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Share your ASL experiences!

Are you learning ASL?  We want to hear from you.  Share your experiences, articles and helpful resources here.

Happy Signing!

82 Comments to Share your ASL experiences!:

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Jennifer Gonzalez-Morales on Saturday, September 10, 2016 2:13 PM
Hello; I recently learned that ASL has 200 languages and continue to add more. That's very interesting. I thought that ASL was a language it self. I am amazed and I look forward to learn some ASL languages.
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Jannette Rivera-Vega on Saturday, September 10, 2016 10:04 PM
I recently learned that the job industry for ASL have been incresing and it's expect to surpass other jobs in the United States by 2020. I learned today how to sign numbers from one to ten. As simple as it looks I was getting confused with number three. I am so use to signing number three in another way. So far, I'm very enthusiastic about learning ASL.
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Nathalia Colon on Sunday, September 11, 2016 8:53 PM
I also have difficulty with the number three and a few others due to the fact that for some reason the muscles in my right hand don't allow my ring and middle finger to go down to my palm without my middle finger doing the same movement. It's quite strange and I often worry if it will affect people comprehending what I'm trying to sign. And maybe this muscle issue will affect even more signs that I learn in the future. I hope this doesn't affect my learning ASL too much.


jannette Rivera on Saturday, September 17, 2016 11:00 PM
My trouble with the number is been use to sign it in a different way since I was little. About your problem i think we all will have problems with our muscles remember we are learning something new we just have to give ourselves time to get use to it.


jannette rivera on Saturday, September 17, 2016 11:14 PM
I want to share with all of you my funny expirience with my mom, I was so exited about a movie I wanted to watched in Nexflix named "The Tribe." My mom ask me, whats the movie about and I told her to just sit and watch. We started to watch it and surprisinly there was not any sound I didn't realize it was completely in sign language. I hope one day I'll be able to watched the movie and tell my mom everything they sign.


Robin Fordham on Sunday, September 11, 2016 3:01 PM
I recently leaned that speaking and signing at the same time can make learning proper ASL more difficult, as the signing can tend more toward signed English in grammatical structure.
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Jennifer Gonzalez-Morales on Sunday, September 18, 2016 10:53 PM
Hello Robin; I agree with you. Sometimes I feel a little lost and it makes a desperate. I always thought that ASL was the same as English and I learned that is not. It also makes me wonder, how will I learned this language. English is not my first language and it was easier to learn it because I can translate from Spanish to English. Also the English grammar was easier to learn. Learning ASL will be fun for me and challenging.


Eric Carreira on Sunday, September 11, 2016 8:38 PM
I'm very excited to be taking ASL101 with Professor King. I've been learning a bit of ASL on my own for awhile, and it's great to start working on it now in a more structured way. Two resources that I love: Dr. Bill's ASLU at http://lifeprint.com/, and the Signing Savvy website at https://www.signingsavvy.com/. Dr Bill's site is 100% free to use. Signing Savvy can be used freely, although they have some additional features for paying members. I am not a paying member, but I use the site all the time. Each day they have a "Sign of The Day," and it is fully open showing all the features that paying members get throughout the site. In particular, I love the "Watch ASL Sentence" video feature that goes along with the Sign of The Day.
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Leila Melendez on Sunday, September 11, 2016 9:16 PM
I am taking ASL with Professor King and very much looking forward to the rest of my semester. I have always wanted to learn another language. I started learning Arabic a year ago and this year I wanted to start sign language. I feel that learning languages is important because I want to be able to interact with many people in society. I know it can be hard to understand people. I do not like to just assume someone speaks a language but I like to learn from others. I am looking forward to volunteering for events and participating as well.
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Genneria Purrier on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 9:51 AM
Hello Leila! In response to your question as to whether there are languages that offer sign language other than "American Sign Language", the answer is yes. Our website features plenty of them. Take a look by going to the Official Website www.JW.org and pressing the "English" rectangle at the top right of the screen. If you search "sign language", you'll be sure to see the array. Enjoy!


