Over the years, I have met many people that have no interest in learning languages other than their first language. They feel as if it is the job of others to learn their language instead of the other way around. There are many people out there like this, but I bet a lot of people don't realize that this also exists in families that have deaf family members. It's pretty crazy to believe, but it is true. There are many examples out there of this, but there is one many of you can relate to.
One example occurred in an episode of Switched at Birth shown on ABC Family. There was a young man, who started working for the Kennishes' business, that wasn't exactly happy to try to communicate with hearing people. He got so frustrated that other people didn't know his language. Well, as the story goes on you start to understand why that would bug him so much. In his own home, his family didn't even know how to sign. They communicated through random gestures that truly had no meaning. How can someone not want to learn a language to communicate with their own children?
There are people that find learning the language very challenging, which is perfectly understandable. American Sign Language is more complex than many people realize. One thing I have learned about many people in the deaf community is that they are happy when a person truly tries to learn the language. You may not be perfect, but you are trying! You can also see an example of that in the same episode of Switched At Birth. As you watch the same young man, you see he starts to ease up a little when he sees people are trying to learn ASL in order to communicate better.
Take a few moments each day or each moment you can to communicate with your deaf family member or friend. If you are willing, overtime, you begin to feel more and more comfortable with understanding the language. It honestly takes time and dedication, but it is worth it! Not only can you learn a wonderful language, but you will also be able to meet and communicate with some wonderful and inspirational people of the deaf community!
I have enjoyed meeting many members of this community and many of you may not realize all the things you can learn from some great people! There are many websites and YouTube videos that will help you learn even more things about this language and culture. I hope to help many of you learn many things about this community. Take a step forward to learning this language and show the community you are willing to learn.
Spread the Sign
Blogger: Monica Hood
I created Deaf Insight to help spread deaf awareness. It is a place for everyone to come together to help share with the world! In this blog, I discuss my thoughts about many things. I hope you all enjoy it!