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Students Surprise Cafeteria Worker Who Is Deaf by Learning ASL to Order Their Lunches

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These elementary school students had a sweet surprise for a cafeteria worker who is deaf – after learning ASL so they could order their lunch from her using it.


Leisa Duckwall, who was born deaf, works in the cafeteria at Nansemond Parkway Elementary School in Suffolk, Virginia, where she would point to food options for pupils to nod ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

But Fourth-grade teacher Mrs. Maskelony, who knows American Sign Language because she has a family member who is hard of hearing, taught her class how to order their food using ASL.

At the beginning of the school year, in September 2022, her class headed into the cafeteria and ordered their lunches, using ASL for the likes of fish and varieties of pizza.

The school later shared the wholesome video on their social media, and Principal Janet Wright-Davis said revealed other classes were also being taught ASL as well.

Ms. Duckwall said: “I hope many schools try ASL classes of their own.


RELATED: Second-Graders Learn Sign Language to Greet Their Teacher Who Is Deaf

“People used to call people like me ‘hearing impaired’ – but that is offensive because I don’t feel that I have an impairment.

“I have a family and a life; I get up and go to work every day like everyone else.

“Deaf people want to have the same human connection that everyone else gets to experience with friends and coworkers and students and family.


“More people learning American Sign Language makes that a possibility for me and for other deaf people the students may encounter outside of school.”

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