I’d love to begin with you introducing yourself, your background, and your work.
My name is Tashma G. Glymph. I was born and raised in Newberry, SC. I am the youngest of two girls. My Parents Janet and the late Vernon Glenn raised us to be independent, strong, tenacious and God fearing women. I left Newberry after high school to attend Hampton University in Hampton, VA where I received my bachelor's degree in Communicative Sciences and Disorders and where I was introduced to American Sign Language. Upon graduation I moved to Spartanburg to start my first 'adult' job at SC School for the Deaf and Blind where my love for sign language grew stronger. Over the years I continued to learn, love and communicate through sign language. As a certified Speech Therapist, communication is important to me!
Because of COVID-19, you’ve been exclusively seeing clients through Zoom. What are the advantages of teaching American Sign Language online?
I have taught signs to young children for close to ten years. I began with my own children, my son's first language was American Sign Language later teaching my daughter and even my dog. I had contracts with day care centers going in weekly to teach American Sign Language to infants and toddlers teaching baby signs, songs and simple gestures. Through the portal Zoom, I am able to continue my passion for ASL I can continue to share my gift from God with more individuals from all over the world. Is this a teaching format you’ll continue to offer once social distancing is no longer necessary? Yes, as long as I have individuals interested in learning sign language, my services will be here. Not only does 'Tashma Talks' offer sign language lessons, we offer consulting, coaching and we have merchandise to help enhance the art of communication!
Everyday on your Tashma Talks Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/tashmatalks/) you teach a new word-of-the-day in ASL. Amidst all this social and political upheaval, what keeps you motivated?
My passion for this beautiful language, my zeal to increase communication for all and my love for people.
What helps you get up in the morning?
My God, my children and my family and friends 🤟🏾
COVID-19 has heightened the communication barriers the deaf and hard of hearing experience in our already inaccessible society. As an advocate for these communities, what resources are available to combat these new and existing barriers?
Tashma Talks is an entity of communication to enhance for all. I currently do not have access to resources that I can share. I do have a vested interest in increasing communication.
DHEC statistics show that COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting the black community in SC and across the United States. Do you believe Spartanburg has taken adequate action to address this systemic issue?
I am currently working with a group of individuals working on the movement of increasing awareness in the Spartanburg community.
We’re collaborating together on a virtual anti-racist middle reader book club with the help of Susan Hoffman, Molly Colbath, and a number of parents at Pine Street Elementary. Could you talk a bit more about how that came to be, and why this book club is of the utmost importance right now?
Our first book selection, Harbour Me by Jacqueline Woodson, is about immigration, race, forgiveness, bullying, identity, friendship, and family. We all are experiencing various levels of a change in our world whether on a large scale or small, what I do not want my daughter to experience is nothing, not being aware of the world around her and how others suffer and have fought for freedom and change. This book club was created for all to know that we all need change.