Latest Posts
8 Essential Tips for Signing

Feb 2, 2022

Learning sign language or simply looking to improve upon your abilities? Take a look at our list of handy (pun intended) tips to help you better learn sign language.

1. Know the alphabet

When learning anything, it's essential to start with the basics. In this case, we need to learn the alphabet of the language that we're signing. Make sure you've practiced the basic alphabet of whichever sign language you're choosing to learn or practice. It goes without saying that these are the building blocks to signing like a pro!

2. Relax your hands

Some people claim that they "talk with their hands". Well, for those of us who talk using sign language, this saying is quite literal. Not only is keeping your hands relaxed important for our form, but also essential when it comes to speed and tiring your hands out. Signing by nature is a tiring means of communication, especially if you're guilty of having stiff signing hands. Relaxing your hands means that you're able to sign at a greater speed, with more clarity, and for longer.

3. Be clear in your form

Following on from the second point, it's essential to keep your form in mind at all times. This involves finding the middle ground where our hands are simply relaxed and composed - neither rigid nor sloppy. Keeping your form in check is a considerate way to ensure that your message is completely understood by the end receiver.

4. Practice on camera

Some of us learn best when we're able to review our work. This counts when it comes to signing too. Recording yourself signing on camera is an effective way to pick up on the points of weakness in your technique which you or others may have not noticed otherwise. 

5. Watch others

If you're fourtunate enough to be a part of an active community of d/Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing people, it's likely that you have been exposed to others signing on a regular basis. Choosing to remain active in such communities will allow you to watch and practice your signing and improve in a casual setting. If you're not active in a d/Deaf community environment, do not fear - there are plenty of resources available for free online which you can watch.

6. Use facial expressions

Facial expressions are a great tool to use when it comes to communication - they are essential in conveying tone and feeling when talking, and are even more important when signing. Need some proof? Look at the story Charlie Chaplin tells with his facial expressions and body language.

7. Take classes

Whether you're a beginner who's learning to sign for the first time, or a veteran who needs to brush up on their form, classes are a great way to help you perfect your signing technique. Signing classes are worth the investment - they allow you to practice in a group or individual environment where your skills can be evaluated by a professional, rather than in a social environment where there is less of a focus on the 

8. Practice everywhere!

Some of us choose to only sign when we're in an environment that prompts us to. For example, some may only sign whilst in the company of their d/Deaf community, or at a signing class. As we know, practice makes perfect, and the more practice that you can do in front of others, the better! Immersing yourself into all things d/Deaf culture is another great way to help you to inadvertently improve your skills.

Original post:

Internet Backs Deaf Woman Who Refuses to Visit Parents Until They Learn Sign Language

Feb 2, 2022

A deaf woman told her parents she would stop visiting them until they learned American Sign Language and thousands of users are supporting her decision.

The woman, who goes by u/basketsoftough on Reddit, received more than 14,600 votes and 1,570 comments since posting about her situation in the popular "Am I The A**hole" subreddit on Sunday.

In the post, she explained that when she was 18, she was in an accident that caused a traumatic brain injury (TBI). She said the TBI resulted in hearing loss in both ears leaving her Deaf and she did not qualify for cochlear implants.

She explained that the accident "derailed" her life, causing university to be pushed back and for her to suffer from depression "for a long time." She said once she decided to try getting back out there, she met the Deaf community and learned sign language.

But, u/basketsoftough explained that her relationship with her parents hadn't been the same since the accident.

"A few years ago I told them I have embraced being Deaf, and I asked them if they would learn ASL, as that is now how I prefer to communicate," the post read. "They said no at the time because they didn't have time to learn a new language. I have tried many times over the years to try to give them information on Deafness and ASL, but they have shown no interest."

ASL is a language that utilizes hand gestures and facial expressions to communicate and is the primary language of many North Americans who are Deaf. While the official origin of the language is unknown, some suggest it is derived from more than 200 years ago by mixing French Sign Language and local sign languages.

According to the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), while some find it simple to quickly pick up on individual signs, it takes "time, patience, practice, and a sense of humor" to learn ASL. ASL, like any other language, has its own set of grammar rules as well as sentence structure and syntax.

NAD suggests that it can take a year or more to learn enough signs for basic communication.

In the post, u/basketsoftough explained that now at 26, she feels content with her life and wants to be able to communicate with her parents using ASL. She wrote that she mainly communicates with her parents using voice-to-text on their phones which she said was "far from perfect" and chaotic when other people were around.

"Trying to keep up with conversations is exhausting, and people are constantly getting frustrated with me for not following along," she explained. "Often we watch movies, but they refuse to turn the captions on because it's 'annoying,' despite the fact that it means I can't understand the movie at all."

In the post, u/basketsoftough wrote that this Christmas she had a tough time communicating with everyone. She said this resulted in her being yelled at or ignored.

"Before I went home again, I sat my parents down and told them that if they did not begin to learn ASL, I would not be visiting again for a long time," she wrote.

She also told her parents that she did not expect them to ever be fluent in ASL but that she needed them to show that they were putting in effort and learning.

"I told them that they have continuously dismissed my needs as a deaf person, and that if they want to continue to have a meaningful relationship with me, we need to have some kind of shared language," the post read.

She explained that her comments "didn't go over well" and that her parents accused her of wanting to cut them off. She said that wasn't the case but rather she could no longer visit when her "presence feels like a burden."

u/Basketsoftough wrote that she had been texting her brother and he thought she was being "hugely unfair" to their parents.

In the comments, many users poured in to defend u/basketsoftough.

"No, THEY are being unfair," one user commented. "Also, they either can't or don't want to learn ASL. Either way, you cannot keep accommodating them when they do NOTHING to accommodate YOU."

Others said her parents were "unsympathetic" by not wanting to learn ASL and for thinking the closed captions were "annoying."

"Asking people to learn even just a little ASL is 'wildly unfair?' The closed captions are 'annoying.' Screw that," one user wrote. "What's unfair is for someone to get into an accident bad enough to practically lose most of your hearing and then their family refusing to accommodate, being unsympathetic, yell at them and actively treat them like a burden for a situation they cannot control."

"I am furious for you..." another comment read. "Your post doesn't make it clear if your parents have always been d!cks or if they are in some sort of weird denial. In my limited experience the deaf community really is a community, find your new village and prosper."

Original post: