Radio Inspire

How To Learn Sign Language

Deaf Culture – Getting Attention | ASL – American Sign Language


Hello. If you want to get a Deaf person’s attention, how can you do that? There are a variety of ways that the Deaf people typically do. I’m going to tell you these ways. 1) The shoulder tap. You’d tap the person’s shoulder. 2) The hand wave. 3) Flashing the lights. 4) Stomping on the floor. 5) Tapping on the table to cause vibrations. So these are the five ways and I am going to expand each one of these. 1) The shoulder tap where you tap the person’s shoulder. What is that used for? It is used if the person is next to you and you can reach that person. Go ahead and grab the opportunity to tap shoulders. If the person is looking the other way, and the hand wave wouldn’t work. You would be stuck, right? So that is when you can tap shoulders and then the person will look at you. Okay? 2) The hand wave. If the person is far and looking around in your direction, you would do the hand wave, then that gets the person’s attention. 3) Flashing lights/switching lights on and off. That method is usually used in the classroom, hallway, and meeting room. And auditoriums. If it takes too much work to get everybody’s attention, then switching the lights on and off will get their attention. It usually works quickly. 4) Stomping on the ground to cause vibrations. But that is usually used with people that you already know. Like a friend, or family member, someone you are comfortable with. When you stomp on the floor, some floors are too hard. Then that renders the stomps useless. Some floors you could feel the vibrations, then take advantage of that. The vibrations will get the person’s attention. 5) At the table This method is used with people that you know, family or friends, or in a social situation. If you are comfortable enough, then you could tap on the table with your hand so that the people at the table they would then feel the vibrations on their arms and then look at you. So that is the table tap. The first two methods are commonly used. 1) The shoulder tap and 2) the hand wave. 3) Flashing the lights. Or flashing with the flashlight. 4) Stomping your feet on the ground to cause vibrations. 5) Tapping on the table to cause vibrations. So these are the five ways to get a Deaf person’s attention. Okay, good.

One Reply to “Deaf Culture – Getting Attention | ASL – American Sign Language”

  • I couldn't learn German by reading a German book with no English translations. Similarly, when trying to learn sign language, seeing the signs isn't enough. There needs to be either written or spoken words to translate what we're seeing.

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