Diana Rodriguez on Sunday, September 11, 2016 10:51 PM
Working in the medical and mental health field, I have learn that there is a lack of ASL interpreters, especially when a deaf person comes in into the ED. Most ASL interpreters are on call and deaf patients wait hours until an interpreter arrives. Which makes it not just difficult for the deaf patient but for the hospital staff as well. And even if a deaf person arrives with an interpreter, most hospitals require a certified interpreter and don't allow the interpreter that came in with the deaf patient to interpret. I've worked with deaf patients in the past and I've made an effort to at least learn the basics but I can't wait to learn more and become certified and assist deaf patients who arrive to receive services.
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Madeleine Fordham on Monday, September 12, 2016 3:05 PM
I've taken one year of ASL at my high school and I'm excited to learn more this year. I really love signs that visually make sense to me, like "tree" or "clouds" or "ketchup". I also like how every persons sign name is individual. No more worrying over initials to distinguish one Maddy from another!
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Genneria Purrier on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 1:04 PM
Hello! My first experience with ASL was at a gathering where a late friend of mine had the idea to teach what she had taught herself. We began with the alphabet, learned our names and a simple greeting. Another friend of mine decided to learn ASL and took a course at a college; after attending a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses for the deaf a few times with the hope of being able to reach the deaf with the Bible's message. We're part of an organization with 8 million+ members who are motivated by the scripture at 1 Timothy 2:3, 4 that says God's "will is that all sorts of people should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth"(NWT). We have ASL videos on our official website www.JW.org with that goal to teach the Bible's truth in mind. I plan on learning languages and other methods to accomplish Jehovah God's Will. (Psalms 83:18) https://tv.jw.org/#ase/home https://www.jw.org/ase/
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Leila Melendez on Sunday, September 18, 2016 9:54 AM
It is amazing to see that you can take this into the church community. I think signing is like another culture within itself and I love to experience them all. In each setting we see sign language learned differently and interpreted differently. One thing I always wondered is if sign language can be done in arabic, spanish, german, Britain? Is it all just one language or do you learn the spanish in the language one is born into?


Kathleen Musiak on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 7:55 PM
Hello! My first experience with American Sign Language was in third grade, my school had an integration program that included hard of hearing students and we took a basics class to learn the abcs.I was born deaf but i got hearing aids that 100% corrected my hearing by the time i was 8 so I never got to learn, I'm hoping working with this blog and taking an ASL 101 class will help.
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Charity Ward on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 9:48 PM
Hi! I'm very new to ASL, I first learned about it in fourth grade when my class had a teacher of ASL come in teach us the alphabet. I don't really remember anything from that day since it was a while ago but I look forward to learning from Professor King in ASL 101.
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Michelle Liaszenik on Wednesday, September 14, 2016 12:34 AM
Hello! My first real experience with ASL was working at Six Flags New England in the shows department. Several of my coworkers were able to sign, and they shared a bit with everyone so that it would help us communicate with deaf guests in the park. I currently speak two languages fluently, and I am really looking forward to learning more this semester with Professor King in ASL-101.
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Samantha Michaelson on Friday, September 16, 2016 9:21 PM
The first time I saw ASL was in 9th grade. I wasn't bold enough to talk to any of the Willie Ross students until there was a small class after school. After I learned some more ASL I went and talked to the Willie Ross students and I now have met some amazing friends. I'm learning ASL because I want a easy way to communicate with deaf and hard of hearing people.
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Amanda Coombs on Saturday, September 17, 2016 5:11 PM
Hello I am taking Sign language as a class. I am enjoying it very much so far. A resource that i have found that has been helpful is https://www.youtube.com/user/billvicars . He is a professor and he has a lot of just beginners or basics signs. Its good for someone who is new to the language.
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Amanda Coombs on Saturday, September 17, 2016 5:19 PM
Hello I am taking an ASl class. I have enjoyed it a lot so far. I have a resource that i think is helpful. https://www.youtube.com/user/billvicars .He is a professor and he goes over like beginners lessons then he has like basic signs videos.Its a good resource for anyone trying to take ASL.
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Madeleine Fordham on Saturday, September 17, 2016 5:55 PM
2nd post of the semester: I saw Spring Awakening on Broadway, performed by the Deaf West Theater on Broadway, with both Deaf and hearing actors. It was really interesting to see how they combined the signing with the choreography, and how beautiful it all is. One of my absolute favorite moments from the show was during a tense moment, one of the Deaf actors, who had signed the whole show (all the Deaf actors had doubles who sang and spoke for them) used her voice, and it was the most powerful moment in the whole show. If you'd like to see, here's a link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsqbeH94jEU
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Eric Carreira on Saturday, September 17, 2016 6:36 PM
Very cool, Madeleine. Wonderful that you were able to see Spring Awakening! Thanks for sharing this clip!


