Sign language is a method of communication of which I am becoming more andmore familiar.
This is in great part to a series of videos I am currently watching entitledThe Bravo Family, Beginning ASL 1-15. I have recently finished watching videos threeand four. I have discovered there are many things that I did not know concerning suchtopics as the culture and grammar of the deaf community. I feel these are two aspectswhich deserve an abundance of credit and require a large amount of studying.The culture of the deaf community is still thriving and continues to grow instrength. This in spite of the years of suppression that people have enforced on theseunique individuals.
Technology has extended a great helping hand to all mankind,especially those of a deaf nature. Flashing lights are becoming a very useful tool in deafpeoples homes. For example, to help accommodate the special needs of those who cannot hear the telephone or doorbell ring, systems can be installed into someones homewhich alerts them of someones presence at the door or on the phone. The flashing light isalso used to help wake people up in the morning; alarm clocks can also be connected tothe lights. There are also dogs that are trained for sounds. For years blind people haveused these animals to help get them from one place to another. Now the people in thedeaf community can use canines to help alert them of sounds or noises.
Another gratefultool that is used to help the special needs of those who can not hear is a device known as aTTY or TDD. This is a device that helps two people communicate over the phone linesby typing on a machine. The message is transmitted over the phone lines and received byanother person on the other line. The problem with this was communicating between adeaf person with a TTY and hearing person without one. To solve this problem manystates offer what is known as a relay station. This is where a deaf person can type amessage on a TTY, the message is run through a relay station, and the hearing person onthe other line hears a voice which states the message. The opposite is also possible.
Ahearing person on one line says something. It runs through the relay station and istransmitted to the TTY in a typed statement. There is also the entertainment aspect of theculture. The TV set is a universal tool of education and entertainment. Almost all TVsand stations offer closed captioning.
This is a great service which scrolls white letters on ablack background across the bottom of the screen. People can see what is being said andstill watch a program. Another aspect of entertainment which is greatly incorporated withculture is folklore and storytelling. ASL incorporates very creative storytelling with bodylanguage, facial expressions, and the numbering system in number story telling. In thisform of relaying a story numbers represent people, actions, or things.
It is veryentertaining to watch someone tell a story using numbers. As you can see the culture ofdeaf people runs deep and involves a great many things.The technical aspect of ASL is just as important as understanding the culture. Proper grammar is essential when communicating with other people. In ASL you arerequired to put the negative at the end of a sentence rather than first.
This is opposite, inform, of English. Another rule of grammar is known as the topic comment rule. Thisstates that the topic is established first and then what you want to say about the topic, thecomment, is stated last.
These rules are very important and can not be overlooked.I thoroughly enjoyed these two videos over The Bravo family. I learned new signsfor oven, living room, couch, onions, shop, and many more. I am looking forward towatching more videos and learning more signs. The culture of deaf people is amazing tome and although the grammar is difficult for me to understand I plan to stick with it andlearn and apply all or most of the rules.