10 Reasons To Learn American Sign Language
Start writing a post
Student Life

10 Reasons To Learn American Sign Language

Breaking down the barriers between the deaf and hearing worlds.

10 Reasons To Learn American Sign Language
Holy Karpe

Four years ago I decided to take American Sign Language during my freshman year of high school. I ultimately fell in love with the language, became involved in the program, club, honor society, plays, shows and deaf events, became president my senior year, interpreted at my high school graduation and am now pursuing a career in American Sign Language Education. Before I decided to learn American Sign Language, I didn't have a close relationship to anyone that was deaf, and I honestly didn't know what the language was truly about. After learning American Sign Language for four years, I can honestly say that deciding to learn it was the best decision I've ever made. If you're skeptical about this beautiful, complex language or don't understand why it's so important, here are a list of 10 reasons why you should learn American Sign Language.

1. To communicate with the deaf.

This should be a no-brainer. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 4,022,334 people in the United States have hearing loss, and quite a number of them communicate using American Sign Language. Anyone can be deaf—a family member, friend, coworker, neighbor or even a passing stranger in the grocery store. Learning American Sign Language will allow you to be able to thoroughly communicate with the deaf and allow the collapse of the language barrier that divides the hearing and deaf world.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F08%2F26%2F636078019587247162288146976_6359668269159251351380842921_635966102834415695-2007446031_Gif%2520exaggerated%2520speech.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=772&h=5ee8f03341888d458aa97ade02d9f4b9c4cc719a8f413c3e73d3baaa508db0ce&size=980x&c=2780521279 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F08%252F26%252F636078019587247162288146976_6359668269159251351380842921_635966102834415695-2007446031_Gif%252520exaggerated%252520speech.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D772%26h%3D5ee8f03341888d458aa97ade02d9f4b9c4cc719a8f413c3e73d3baaa508db0ce%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2780521279%22%7D" expand=1]

2. People who are deaf appreciate it.

Every deaf person I've signed with has personality told me that they appreciate when people, especially hearing people, learn American Sign Language. This holds true for the majority of deaf people in the United States, as attempting to learn such a dynamic, difficult language is honorable and greatly appreciated. Learning American Sign Language shows the deaf that you actually care about them.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F08%2F26%2F63607802418766952376240043_TYBoySkyJC_f4a6facd-cca5-4369-a2af-56714bf6dbe2_large.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=716&h=e55d65a7b7bfc2cbca07b8faafbeb4f2d98ada40a500d3ac8a9cfe022ef48650&size=980x&c=3152651271 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F08%252F26%252F63607802418766952376240043_TYBoySkyJC_f4a6facd-cca5-4369-a2af-56714bf6dbe2_large.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D716%26h%3De55d65a7b7bfc2cbca07b8faafbeb4f2d98ada40a500d3ac8a9cfe022ef48650%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3152651271%22%7D" expand=1]

3. Bilingualism improves brain functioning and much more.

Being bilingual, no matter the languages, improves basic brain functions such as problem-solving, abstract thinking, distinguishing patterns, relationships and even academic excellence. However, American Sign Language is extra special in this sense; being bilingual with American Sign Language also improves your motor and tactile functions and allows for the strengthening of key muscles in your arms, shoulders, hands, fingers and face.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F08%2F26%2F636078020402781480391890614_daphne.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=295&h=00779a9f7f8134fd339914c4b0b5bc5357d40e958c8af03c3915d5a9e20323ee&size=980x&c=333874869 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F08%252F26%252F636078020402781480391890614_daphne.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D295%26h%3D00779a9f7f8134fd339914c4b0b5bc5357d40e958c8af03c3915d5a9e20323ee%26size%3D980x%26c%3D333874869%22%7D" expand=1]

