Watching her sister and grandfather struggle with hearing, Sydney Jones has always been passionate about advocating for the deaf and hard of hearing community.
Through her sorority volunteer program, Sydney participated in Brennen Elementary's 'Deaf and Hard of Hearing Classroom,' which motivated her to take sign language to connect better with the children. A little under two years ago, she started the first ASL (American Sign Language) Club on UofSC's campus.
Jones's dream is to work as an RN and eventually get her interpreter certification for the hospital to help fix the communication barrier between patients and medical teams.
"Having someone who can communicate effectively helps reduce stress and allows for better patient outcomes," says Jones.
Recently, she had the opportunity to participate in a simulation with the College of Nursing, where she played a deaf patient who sustained a head and chest injury. "I used sign language to the first responders before I passed out. It was interesting because they had to use pen and paper to try to communicate, which was not effective when you are about to pass out and cannot write back," says Jones.