Radio Inspire

How To Learn Sign Language

Learning about Sign Language – ASL


[Hi] [my] [Name is] [R] [E] [A] [G] [A] [N] (hopeful music) – Hello! Welcome to No Limits with Reagan! If you enjoy learning like me. And do you like learning about people with a no limits attitude? Just be sure to subscribe! And on today’s show, I’m
learning all about sign language. On my last episode I helped people who go to the ear doctor
not be afraid to go by taking them with me to the ear doctor. Actually it’s called
otorhinolaryngologist. You can click that
episode by clicking here! Anyway, when I got my hearing test, I was thinking what if
I did lose my hearing? What would I do? Well I know one thing I would do. I would learn sign language. And I’m gonna show you
how I learned about that, by taking you to the Sign of The Times. And I also wanted to show
you how they use videos to make phone calls. I will even take a call from
my new friend Larry Umberger. Lastly I will take you
over to Lorena High School, where I can give you a
glimpse in the hard work that theater students put into a play that’s all in sign language. Ready to come learn with me? I can’t hear you… Oh okay, good, let’s go. I think I’m gonna learn a lot. (hopeful music) No limits! Hey guys, I’m at Sign of the Times! A sign language referral agency. (knocks on door) (door squeaks) – [Cameraman] Hello! – Hi Reagan, how ya doing? – Good. – Good to see you! (pats back) Welcome to Sign of the Times! I wanna show you around. Welcome to my office! This is uh, as you can see I collect hands and everyone who knows me gets me hands. Everything I do has hands on it. Can you tell what this says? I know it’s faces, but it says ASL. – Oh, ASL. – Then over here we have
several other pieces of art, like this chair! You wanna sit in it?
(gasps) (thump)
(cloth sliding on chair) Okay, let me grab one. – How did you get into this business? – I think the business found me. Actually when I was a little girl, I met twins that were deaf. I’d never met a deaf person in my life and all of a sudden I
have, it was a summertime, and the kids were home from school for the deaf and they’re
running around the neighborhood, we became very close friends. I started asking a lot of questions. “What’s toy?” “What’s
play?” “What’s shop?” And I’m just asking everything and they’re teaching me sign language. By the end of the summer I was pretty good, not
fluent, but pretty good that I could talk with them. And then later on a few
years later we found out my nephew, the newborn baby, we found out about 18 months old, he was deaf. And then I knew I had experience so I started learning more sign language. Because I wanted to be able to communicate really fluently with him. So my whole purpose was not
to become an interpreter, it was actually to
communicate with family. But as time went on and
I started falling in love with the language cause it’s very artistic and it’s, um, it’s just a fun thing to do because it’s so much expression. And just meeting more deaf people, I just love the people I’ve met and the next thing I know
I became an interpreter. And then just kinda changed through time until we opened up Sign of the Times. – What is your most
meaningful part of your work? – I think the most meaningful is knowing that you take two people that don’t speak the same language and are struggling, and a lot is riding on
that miscommunication. And then all of a sudden
they’re communicating, and when I walk out of an assignment and I know this deaf person
knew what was going on and the person I was interpreting for, the business people, knew what was going on and
they actually communicated there’s not a better feeling. – What is an ASL? – ASL is a language. We call it ASL but it’s
actually American Sign Language. And it’s language that deaf people use. It’s not English, you
know how we speak English? It’s not really in the English order because it’s based off of gestures and– – Speaking English right now! – I know but we say things to them, from English and we translate it to ASL. (distorted speech) Meet our Office Manager, this is Denise Gibson.
– Hi! How are you? – Good. Can you tell me more
about Sign of the Times? – Sure, Sign of the Times
functions as a referral service. So businesses that maybe your
mom goes to or you go to, deaf individuals go to those businesses and the business will
call and say they need an interpreter. And they want an interpreter to come out so that they can understand what it is that the deaf person’s
needing while they’re there. – What’s your favorite
thing about doing this job? – Well I think this job is very rewarding, because you know when
you go out to interpret for a person who is deaf, you know that you’ll be
able to leave there knowing that they were able to
communicate and understand what was going on in that setting. – Thank you for meeting with me. – Sure! Drop by anytime! – Oh and I love your sign. – This is Rachel! – So what do you do here? – I’m the scheduler. – What is this? This is so cool. – [Rachel] It’s a video phone. It’s how we sit there and communicate with deaf people. We call them or they call us and then we answer the phone calls. Look! We got a special guest calling! (phone ringing) His name is Larry. Can you tell him “Hello”? Say “Hello”.
– Hello. (Rachel laughs) – What kind of work do you do? – He said “Okay, that’s fine”. He said “My name is Larry Umberger, this is my sign name Larry. I work at Baylor University. My position is called Language Technology Coordinator. I make videos for the ASL classes the student’s different inventions on digital records. We practice, we learn all that and we create…” create with? Environments. “A creative environment online to improve and learn and today we’re developing an online class for ASL one and two, for the first levels. That’s what we’re working
on developing now. So that’s my position at work. I graduated with a masters
in educational technology, and that applies to my work during the day here’s popular to create online classes and that’s it.” – Do those students know
