Who I am. My name is Ava Gamez and I'm in love with American Sign Language. Just a little bit about myself: I've been a die hard Star Wars fan since 1997, I love a good cup of coffee and a great book, and I could eat breakfast for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I enjoy volunteer interpreting for the Deaf at a local church. I have been teaching homeschoolers ASL for 7+ years now and I LOVE IT!
Why did I learn ASL? I became fascinated with ASL at a very young age. My mom gave me my first ASL dictionary from my Deaf aunt, and I began teaching myself. Being home schooled K-12th, I was very good at getting all I could out of a book. By the time I was 12, I had the basics down, and that is when I met Christine Cox. She was an older woman who was blind and Deaf; I saw her interpreter signing into her hands and I asked if I could sign to her too. Christine was surprised and over joyed that I could communicate with her, even though I only knew the basics. She called me Little Ava, because compared to her interpreter, my 12-year-old hands probably were little. She would feel each sign I made in her hands, and then answer back. This started a lasting friendship. When I got into college I knew I wanted sign language to be a part of my life. As I took each class, I began to understand more and more that ASL was not signed English, but its own complete and unique language. I graduated with an Associates Degree and a Certificate for American Sign Language Interpreting for the Deaf and Deaf Studies.
Why did I start Signing in the Gap? I started teaching sign language because I love sharing my knowledge of ASL. Teaching children and teens ASL opens a way of communication and opportunity that otherwise might not have been. I want each of my students to find their own inspiration and pass the knowledge. I started Signing in the Gap so homeschooling families could have access to quality hands-on instruction in ASL, through a variety of classes. ASL is not only a language to communicate, but can also be a language of expression. ASL creates community, connection, and closes up the gaps. I endeavor to teach as many as I can.
"Deaf people can do anything hearing people can, except hear." I. King Jordan, 8th President of Gallaudet University