I love American Sign Language 🤟🏼 ! I am a part of the culture and I’ve been since I was 11 years old! I was mildly hard of hearing due to many ruptured eardrums, untreated. (long story-see private posts and just email me for the password. Email me at: ASLSuzyQ@gmail.com)
Hearing or loss of it, is not a handicap and neither is it a weakness or a disability. Deafness is a cultural identity. I have had a tumor (Cholesteatoma) in my right ear since approximately 2014-2015. I didn’t know it was there. My hearing diminished even more until it was completely gone in right ear and moderate/severe loss in left ear. I recently had surgery to remove the Cholesteatoma, but it was very large & now (7-2019), my right ear is closed. But I became moderate Deaf in my right ear and Severe in my left; after a Traumatic brain injury due to a motor vehicle accident in 2002! I am proud to be in a culture of warriors and Deaf historians! The music & words are all a bit mushed together. I miss a lot in verbal conversations. I nod my head and hope for the best. I feel a bit lost sometimes in such instances. I’m so very lucky to know what I do know about the naturally formed language of ASL. I’m fortunate for my experience as an Interpreter at a hospital and at Universities and school settings in the past. Ironic isn’t it, how life can take a turn?
But what does bother me is when people pretend to know ASL, because they know “signs”. The first lesson in ASL is that a sign does not equal a word! A sign equals a concept! I go on YouTube all of the time and I see people acting as though they know the language. They post a song and then post a “tutorial ” and then proceed to teach others incorrect signs and fake ASL; which is PSE at best. But do you know that PSE is not a language? It’s just a mush mash of signs in English word order. So then, you’ve taken a beautiful Language like ASL, and desecrated it! Anyone can do anything they want because it’s the internet. If you want to post songs and such in “Sign Language “, then by all means, feel free. Just write up a bio and explain that you’re just trying or you’re practicing your use of ASL. Say that you’re doing your best or that you are learning the language. But don’t call it ASL, unless it is. Then please do not post a tutorial unless you’re truly sure it’s correct and grammatical ASL. It is just the respectful thing to do. We don’t like our language polluted & then taught incorrectly to others who are vulnerable and learning.
I have a few videos up from the beginning of my YouTube channel that are a bit PSE. When I first started my Youtube channel, I thought I was supposed to sign the songs in English. I thought the words were important for songs. But words are not important. It’s the concepts that are important.
I don’t make tutorials because each person may sign the same song a bit differently. It’s a choice in lots of instances; a choice of which signs for the concepts you want to convey.
Yes, please learn the beautiful language of American Sign Language, ASL! But don’t be arrogant and don’t be a student teaching other students! Let the teachers, native ASL language users, Deaf community & CODA’s teach those who wish to learn! I honestly do not mean to dissuade anyone from making videos and having fun. I only mean to please not make tutorials if you truly don’t know for sure that it’s ASL. Don’t be the “blind leading the blind”! That’s what I’m getting at most of all, I suppose.
Feel free to join my ASLExpress group on Facebook. We are a group of people who love the language of ASL. We enjoy Deaf culture and we share communications and stories in ASL. We are a group of Deaf, HH and Hearing persons who love, use and respect the language. We are a combination of all levels of ASL users; from beginners through native Deaf. We like to teach, learn and make friends.
I also have a page called “ASLSUZYQ”; on Facebook, Instagram, Tiktok & Tumblr! I don’t claim to know it all. I learn new signs everyday! I’m always willing to help and take advice from the Deaf “elders” in ASL! I’m actually taking an online course in ASL gloss for songs. It’s called “Beyond Words” with Rosa Lee Timm! It’s a blast, though due to chronic pain and illnesses, I’m a bit behind. Thanks to the Internet, I can go at my own pace.
Below is my granddaughter &!me (I actually have 3 granddaughters & 1 grandson)! I’m teaching them ASL while they’re small because young minds are like sponges. The littlest ones learn the language so fast!