The Beauty of Asl

Topics: Deaf culture, Sign language, Hearing impairment Pages: 4 (1712 words) Published: July 21, 2010
The Beauty of American Sign Language
One ordinary day, as I watched television slumped on my couch, I received a phone call from my dearest cousin. She was utterly excited about some free sign language classes they were offering at a community center that day, and so she invited me along. It was the greatest choice I ever made! As I came out that community center, I had a new profound passion towards American Sign Language. In learning about the deaf culture, it brought me to a new understanding about the people in it. Through readings and the lessons, I have learned that being deaf has both its hardships and its blessing. The beauty of the language inspires me to learn more and more every day about it. In the early 1800's when American Sign Language was first brought about in the United States, being deaf was considered shameful and defective. The first school for the deaf was called The American Asylum for the instruction of the Deaf and Dumb. During that time, the word “dumb” was an acceptable term to use. There are many other terms that are unacceptable to the deaf, such as : deaf-mute, mute, hearing handicapped, disabled, dummie etc. Deaf people are just as intelligent as hearing people. Even in today's day and age some people still use these terms. Another common assumption of the hearing is that all deaf people can or should read lips, this is not so- lip reading is very difficult to master. Verbalization is also expected from the deaf by the hearing, this is also very difficult for the deaf because most deaf people have never heard their own voice and cannot know if their intonation, pitch and volume are used correctly. Another misconception about the deaf is that different from the hearing, most hearing people mean well, but speak to the deaf as if they are mentally challenged, this is why a deaf person may walk away or give a disapproving look. The hearing world often believes that all deaf people are deaf from birth, this is not always the case. A...

Bibliography: Bahan, Ben.
Hoffmeister, Robert. Lane, Harlan. A Journey into the Deaf World. USA: Dawn Sign Press. Humphries, Tom. Padden, Carol.
Deaf in America (Voices from a Culture). Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. Levitan, Linda. Moore, Matthew.S. For Hearing People Only.
New York: Deaf Life Press. Science Essays
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