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How To Learn Sign Language

Sign Language News (Texas Country Reporter)


To most folks, a day working from home means
time all alone and taking it easy. And while telecommuting does come with its
own benefits, Alex Abenchuchan isn’t like most people. First thing every morning he’s in his office
searching for the most important new stories of the day and getting ready to connect with
hundreds and thousands of people from his home in Buda. ALEX: Really, my bread and butter is the daily
news that I do here in my home studio and the things that I’m covering from the news
stories I’m finding on the internet. I’ll usually pick around eight news stories
and then distribute it online. First it felt funny, it felt like, as if I
was talking to myself. I didn’t know if people were even gonna like
it. BOB: Uncertainty did not stop him from stepping
into the spotlight. Three years ago, Alex started doing something
that would not have been possible without social media. Delivering an online newscast from his spare
bedroom entirely in American Sign Language. So I was born deaf and both of my parents
are deaf as well, so I grew up with American Sign Language as my primary language. I can remember when Russia was doing the annex
of Crimea. Huge news story. I noticed that the deaf community wanted to
know what it was that was going on but they wanted to have it accessed in American Sign
Language. There’s a bit of a disconnect between the
deaf community being able to keep up with the news. A lot of deaf people enjoy reading captions
but reading captions isn’t the same as having it in your own native language when you’re
watching the news. So I had decided to do just a short little
video to explain what it was that was going on and I posted it to Facebook and it got
shared over 300 times. Social media has really just changed the game. I can do everything right here with a computer
and a camera and do the same work. I’m just able to do it and if people like
what you’re doing, you know, your viewership will increase. BOB: Lights, camera, action. And so The Daily Moth was born. Fluttering into the streets of the information
super highway. When responses started pouring in from all
over, Alex took it as a sign to keep going. Now he receives hundreds of comments, thumbs
up, and even art from appreciative fans. ALEX: I always get emails, comments everyday,
just saying, ‘thank you so much for doing this.’ Sometimes I’ll meet someone in person and
they’ll ask, you know, ‘hey can I take a selfie with you?’ You’re a celebrity. Uh, yeah, in the deaf community. Yeah, there’s a lot of recognition that I’ve
got because lots of people are watching. The hearing community doesn’t know me, I’m
kind of hidden in their world. BOB: Well, his face may not be on the cover
of tabloids but Alex does deserve some fame. Behind the door of The Daily Moth is a one
man band. And a tour of his tiny studio is proof.. And so this is where the magic is happening. BOB: …that it’s all still very homegrown. But shining a light on a community spread
across the world. While other countries are very condensed and
everyone is born into the same culture and has the same food and has a very similar experience
growing up, for us in the deaf community, I might be the only deaf person in the house. ASL is kind of what connects us. I use my toe to control it and then I’ll do
my sign language from there. That’s amazing! And there are hearing people that can learn
American Sign Language as well. Hello, I’ve got a special guest here today
and what’s your name? Kelli, and Kelli is from BOTH: Texas Country Reporter. Report. Report. Report-er, there you go We can’t grow ear
cells so it’s tuff for us to join you but you can always join us. The internet and social media’s been so important
’cause I feel this connection of what it is that’s going on out in the world. American Sign Language is it’s own language. It has its own grammar, it has its own rules,
its own structure, it is its own culture. Deaf people depend on lights to see each other
signing, so when we come to a place that’s really dark, we tend to gather where the light
is brightest, so that we as deaf people are kind of like moths. So it’s kind of funny, it’s a deaf culture
thing to be a moth, so that’s where the show’s name came from The Daily Moth. There’s kind of this, like, looking down on
us, but you gotta understand that for me and for the rest of the deaf community it’s our
own reality. We’re fine, we’re doing well. We wanna be viewed as equals. And the world is unlimited. There’s so many languages, cultures, people
all around the world, it’s impossible to experience everyone’s life. But, you know, is one superior to another? I think we’re all just equal. I think we have different experiences based
on our upbringing and, you know, being deaf is just one of those diverse parts of life. BOB: Deaf humor, deaf culture, deaf news,
all bringing the deaf community closer together. Using visual language rich with expression,
The Daily Moth is a testament to the human desire for connection, the need to feel understood
that all of share. And for Alex Abenchuchan, well, that’s what
it’s all about. Everyone wants to find their purpose in life. I love getting to be behind the camera, to
do news, and to use American Sign Language to meet all these different people. I also feel like I’m giving a service to the
community that they’re benefiting from, so it’s a beautiful thing and I want to continue
doing this for a while.

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