The Arc ECT’s April Film Festival is THE Virtual Event of the Season!
The Arc ECT’s 5th Annual Film Festival, virtual in 2021 and highlighting great things accomplished by people with IDD, also is loaded with local talent. Claire H. of The Arc ECT will be featured in one video filmed at The Garde Theatre in New London, accompanying one of her favorite songs with ASL (American Sign Language). How long has Claire studied ASL? “Oh, since I was 2.” What started as a way to help Claire communicate with friends turned into a long-term passion, even as her own verbal skills dramatically improved. Claire took all the ASL classes that she could find, and through high school she was asked by teachers to work with kids who were non-verbal. “I liked helping out my classmates and teaching the younger kids. It’s something I’m good at.”
Claire’s Mom Catherine agrees. “We saw she had this incredible aptitude for ASL so we enrolled her in classes at New London Adult Education and Manchester Community College, where she really excelled.” She’s been in several talent shows demonstrating her skills, and she even has a YouTube channel devoted to signing to different songs. [You can find it by searching “ASL Claire Anderson.”] What’s hardest about signing to a song? “I don’t just translate the words, “Claire says, “I have to translate emotions and feelings too.” And sometimes she’ll go back and edit a song if she finds a better sign to capture a certain phrase.
Claire hopes to start online classes at MCC in the future; previously, she worked in The Arc ECT’s bakery and culinary program and wants to continue in that field. “I’m also interested in acting and modeling,” she says. Add ASL to that well-rounded portfolio and Claire’s resume is complete.