how to finger spell? – “Oh that’s a good question. We’re responsible to teach
them how to finger spell. Yes, they learn how to finger spell, sign, numbers, the words and grammar and facial expression, facial grammar, organizational grammar. We teach them all these things so it’s not only finger
spelling. Is that okay?” You wanna show him how you finger spell? Show him your alphabet.
– Like the ABC’s? Okay. – She wants to show you her ABCs. He said “Go ahead”. (jaunty music) (mumbles) – Q is “Q” (laughs) – Good jobs! Great! He said “I’m gonna give you a tip.” He said “It’s best to practice,” He said “whenever you
see like you see a name of a restaurant or a
server and you see that, try and finger spell that word and it’s good practice. Your ABCs if you’re satisfied with that and then you’re good, then you can move on to the next level and then you see different finger spelling different words and you can sit there and finger spell to yourself.” – Yay! (both laugh quietly) – Okay, I told him you wanna say thank you for interviewing with him today. – Okay. – She said “Nice, me too”. He said “It was nice to meet you, too. Thank you for picking me t–
as your special guest today”. – How do I say you’re welcome? – You’re welcome. – You’re welcome. (laughs) (chair rolling)
(hopeful piano music) Thank you for meeting with me today. – Aww, thank you for thinking of us. – Wow! That was so interesting! And the video conference was so much fun! Now I’m gonna take you
over to Lorena High School! Where we will meet theater students with a no limits spirit! I’m here today at Lorena High School and I’m gonna meet some
high school students, who are working on a play
that’s all in sign language. – I am a magic snake, I will grand you any
wish in all the world. What do you wish for? “That’s easy!” Said the little bird. “I want to fly like the other birds.” “Beware,” said the snake.
“for if I give your wings the ability to fly, you will no longer be the same as your family on the ground. They are happy and love you, as you are. You must choose where you belong.” (thump)
Your eyes keep going to Adam. – I’m just thinking about his knee, that’s all. – You act as if you fell down, not him. Where’s mom? – In the kitchen, washing plates. – They’re paper plates,
we throw them away! She doesn’t need to wash them. (laughs) – Out of my world. – What happened to “our world”? – It is “our world” but
with Adam it’s different. – Not to me. – Yes, with Adam we have
to decide what’s best for him. Not us. – [Crowd Member] Where’s Jacob? – Best for him, bad for us. – We’ll cross that bridge– – Be careful. – Why? – You may be crossing that bridge alone. (high-pitched squealing) – What’s your favorite
part of the process? – Uh, for me I think it’s interesting to find more and more
depth in the signing. So working with her,
because I’m her voice, at first we would sync up pretty well that, you know, the further we got along the more meaning I would
find in the signing and in the lines and everything
would just get better and better and our acting would get better and that’s really nice. – I think my favorite part would be when we’re actually performing
in front of an audience. Because behind the scenes days, sometimes it’s really good. Sometimes it’s really bad, it genuinely depends. And it feels like a mess sometimes but then when we’re on
stage performing in front of an audience, I just watch from afar, like, our progress and just
everything come together in a nice package and I like it. – Was it hard? – Well I had a, like, over 100 lines and they’re all in sign language and it was really difficult for me because beforehand I knew
no sign language at all and I had to come in extra
time before rehearsals, but it was really fun.
(mumbles) It was very difficult. (students laugh)
It was a lot, yeah. – What obstacles have y’all faced? – Sometimes when we’re learning our signs, they change and so you have
to memorize differently than what you initially learned. – Speaking from the
perspective of a voice actor, we have to sometimes either match up or stay just a tad bit behind our actors or signers and just trying to match up with them was just a process in of itself. – What lessons have you been learning? – Well, whenever we were doing, like, whenever we were blocking
the play and stuff, we chose to have all of the lines signed and spoken so that we could have a play
that was total communication. – Do any of y’all have
interest in sign language after the show? – Yes, I do. Since I’m gonna
be a firefighter paramedic I think that’s, you know, a
useful tool to have on my belt so in case I, you know, go out on a call where I have to address and
deal with a deaf person, I know how to communicate with them. – And for me I’m gonna be
going off to college soon and I don’t quite know what I wanna do but through this play I have, like, gotten a lot more interest in signing and I’ve always been like,
kinda interested in it because it’s a language that’s like, completely unlike any other language. So part of me is kind of contemplating if I wanna minor in sign language or do something involving
sign language in college. – A possible job that I’ve considered is I kinda wanna be a
character at Disney World, like go into the Disney College Program and being able to sign
as a Disney character is like such a big deal
to, like, a deaf child. If you’ve seen the videos
(laughs) of them it’s so wholesome and sweet. It’s so good. So I’d wanna learn it for that. – It is really impressive that y’all all– have all learned this. Whew! I’ve learned so much today! There’s a whole world out there and a lot of people doing great work. I learned that American Sign Language is like any other language. But it is special, because it can be a bridge
between the worlds of the hearing and the deaf. Hope you liked the show today! If so be sure to click like! Until next time… No limits!
(students giggling) (hopeful music)

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