Fast Signs

Nov. 26, 2013

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By Sarah Sherman

ORLANDO, Fla. ( - The explosive crack of the starter's gun being fired. Fans cheering. Her name being called as she crosses the finish line. All of these are sounds that Ne'Ausha Logan does not take for granted.

Logan is a celebrated track and field star at UCF, winning numerous medals at conference championship meets and breaking records in the process. For as determined as she is on the track, it is not the only place where the senior wants to make her mark.

Logan has a passion for people who have speech and hearing problems. She sees a need and wants to help. Majoring in communications sciences and disorders, Logan hopes to become a speech pathologist and one day work with the deaf community.

"Sometimes you can be a speech pathologist but not work with deaf people, but I figured that I want to do both," Logan said.

It did not take Logan very long to realize her calling once she was knee deep into the major's core curriculum. It was during her neurology class that it really began to sink in.

"[The professor] was showing us different types of speech disorders and the people and what you do to help them. I pretty much learned about the brain and where each speech disorder is in the parts of the brain. I started thinking this is what I really want to do now," Logan said.

Her class load can be pretty hefty, but it only feeds her appetite to learn more. Some of her classes include neurology for communicative disorders, speech production, speech perception, anatomy for speech and ideology, and phonetics--a class that presented its own challenges.

"I had to completely disregard everything I had learned about English. I got to write in phonetics and it was like I was writing my own language," Logan said.

The major of communications sciences and disorders requires some hands-on involvement that Logan is more than eager to be a part of.

"Since I had to take American Sign Language it was a requirement to do some deaf events. Those events were phenomenal," Logan exclaimed. "I went to a silent dinner at the Altamonte Springs Mall where deaf people were sitting around and we just signed to them and had conversations with them. One lady was telling us about her turtle. It was actually pretty cool."

Logan also traveled to Kissimmee to go to a deaf expo.

"That was pretty interesting," Logan said. "They had their booths and they had performances up on stage and they actually had a comedian. He was deaf and blind and he was actually funny, too."

When she is not participating in the deaf events, Logan likes to sharpen her skills by recording herself signing so she can watch the playback on her computer. To gain better fluency, she watches interpreters and deaf people sign on YouTube.

"If I'm studying something for class and if it was a basic word, I would just sign the sentence, just to practice to keep it going," Logan said.

Logan's passion for speech disorders and the deaf community is a tool that brings her together with her teammates as she teaches them different signs every now and then.

"I teach them some signs so we can all do it together," Logan said. "It's kind of funny - I taught them `awkward' so when a situation comes up, you'll see us all standing around doing the sign."



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