4. American Sign Language allows you to appreciate the literary arts more.

In the world we live in today, it's almost impossible to imagine a world without hearing music or watching shows on Netflix with the volume full-blast. Hearing people often take the arts for granted, and the literary arts is no different. Poetry, storytelling, idioms, jokes, plays and songs that are signed create vivid images that allow for the viewer to experience these arts for themselves and become part of the art. The appreciation gained from watching signed play and stories simply cannot be attained by those who don't know American Sign Language.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F08%2F26%2F636078005531051080413325356_dwtsa1.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=450&h=a2bd5b943df199b41d90e7c4fb299d856e3548af431962c4f2027383cd2fef88&size=980x&c=767628614 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F08%252F26%252F636078005531051080413325356_dwtsa1.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D450%26h%3Da2bd5b943df199b41d90e7c4fb299d856e3548af431962c4f2027383cd2fef88%26size%3D980x%26c%3D767628614%22%7D" expand=1]

5. Employers love to see it on your resume.

As the population of deaf people continues to grow in the United States, so does the number of deaf customers and consumers. Employers love to hire people who know American Sign Language because they can be the employers' right-hand-man when a deaf customer needs help ordering off a menu or another deaf employee needs to communicate with the manager.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F08%2F26%2F6360780161931677541814493523_giphy%2520yay.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=964&h=4f4bd085e9bc8562d8abd1737df55ef49eaab68a0cb137bbd0628b54e728ed2f&size=980x&c=147088546 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F08%252F26%252F6360780161931677541814493523_giphy%252520yay.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D964%26h%3D4f4bd085e9bc8562d8abd1737df55ef49eaab68a0cb137bbd0628b54e728ed2f%26size%3D980x%26c%3D147088546%22%7D" expand=1]

6. American Sign Language is a beautiful language.

I personally would consider American Sign Language to be the most beautiful language in the world. Each sign is carefully crafted with beauty and grace that spoken languages lack. You can personally be overcome with emotion from the signers' facial expressions and the signs almost seem like contemporary dance, only to have a secret meaning to them. Songs signed in American Sign Language are my favorite thing to watch because of this reason; if you haven't seen any, please check them out on YouTube.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F08%2F26%2F63607797795864907567276643_bartholomew.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=37&h=4a421b33e118d9b5d4877f6b547ed00ed7a87449608268770292091850905d19&size=980x&c=236506924 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F08%252F26%252F63607797795864907567276643_bartholomew.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D37%26h%3D4a421b33e118d9b5d4877f6b547ed00ed7a87449608268770292091850905d19%26size%3D980x%26c%3D236506924%22%7D" expand=1]

7. To break down the divide between the hearing and deaf world.

As there is large bias and discrimination in the hearing world, the deaf world is not any different. There are many prejudices in both worlds that divide us humans simply because one person's hearing may be different than another's. Learning American Sign Language will open communication up between both worlds and allow for the co-mingling of both groups of people, allowing for the shrinking of the large divide between both parties.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F08%2F26%2F636078024728947511-1042187797_deaf-poc-mermaid.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=1012&h=7b1375e64079cfe30b58843b036ef335935ef48371566070d6b5d0320af6611e&size=980x&c=3491258774 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F08%252F26%252F636078024728947511-1042187797_deaf-poc-mermaid.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D1012%26h%3D7b1375e64079cfe30b58843b036ef335935ef48371566070d6b5d0320af6611e%26size%3D980x%26c%3D3491258774%22%7D" expand=1]

8. To become more culturally aware.

By learning American Sign Language, hearing people can become more culturally aware of deaf culture, as well as deaf mannerisms, perspectives, history and the overall connection between members of the deaf community. Deaf people are proud of being deaf and American Sign Language is a major factor of pride within the community. Becoming more culturally aware can allow you to open your mind to new perspectives, beliefs, and understandings.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F08%2F26%2F636078011751438533-1170481060_tumblr_nxxhol5Yl51untprdo1_500.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=696&h=9d0ffab1f85377cc1a67c895d55ba1e0895fbc0c1983fad085afdde08d909c30&size=980x&c=2232446087 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F08%252F26%252F636078011751438533-1170481060_tumblr_nxxhol5Yl51untprdo1_500.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D696%26h%3D9d0ffab1f85377cc1a67c895d55ba1e0895fbc0c1983fad085afdde08d909c30%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2232446087%22%7D" expand=1]

