I’ve recently decided to learn something new. Sign language! What made me decide to learn this? When I was in the 9th grade we found out one of my younger cousins was born deaf. She eventually received a cochlear implant but I had decided that sign language would be a good skill to know to communicate with her and that it would be important to know in the filed of work that I would like to enter in to. My cousin doesn’t live in the same province as me, so I don’t see her often. But my family had never been affected by deafness in the past so this situation opened my eyes to something new. During high school I learned the signing basics – the alphabet, numbers 0-9, and some words.
During my undergraduate career I took a few courses on language development and during those courses we learned a little bit about Deaf culture and what it means to be Deaf in a predominantly hearing world. I have found it so fascinating and learning about that had made me want to further pursue the language. Of course, undergrad isn’t exactly the time to be picking up new hobbies/skills as there is generally zero time to read anything other than textbooks. So that goal had to be put on hold.
A few weeks ago, I began watching the tv show Switched at Birth. One of the main premises of this show (other than the switched at birth part) is that one of the girls who was switched is Deaf. Watching this show, and watching the other characters learn ASL (American Sign Language) made me want to learn again, and seriously study the language.
Over the last couple of weeks I have refreshed my alphabet and number knowledge. I have re-learned the basic greetings, who, what, where, when, why, how… and I love it! For those wondering how and where I’m learning, I am not studying in a classroom or looking to get certified. Yet. I have decided that pursuing my Child Life Certification should be my priority now, and if I can pick up enough ASL independently then I will pursue actual certification later, assuming that it won’t be too difficult to achieve if I’ve already been self-taught.
So, for those interested in checking out what I’m talking about, feel free!
I have begun studying through the ASL University website found here.
If you have any basic signing questions, let me know! I will do my best to help 🙂