American Sign Language
American Sign Language allows people to express themselves without spoken word. American Sign Language, also known as ASL, is a very important language not only to the deaf but also to those who can’t communicate verbally. The way ASL was discovered and created was a big deal for the deaf community. ASL has an interesting history that everyone should know.
American Sign Language originated in 1814; before this time there was no universal system in America. Deaf communities used to create their own sign systems, but there wasn’t an official sign language that people would used all over the country. In 1814, Dr. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet travelled to Europe to learn about deaf education. After Gallaudet returned to America, he opened a school, which is now still known as the American School for the Deaf . The school is a big deal because it was the first free public deaf school in the country. Students could now learn a standard system and in turn teach it to their own communities (Start ASL).
This language is significant because it helps people who can’t communicate verbally have their own language. It’s also important to know ASL to be able to communicate with more people and learn more about deaf culture. Lauren Davis, at the University of Pittsburg, says, “Hearing people should learn ASL first and foremost because it is a BEAUTIFUL language. Being able to express yourself visually opens up so many opportunities for deeper meaning and emotional expression in your statements. Every sentence looks like art.” (Marzina) Knowing ASL will help you reach and communicate with a greater audience of people.
In conclusion, the history behind ASL is fascinating and worth knowing. Below please find some pictures to help you get started learning basic ASL today!
Clason, Debbie. “The Importance of Deaf Culture.” Healthy Hearing, 14 Sept. 2017, www.healthyhearing.com/report/52285-The-importance-of-deaf-culture.
“College Students Share The Importance of ASL and Deaf Culture in Today’s Hearing World.” Fresh U, 2015, www.freshu.io/alexa-marzina/the-importance-of-asl-and-deaf-culture-in-today-s-hearing-world#.
“History of American Sign Language.” Start ASL, 2008, www.startasl.com/history-of-american-sign-language_html.