Eric Carreira on Saturday, September 17, 2016 7:59 PM
On the ASL wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Sign_Language, there is a section called "Geographic Distribution" that I find very interesting. According to this webpage, ASL-based languages are the primary (or in some cases, secondary) sign languages being used in many countries across the globe. This is due to the influence the American School for the Deaf in Hartford, CT (where ASL is thought to have originated)has had on schools internationally. The list of countries includes:
  • Most of West Africa (from Morocco down through the Democratic Republic of the Congo,)
  • Much of South East Asia (from Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia, down through Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines)
  • Two countries in South America (Guyana and Bolivia)
However they also note that due to lack of data, the exact degree of similarities between these sign languages and the type of ASL used in America is unknown. Here is a link to their ASL map: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:ASL_map_(world).png Darker color is a country where ASL-based is a primary language, lighter pink is for countries where it is a secondary language.
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Eric Carreira on Saturday, September 17, 2016 8:11 PM
Apologies for the dead links...again! :/ I tried playing around with HTML tags to create clickable links. Second time it has failed! Either I'm doing something wrong (more likely) or this site has settings that don't allow clickable links to external sites from this blog? (less likely.) Let me know if anyone has a solution! Otherwise I'll give up on hyperlinks! :O)


Nathalia Colon on Sunday, September 18, 2016 6:37 PM
I've recently learned that ASL was influenced by French Sign Language as well as a few others when it first came about. I now wonder whether if today it is still as similar to french sign language or if it has evolved to be more unique over the years.
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Angel Rivera on Sunday, September 18, 2016 9:22 PM
Hello everyone, my name is Angel I've been learning ASL at Holyoke Community and I am thrilled to be in this class. Professor King is a great teacher and has a wonderful sense of humor. This is my first time ever posting anything online, I've been enjoying this class immensely. One thing that has been helpful for me while learning ASL has been the online dictionary that provides videos that show different signs. Sometimes looking at photos alone can be difficult, so watching the videos are very helpful. It was not an official site, more like if you google a sign links will pop up and videos as well.
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Charity Ward on Sunday, September 18, 2016 10:36 PM
Hi! A few months ago I found a video on facebook about two students at Lemelson-MIT who were winners for a invention called SignAloud gloves. I figured i'd share it on here so everyone could see it. I think it's a interesting invention yet they didn't explain how the verbal speaker could communicate back (if they didn't know ASL) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l01sdzJHCCM
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Jennifer Gonzalez-Morales on Sunday, September 18, 2016 11:08 PM
Hello everyone; Besides taking the ASL course I am also taking the Intro to Deaf Studies course. So far I learned about the how the Deaf Culture has revolutionized. Today I learned about one of the most dedicated person to improved education for Deaf people. Andrew Foster established 70 Schools for the Deaf in Africa before he die in a plane crash. His work amazed me. I even mentioned to my friend that he probably did not have any children because he was dedicate to his job (plus it was not mention in his biography). Thanks to Foster there are over 300 schools for the Deaf in different countries in Africa. I wish I can visit the first school he established.
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Eric Carreira on Monday, September 19, 2016 9:04 PM
Great post! I was truly amazed when I read about Andrew Foster on pages 14 and 15 of the Signing Naturally Book. Such a noble person! His generosity and devotion are very inspiring!


