The Importance of Learning Sign Language
Although many schools, from pre-k to college level, have begun to teach sign language, it’s still not that common to know it – especially among young people.
“As of 2015, 360 million people worldwide are reported to have seriously disabling hearing loss. That is five percent of the world population. In the U.S., American Sign Language is the sixth most used language,” (Katie Rivito, https://www.theodysseyonline.com/teaching-sign-language-in-schools)
For the high number of people that have hearing disabilities, are deaf, or develop hearing loss, the amount of hearing individuals who can’t utilize ASL to communicate is surprising!
There are a lot of people who rely on ASL entirely to communicate. Both young and old, we should all have the chance to communicate with one another. There seems to be a wall between the ASL and hearing world, and there shouldn’t be. The ability to communicate with one another is so valuable. The only thing separating us is a language that we would benefit us all to know. It’s also a very interesting language, so learning it can be an enjoyable experience!
Even if you don’t know an ASL speaker now, there’s a very high chance you will meet many in your lifetime! It could even be you or a loved one who ends up relying on ASL to communicate.
Although we commonly associate hearing disabilities and hearing loss with seniors, hearing related disabilities can show themselves at any time in one’s life. It’s very likely that we’ll all develop varying levels of hearing loss throughout our lives. Even with loud headphones and speakers, teenagers are at risk for some degree of hearing loss! Sign language is a tool we should all be able to utilize, as it’s beneficial whether you know an ASL speaker right now or not.
Young children highly benefit from learning ASL too! Not only is it an intellectually stimulating and fun language to learn, but it helps break down those walls between the hearing and ASL communities at an early age. The deaf community doesn’t have to be something that is shied away from because we can’t understand or speak through signs. We should all be able to communicate with others freely, using the variety of languages we all rely on!
Either with your children, or on your own, give the ASL alphabet a try! We guarantee your children will enjoy it!
Hopefully this will help motivate you to gain a better understanding of ASL for your benefit, and the benefit of those around you!