Sign (Language) Of The Times

The Oregon Red Cross likes to do things a little different. Whether it’s Comedy or Singles CPR, we think outside the box…and it shows.

I got an e-mail this morning that pointed to yet another way that an Oregon chapter is “kicking it up a notch” when it comes to training. Check this out:

On April 11 & 13, the Willamette Chapter in Salem hosted our first ever all American Sign Language (ASL) Lay Responder Instructor Training. We had participants from the deaf community learning how to be CPR/First Aid instructors. Normally, we use interpreters for these classes.

The first day we went going over the book and the ins and outs of teaching. They all had current certifications in CPR/First Aid either through their workplace or by taking a class with an interpreter. We walked through the curriculum giving tips and pointers, had them do a bit of hands-on skills, answered questions, identified errors, etc.

Monday was set up to be a “mock” certification course. I invited students studying ASL at a local high school to be class participants for the instructor candidates. Since these students were hearing, they could voice questions and serve as interpreters. Everyone was informed that this was a practice day; the instructor candidates with their teaching and the students with their ASL language skills. The candidates had the opportunity to co-teach an entire Adult/Child/Infant CPR class and successfully certify the students in these skills.

The coolest thing about this partnership is that now these instructors can teach ASL CPR courses in their own community. And I speak from experience when I say that it’s much easier to learn from a peer than someone who seems totally different. That’s the same strategy behind CPR4LGBTQ — we have an instructor whose actually a member of the LGBTQ community herself.

If you’re ever interested in becoming a Red Cross instructor, you can! Find out more here.

Image courtesy of Stoichiometry.