Without a Voice

By Tierra Smith

May 7, 2018

“American Idol” a popular show that showcases different talents all over the world, served as the basis for the American Sign Language Association’s very own “American Idol” at Cleveland State University. However, this version on April 20, wasn't a competition and wasn't judged.

Organizers planned this event to expose and enlighten those who are not a part of the deaf community to try something different.

Students, faculty, parents and family members filled the Main Classroom auditorium to support the more than 20 performers in the show. Song selections ranged from classical, theatrical, to R&B, and Hip-Hop.

Many students who attended came to receive extra credit in their American Sign Language courses, or to attend something they had never been to before, or to reconnect with former classmates.

“I did not know what to expect, but it was a great experience. I liked how everyone showed their passion for the language and how there was a variety of song choice.” said Alyssa Underwood, Junior at Cleveland State University.

After a few performances, a break sent everyone to the refreshment table to receive a slice of pizza and cold soda. During the break audience members conversed, laughed, even signed with some of their peers.

The break lasted for approximately 20 minutes. After everyone took their seats, the lights in the auditorium suddenly went dark as a member from the ASL association passed around glow sticks. People were not sure of what was about to happen until a man in glow in a dark costume appeared on stage.

Everyone had their glow sticks and was prepared for what was to come next. Techno music began to play as the glow in the dark man danced away. The crowd cheered with excitement as three large balls were thrown around in which also had a glow light inside of them as well. The crowd went wild as they threw the ball around from one side of the room to another.

The American Sign Language Idol brought members from the deaf community together while exposing members who are not familiar with sign language to something new. American Sign Language is a form of art, passion, and expression, in which each performer displayed as they signed away to the beat of their own tune. 

To see more pictures of ASL Idol, click here.   


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