Why Some Deaf People Speak And Don’t Sign (American Sign Language Vlog)
October 16, 2019
[pencil writing] [Pokemon game sound] Hello, it’s Rikki. First, before we get to
the main part of the video, I wanted to share news about
the #NoMoreCRAPtions t-shirts. If you want to get one, they’re
available through June 21st. I’ll have the link to the shirts below. Okay, so, today’s topic: Recently, I watched a video from…
let me spell her name right. Cheyenna Clear- Cheyenna Clearbrook. I can’t spell names, I’m sorry. She’s a fantastic YouTuber. You should go watch her. She signs in her videos. Cheyenna talked about YouTube and deaf YouTubers. About how some deaf YouTubers
speak, and some only sign. Some deaf YouTubers preferring to
speak instead of signing in videos. I’m one of those speaking YouTubers. I know this.
It’s fine. But I want to discuss, explain something. A lot of people talk about how it’s
hard to find deaf YouTubers who sign. I understand that. I think more signing deaf prefer
to use Facebook over YouTube. I see them post more on Facebook. But on YouTube, there are
more speaking deaf YouTubers. Maybe there’s an equal amount,
I don’t know. Most of the deaf YouTubers I’m
subscribed to sign in their videos. I want to explain why some deaf
people speak, or simply prefer it. Not a lot of deaf people are the same. Deaf people aren’t a monolith. We all grew up differently. I mean, I was mainstreamed growing up. I had my diagnosis when I was 11. Maybe I had crap hearing
before then, I don’t know. But I was diagnosed at 11. I didn’t start learning ASL until three years ago. I’m still kinda a bad signer.
Yeah, there, I said it. My vocabulary sucks.
My vocabulary list is crap. I need to improve that.
I know that. My goal for this summer is
to expand on my vocabulary. I want to study a little
more every single day. So, yes, I speak for most of my channel. I try to sign when I can,
but sometimes, I won’t. Most of the time, I won’t because
I’m used to and most comfortable speaking. It’s just like a fluent ASL signer who
is used to communicating that way. I always say you should use the
language you’re comfortable with. Of course, I practice on here and
other platforms across the Internet. And I practice in person as well
when having face-to-face conversations. But I can’t always because
of the lack of fluency. The risk of uploading in a language
that you don’t know is that if what you say is wrong,
or the translation is off, people might put you down,
especially in the comments. I know this.
I’ve experienced it. Sometimes, the best thing to do
is to use your language. The language you’re comfortable with. And then, you know,
maybe caption the videos. Of course, not all deaf people
can read English fluently. That’s the way it is. So, sometimes, captions aren’t helpful, but that’s still more accessible
than no captions at all. For me, the language I use
depends on the video topic. If I’m talking about stuff like this,
I’m comfortable with using ASL. It’s not perfect, but I try. If I’m talking about technology or mental health, I don’t have the vocabulary for all of that. So why would I prefer to sign a video like that? That would be wrong and a bad idea. So that’s when I need English.
That’s how I communicate best. I say what I want to say best using English. If I was making videos in other languages
I don’t fully know, it would be wrong. I remember last year when I had
an interview withTim Cook. I cannot fingerspell O-O-K. I voiced and I had captions for me. I voiced and there were people
who ended up angry with me. There were comments saying
that I wasn’t deaf, asking angrily why I was speaking
and not signing at all. And I’m like… dude. That’s how I grew up. That’s what I know. The event wasn’t about how
one communicates- It wasn’t about how one communicates. It was an event about accessible technology. If I’m working, I’m going with
what I’m comfortable with. If I don’t, then I can’t do my job. But yeah, we’re just not all the same. Just like people with other disabilities are not the same. It just doesn’t work that way. That’s why I encourage everyone,
deaf, disabled, whoever, everyone of different experiences to share their stories. Upload a video, write it, whatever. We need to talk about these different experiences. That’s important. I use both ASL and English in my life, but I’m still going to be most comfortable with English. I mean, I’ve only been using that
language for about 26 years now. I’ve been using ASL for only about 3. But I’m also in a hearing dominated environment. Very few deaf people around me all the time. That’s just what I’ve been thinking about. Again, the point is to use
whatever is comfortable. If you were mainstreamed and only speak, that’s your story and your experience. You should share that if you want. Don’t be scared to share that. If you use ASL or whatever sign language- there’s a lot of different sign languages- then use that! We all need to share our stories. Not everyone speaks,
not everyone signs. Share your stories. Thank you for watching.
I’ll see you later, bye.