deaf culture to declare an American Sign Language minor, or if you are interested in learning the basics of sign, RIT has something to offer everyone. International Day of Sign Languages is one reason to get involved on campus, and make the most of a culture that surrounds us everyday.


Jacqueline is a New Media Marketing student, minoring in Psychology. Outside of writing for Behind the Bricks, Jackie enjoys traveling and exploring new restaurants!

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