Springfield teacher to lead program on deafness, sign language

The deaf community will have a voice in the form of Arlon Nash at an upcoming educational program.

Nash, a deaf Springfield native and resident, will lead “Befriending the Deaf Community: Stories and More,” the latest program in the Global Education and Peace Network’s speakers series at 6:30 p.m. in Room 105 of the Shouvlin Center on the Wittenberg University campus.

The event is free and open to the public.

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The program will highlight the importance of deaf culture and of the local community in the lives of deaf people.

The disability didn’t hamper Nash from achieving success. He has taught American Sign Language classes for the Springfield City Schools for 17 years, as well as at Wittenberg and Wright State University.

He’s spent years serving in organizations for the deaf, focusing on promoting deaf leadership and bridging gaps in the deaf and hearing communities. Nash is also an accomplished athlete and a family man with numerous interests.

Nash will demonstrate how American Sign Language can benefit deaf and hearing people. An added attraction will be a group of his sign language students performing as a sign language choir to close out the program.

“It shows the culture we have life,” Nash said through an interpreter. “Without American Sign Language, we’d be lost. Deaf people can go on with life with it.”

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He looks forward to helping attendees to understand the deaf world and the inaccuracies associated with it. Steps as simple as gesturing, writing and bringing in an interpreter can help deaf and the hearing understand each other.

Although he attended college and worked outside the area, Nash wanted to return to help the deaf community here.

“In my heart I wanted to come back to be with friends and family and use my experiences with the larger deaf communities and show deaf people can do everything the hearing can, except hear,” he said. “Springfield is growing and there’s a lot of success out there for deaf people, and others can see how being trained to sign helps.”

For more information on the program or the Global Education and Peace Network, go to https://springfieldohio.gov/global-education/.

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