9. Careers in deaf-related fields are expanding and growing.

As the population of deaf people continue to grow, more and more jobs and employees are needed in deaf-related fields of work. These jobs include teachers, counselors, audiologists, interpreters, relay service workers, state school faculty and much more.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F08%2F26%2F636078017735789755734409806_int.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=533&h=deeecdba350087c03792a3cef7d18d0360184a8124a71ab0db3fda1f90ea3500&size=980x&c=412251340 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F08%252F26%252F636078017735789755734409806_int.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D533%26h%3Ddeeecdba350087c03792a3cef7d18d0360184a8124a71ab0db3fda1f90ea3500%26size%3D980x%26c%3D412251340%22%7D" expand=1]

10. American Sign Language will change your life.

Going into my first year of learning American Sign Language, I would never have imagined becoming so involved in the deaf community, fall in love with the language and four years later pursue a career in American Sign Language. Such a diverse set of students study American Sign Language every year and I guarantee that every student has been able to use this valuable language to improve their lives in some way. No matter who you are, where you're from, what level of hearing loss you have or who you know, American Sign Language will change your life forever.

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F08%2F26%2F6360780100385917511870632132_tumblr_lycbsmPpTx1qabpcho4_250.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=556&h=b43e83c91e9d4113390c4976be0fb306a0a00c8533fea23d16347ad22dfdc190&size=980x&c=1355836129 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F08%252F26%252F6360780100385917511870632132_tumblr_lycbsmPpTx1qabpcho4_250.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D556%26h%3Db43e83c91e9d4113390c4976be0fb306a0a00c8533fea23d16347ad22dfdc190%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1355836129%22%7D" expand=1]

Remember that learning American Sign Language isn't for you to cheat on your English test, gossip about people behind their back, only learn curse words to call people horrible things without them knowing or to snoop on conversations. American Sign Language deserves your respect, as your reflection and treatment of this language extends to your reflection and treatment of deaf people. If you are looking for a place to start learning, I personally recommend www.signingsavvy.com. And in the words of Nyle DiMarco,

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F08%2F26%2F636078007296513329-1705794025_635939579116339260-168205851_tumblr_nxfecsTJqv1ue5nbgo2_500.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=994&h=a37626bd1348026258c1130c42999102f195d7f4ddb0c6d1a104ee117c730bf8&size=980x&c=2049662698 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F08%252F26%252F636078007296513329-1705794025_635939579116339260-168205851_tumblr_nxfecsTJqv1ue5nbgo2_500.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D994%26h%3Da37626bd1348026258c1130c42999102f195d7f4ddb0c6d1a104ee117c730bf8%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2049662698%22%7D" expand=1]

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Theories Of Motivation

Some things other than coffee to motivate you

Theories Of Motivation
Motivation refers to the psychological processes that drive and direct behavior towards achieving goals. Several theories of motivation have been proposed by psychologists and researchers over the years. These theories attempt to explain why individuals are motivated to act in certain ways and what factors influence their behavior. Here is an overview of some prominent theories of motivation:
Keep Reading...Show less

Writer of the Month: Emily Templeton

Get to know Miami University alumni and top creator Emily Templeton!

Writer of the Month: Emily Templeton

The talented team of response writers make our world at Odyssey go round! Using our response button feature, they carry out our mission of sparking positive, productive conversations in a polarized world.

Keep Reading...Show less
Content Inspiration

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week!

Do you know what's trending this week?

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week!

Happy Memorial Day from Odyssey! We're excited to welcome in the summer season with our creator community. Each week, more writers are joining Odyssey while school's on break- and you could, too! Check out the bottom of the article to learn how.

Here are the top three response articles of last week:

Keep Reading...Show less
We Need More Than Memorials this Memorial Day
Cape Cod Irish

When I was a child, I used to look forward to Memorial Day Weekend from the time I returned to school after Christmas vacation. It was the yearly benchmark announcing the end of the school year and the beginning of summer vacation. It meant I was one step closer to regattas, swim meets and tennis matches.

Keep Reading...Show less

5 fun Summer Vacations that won't break your bank

Enjoy the sun, relax the wallet - here are the estimated costs

5 fun Summer Vacations that won't break your bank
Endless Ocean
We compiled the costs related to 5 enriching summer vacations for this year in the thrifty sense:
Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments