Sherman Shares is a monthly publication
of Sherman College.

 Students, Staff Learn Sign Language
by Karen Brower Rhodes, Director of Public Relations

We all know that communicating chiropractic’s philosophy and purpose is extremely important for D.C.s and chiropractic students. But what happens when communication barriers act as roadblocks? You have to find ways to overcome them, says Sherman’s Vice President for Institutional Advancement Barry Nickelsberg. That’s why he’s volunteered to teach an American Sign Language (ASL-I) course on campus.

Nickelsberg and about 14 “students” (including Sherman students, their spouses and faculty and staff members) have been meeting two nights a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, since October 5. Because of the limited class size and the high level of interest on campus, Nickelsberg plans to teach a second class (which is not for credit) during the winter quarter.

“Our students have a great possibility of reaching out to the deaf community,” Nickelsberg says. “Nine percent of the American public is deaf or severely hard of hearing. Being able to communicate with and serve those patients is a huge benefit.” Students learn the alphabet and basic conversation in the course.

Nickelsberg says ASL is a unique language in that students can carry on entire conversations after just a few weeks. “I told everyone in the class that in 10 weeks, they would be able to communicate in sign language and now that we are better than halfway through the program, they realize they already can. They’re gaining confidence and realizing that they can learn something new very quickly and easily,” he said.

Nickelsberg is a 1981 graduate of Gallaudet’s Interpreter Training program in Washington D.C. As a sign language artist, he has interpreted more than 2,000 performances nationwide since that time and has taught dozens of sign language courses throughout the U.S.

Look for more on this story in the next issue of Straight from Sherman. If you do not receive Straight from Sherman but would like to be added to the mailing list, please e-mail Beth McCarter.



Vice President for Institutional Advancement Barry Nickelsberg demonstrates the sign for “you and me”


Sherman Lead Faculty Doctor Claudia Seay, D.C., learns the letter “S”



Student Anna Story signs the letter “N”


Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Deb Thomason and Director of Maintenance John Marro sign the letter “N”




Nickelsberg shows how the fingers should be held Student Greg Butts and his wife sign the letter “F”