Throughout my life many people have asked me why Deaf cherish ASL as much as they do. In light of recent events concerning Mayor Bloomberg’s interpreter Lydia Callis and the Chelsea Handler fiasco, I have decided to write a list of 10 reasons why Deaf cherish ASL.
Sign language is visual, expressive, and natural to Deaf. For many Deaf, ASL is their “first” or primary language despite the age they began learning it. In my linguistics class on Semester at Sea last semester I learned that in the 1970s Nicaraguan Deaf students who had only been taught to ‘speak’ Spanish were found to sign while on the bus, on the playground, and when hanging out with their friends. Despite having never been taught any sign language, they formed a language with complex syntax that is now recognized as Nicaraguan Sign Language. (See the complete study…
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