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How To Learn Sign Language

Speaking at Deaf Events is not Okay – ASL Vlog – 11/10/19


Hello everyone! Welcome to my channel. My name is Rachel, this is my name sign (R tapped on the corner of the mouth). This is my ASL vlog. Hi everyone! Welcome back! So I didn’t really know what to discuss today, because nothing has really happened. So I remembered that there was something I had meant to tell you all about that I thought was interesting It happened at a Deaf event that I went to a few weeks ago. So I went to this event. It was a somewhat large event and quite a few people showed up which was nice. I was sitting there chatting with some people and I heard something, so I looked over because I heard talking and I was thinking, this is a Deaf event, what is going on? So I look over and see this group of maybe five or six students and they’re using simcom (simultaneous communication). From listening to their conversation, I figured out that they were ASL 1 students. So they’re new and signing can be hard. Sometimes simcom is easier for new students. I remember when I was in ASL 1 and 2, I preferred simcom. It was just easier for me because I didn’t have a strong grasp on ASL grammar and English was just easier, obviously. So I understood. It’s fine, they’re new and they’re trying. So I went back to my conversation. Also they were talking very softly so I was like, fine whatever, maybe someone will tell them to stop and only sign, but I don’t really care. So I went back to my conversation. Later, I notice they’re talking louder and louder, so I look over and see that they’ve completely given up on signing. They’re just talking. They’re not signing at all. They’re not even trying to sign. They’re just over there having their conversation by speaking and that is not okay. That is extremely rude and they are all taking ASL. They know it’s rude. I was really annoyed. But I didn’t want to be the one to go tell them to stop so I was just like, wow, okay, whatever. Hopefully someone tells them. So I just went back to my conversation. Later on, the event organizer stood up and told everyone there was no talking allowed, please only sign. So they stopped talking after that and switched back to signing. But the thing I think was interesting was There was a girl in my ASL 4 class who brought her friend with her. He didn’t know any ASL at all. None. He was hearing, obviously, and knew no sign whatsoever. Now, this event was about 3 hours long. It was a long event and he did not speak at all. So he doesn’t know any sign but he didn’t talk. This group over here, they all knew some sign and they were talking. Why? That is not okay. This boy was really nice and super respectful. He would write, type on his phone, and he learned a few signs which he would use. A few times, he whispered in his friend’s ear to ask her how to sign something, but that was it. But he never just spoke outright. He watched or conversations, he didn’t understand but he would learn and pick up signs from it, and he thought it was interesting. He enjoyed the event. He had fun and he did it without talking. Why is it that a boy who doesn’t know ASL or Deaf culture, who has never taken an ASL class, Why was he more respectful than a group of kids who are taking ASL right now? They know Deaf people and they were just being rude and talking. Why did that happen? I just couldn’t believe it. So if you’re a new ASL student, if you’re hearing and you’ve never taken ASL, I guess the purpose of this is to say there is no excuse for not being respectful and polite in your communications. There is no reason you should be speaking in a Deaf space. And you don’t need to know ASL to communicate with Deaf people. Deaf people live with and around hearing people every day. They know how to communicate with hearing people. They can use writing, gesturing, pointing, whatever. But being lazy is not a good reason for speaking at something like this. It’s just rude. And I really don’t think this group of students was trying to be rude. They were just trying to have fun and talk to each other, and they were being lazy. They just didn’t want to make the effort and do the work and focus to use ASL. But that’s still a problem. That’s still not okay. There is never a situation where that is acceptable. Anyway, I know this got a little bit deep and emotional and I got kind of mad, but it’s not the first time I’ve seen this happen. It’s not and I wish it was but it’s not. And this needed to be said. This is not okay. People need to understand that if they can sign and they choose not to, that is unacceptable. If there is an interpreter interpreting, the obviously that’s different. That’s fine, but if you go to a Deaf event, I don’t care if you’re fluent in ASL, if you just know some, or you don’t know any at all, you don’t need to be speaking. Anyway, I’m sorry is got kind of upset. Thank you for watching. If you want to see more, subscribe and like this video. If you have feedback for my signing, let me know in the comments and I would like to add that if you’ve experienced something similar, let me know in a comment or even just your thoughts about this because this is a problem. So let me know and I will see you later. Bye!

One Reply to “Speaking at Deaf Events is not Okay – ASL Vlog – 11/10/19”

  • There’s no reason to sign in a hearing situation then? I disagree because this shouldn’t be one sided. So we should tell Spanish speakers to not speak Spanish in English environments?

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