Luz's Perspective on ASL

Why American Sign Language (ASL) is very important to me?


Let's start with how I became deaf, during the time that my biological mother was pregnant with me, she had a relapse with alcohol and drugs. And I was born three months early, I was very premature. Because of that I became deaf, but I call myself a hard of hearing (HH).


My parents adopted me when I was three years old, at that time I did not know any sign language and spoke only a few words. ASL is the first language I learned at 3 years old


. Also, my whole family is deaf, I want to be able to communicate with them. ASL is part of me, without it I will not be able to communicate with my family because my parents and my sister are deaf also, but the rest of the family are hearing. So my parents taught me how to sign and how to communicate with people.



History of American Sign Language (ASL)


History of American Sign Language (ASL). ASL is the language for deaf people, who used to be called “Deaf and Dumb.” ASL was never created, it has evolved. It started in France, then some American signs were added to French Sign Language. ASL started in 1817, but it wasn’t recognized until 1960 to be officially a language. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet learned sign language in France, then in the 1800s, Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc brought sign language to America. He wanted to teach people sign language, so he bought land and built a school. The school he built is the first deaf school in America. It is called ASD (American School for the Deaf). It was officially founded on April 15, 1817. Later, his son, Edward Miner Gallaudet wanted to follow his father’s path. So in 1864, he bought 99 - acres of land and he founded Gallaudet University. Also, his son was the first president of Gallaudet University, Gallaudet is very well known in the deaf community. This university is the first deaf college in America.


How do people become deaf?


People become deaf in so many ways. In the 1800s to 1900s, most commonly people became deaf by illness, such as meningitis, mumps, cytomegalovirus, and chickenpox. There are more illnesses that can cause a person to become deaf but that rarely happens. As for today, the most common is genetic causes or severe conditions. “But more than 90 percent of deaf children are born to hearing parents.” - (https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/statistics/quick-statistics-hearing)





Can deaf people hear or speak?


In order for deaf people to hear and speak usually is


due to a hearing aid or cochlear implants. Some hard to hear people hear enough to learn to speak. They can hear and speak but not as well as hearing people. Cochlear is similar to a hearing aid but it includes surgery and metal in the head, it is very dangerous but it is common. As for the hearing aid, it's just a device that helps you hear a little more.


How deaf people communicate to hearing people?



Most deaf people can lip-read, but that doesn't mean they understand everything. Most of deaf people will use the hearing aid or cochlear, that will help a little bit. Not only that, some deaf people can speak and hear they can communicate with hearing people. But the best way to communicate with deaf person is writing. Most deaf people have a VideoPhone (VP), which is the same concept as hearing people talk on the phone. As for today, deaf people have an app called AVA, AVA is an app that hearing people will speak and it will transfer to English. And then a deaf person will write and the app will speak what the type said.


Conclusion


The point of this post is to help deaf and hearing people to be aware of how they communicate to other people. Also, most hearing people will get so nervous to meet a deaf person, that they don't know how to communicate with them. This post helps hearing people be prepared or get more comfortable talking to deaf people. Be confident and try to not get nervous, you will be fine talking to deaf people.


Shared by Luz Chastel

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