Monday, 4 November 2013

Learn Sign Language

Sign Language letters spelling "Hello"
 Hello! Its the starting point of any conversation and any relationship. But can you imagine not being able to greet someone with a "Hey!" or "Hi"? For millions of people around the world that is the case - they are mute, verbally challenged or deaf and unable to engage someone the way you or I might with our words. For them, sign language is how they communicate; they use their hands to express their emotions, the way you or I use oral language.

Before I'm Pushing Up Daisies, I'd like to make the world a more inclusive place, and on a personal level that could be something so simple as learning sign language to communicate with people who are unable to use verbal language.

When I was younger, I could sign a few basic words like: "Home", "Go", "Mom" etc. It was something I picked up from my younger cousin who communicated through sign language growing up. She even gave me a sign that represented "Chech", which is what she called me because she couldn't pronounce the hard "R" and "L" in Rachal. Seeing her adapt and be able to communicate through something other than words was new to me, and even as a younger kid it bothered me that she had to try so hard to communicate with her peers, because none of them understood her signing.

Later, as I gained more exposure to the sign language commmunity, it became evident to me that they are not any different than you or I, if anything they are forced to be more creative with how they express themselves and communicate because so few people "speak" their language!

I am a very talkative and expressive person, and I can't imagine what my frustration would be like if i were unable to communicate my thoughts freely and have everyone understand them. So I'd like to be able to learn sign language in order to not only communicate with people who rely on sign language, but also to teach others to as well.

A lot of people seem to be put off by differences, someone doesn't act, look or speak the way you do and so they are cast aside as "misfits" or "different" or "weird". If just a couple people took the time to get to know them, they'd realize, as I have, that people who sign aren't all that different after all and they're a lot like you or me.

As a side note, my cousin who began communicating through sign language now is at the top of her class, president of student council and an excellent public speaker. Just goes to show how you can't judge a book by their cover, or a person by their language.



  1. I can totally relate to this. I used to work in Timmies, and there was this one customer who came in every day. He was deaf so you had to have his order memorized in a day or two or else you wouldn't be able to make his tea appropriately. I had this one supervisor who knew sign language and was able to communicate with him easily which was really helpful. However, they fired him and then it took so long to figure out what kind of bagel/donuts he wanted to eat. It got really frustrating and if I had known sign language it could have helped so much!

  2. That's really cool! It could definitely be beneficial to know sign language. Do you know if sign language has been adapted to languages other than english?