Popular TikTok sensations Kylee and TJ were invited via zoom to share their story with Cal U studnets.
On Oct. 19, Cal U ‘s American Sign Language (ASL) Club hosted viral Kylee and TJ from Tik Tok on Zoom. Kylee and TJ are known and recognized thanks to TikTok’s platform and Kylee signature ASL signing of the word BYE. During their visit with the ASL Club, members were able to ask questions and learn more about their lives.
Kylee was born with esophageal atresia and a tethered spinal cord, causing her to be born deaf. Her parents made the decision to get a cochlear implant to give her the opportunity to hear certain things around her. Her parents made it their mission to learn sign together, which you can see as you watch their TikTok videos under the username cargo_shorts_dad.
Madeline Hawkins, the President of the ASL Club, helped arrange the meeting. She stated it is important to have an ASL Club, “because it helps us as students and future professionals become better educated and advocates for people who may be hearing impaired. It also creates a positive environment in which we can learn ASL and ASL culture in a relaxed manner.”
Hawkins expressed the importance of having guest speakers and signers highlighted within the Deaf Community. She stated, “it is important to get different perspectives from different people and professionals who either have an impairment themselves or work with folks who do. It helps us learn!”
Members were able to connect on a personal level with both Kylee and TJ. Hawkins said, “I loved getting to know them beyond TikTok and I really loved how much Kylee got into it at the end of the meeting!” As the meeting went on, it was apparent that Kylee was comfortable with the atmosphere and talked about her favorite Squishmallows and even asked the members in attendance questions of her own.
Whether one knows ASL or not, they are encouraged to join and learn more today. Hawkins stated she wants to, “encourage others to keep an open mind about ASL and to educate themselves as much as possible. It is also important to be patient with those who have trouble hearing. And we meet every other Tuesday at 4 if anyone wants to join the club!”