Diana Rodriguez on Sunday, September 18, 2016 11:33 PM
This Friday that just passed after dropping off my son in NH for a church retreat, since I was already in NH, I decided to go shopping. After my daughter and I got what whatever, one of the cashiers at the store waved at us to let us know that her register was open. I noticed she didn't speak. I signed to her if she is Deaf and she signed back yes. I was able to let her know that I know only a little bit of ASL. She signed quickly so I didn't understand her until she pointed to something I had purchased and realized she was asking me if there were any more left and this time I spoke because I wasn't able to sign (I'm guessing she read lips because she understood me) and let her know that I had taken what was left. I was able to sign to her that I am learning to sign and she signed back that I was doing good. I signed thank you after our transaction was done. It felt nice to be able to communicate with her. I didn't know a lot but I have been practicing at home and learning as much as I can. My daughter even corrected me and told me that I asked if she was Deaf incorrectly. My daughter practices with me too. I've worked with many people who are Deaf as part of my job but I was never the one to sign with the patient, it was always an interpreter. I learned the basics like thank, please, sorry, you look pretty, etc... but this experience was different I felt nice and happy to be able to communicate with her without needing an interpreter.
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Ainsley Murdock on Sunday, September 18, 2016 11:45 PM
I used to watch "Signing Time" when I was younger. I had received an ASL book my freshman year in high school but it was hard for me to learn without being able to practice with anyone. My junior year I became good friends with the Deaf kids at my school. Only one of them was fluent in ASL (they all had the cochlear implant and could read lips) so she taught me a few signs so we could gossip in gym class so nobody would know we were talking about them.
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Genneria Purrier on Thursday, September 22, 2016 9:43 PM
Hello fellow ASL students! Ive been enjoying my classes and it's a plus that Professor King is so fun and animated. The class goes by so fast and I just wish it was more than an hour long. I was able to visit the ASL congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses on the weekend and although I understood very little, I was encouraged and learned a few theocratic ASL terms. I'll be fluent one day soon!
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Darlene Aresco on Friday, September 23, 2016 4:47 PM
Hello! I am pretty intrigued with the deaf community. I just find it so amazing that so many people take what others may say is a disability and turn into a culture and are proud of it. I had a kid that I volunteered with that used ASL to communicate although he was not deaf. That was when I first became exposed to it. Then I started watching Switched at Birth and that is when I really started to gain the desire to learn ASL.
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Nateisha Greaves on Friday, September 23, 2016 7:31 PM
i am enrolled in a ASL class and i am enjoying my class. my class is so fun and i am happy to see the improving with my singing.
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Eric Carreira on Saturday, September 24, 2016 11:55 PM
I really enjoyed our last class! Between class and finishing up Unit 1, I feel like I learned a lot this week. New vocabulary and lots of fun practice in class, it feels like the course is now in full swing and our ASL journey has begun! I enjoyed watching the other students signing and seeing their expressions, a mix of fun and frustration as we experience the joy and challenge of expressing ourselves in a new language. When the course first began, the "voice off" policy and the absence of interpreters were two things that initially made me feel slightly nervous because I thought I might feel confused or lost at times. Looking back on this week's class, I realize that the neither the absence of interpreters nor the "voice-off" policy ever even crossed my mind. It all just felt really natural to work in this way. I can really see the value of learning in an immersive environment.
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Nathalia Colon on Sunday, September 25, 2016 2:57 PM
The vocabulary I've learned in the past week I've found to be very helpful. I didn't realize how necessary something as simple as colors were. I didn't think we would be learning to describe a person or object so soon. I thought there were subjects we would have focused on first that would be more important. But I've realized just how beneficial being able to describe the world around me is. Conversation is just that much easier now. This along with somehow being able to retain this information has made me confident that I can learn alot this semester.
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Amanda Coombs on Sunday, September 25, 2016 3:34 PM
Hello I am in my first month of taking ASL at school. I have found it is very fun to learn because its a lot about expression of the face. I have found Professor king to be quite a delight in class because she explains things so well and has a face full of expression. I hope to learn and get better at signing through the next couple of weeks.
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Angel Rivera on Sunday, September 25, 2016 7:52 PM
Hi eveeryone. So far I have been trying to learn ASL for the past month. I have found that the hardest part for me when I'm was trying to learn letter, numbers, or certain signs that were similar. I could pick up on very distinct signs but those few that seemed similar but only had a slight change really tripped me up. I'm still trying to find ways to learn and understand these signs and I hope that as I continue to learn and grow this will become easier. In addition, I also feel like when I'm trying to sign I feel that I am slightly hesitant and it doesn't come off as natural as it should be. I hope to continue to practice and improve throughout the semester.
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Charity Ward on Sunday, September 25, 2016 8:32 PM
I am really enjoying this class. We learn so much in every class and the activities are really fun too. I'm still a bit hesitant when I sign, but with more practice that will cease.
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Ayshia Gollman on Sunday, September 25, 2016 11:00 PM
Hello! Learning ASL this past month has been such a journey and has helped me grow a lot as a person. I had begun to incorporate ASL into my everyday life ok order to become more fluent in ASL. The vocabulary and sentence formation isn't as complicated as I was expecting it to be. It definitely takes a lot of practice.
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Darlene Aresco on Saturday, October 01, 2016 12:56 PM
Hello!I am so excited with how much ASL I have learned in so little time. I can know hold a simple conversation with someone that is deaf. I work at a nursing home as a CNA and there is a women who is deaf there. It can be a bit hard to converse with her because at the time I did not know much ASL. Now when I see her I will be able to actually hold a conversation with her. I cannot wait to talk to her and see the look on her face now that I know some ASL.
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Michelle Liaszenik on Saturday, October 01, 2016 10:36 PM
Hello everyone! I hope you're enjoying your weekend. This past month I have learned so much in ASL 101. My two year old son watches all of the videos that I make with me, and he tries to follow along with his own hands. We've found a youtube channel called "My smart hands" https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2a61_fpDR-lcZQX342ho2w that teaches on a kids level, (which I not pretend hasn't been beneficial to me as well) and he likes to sing along while he signs. He's actually getting pretty good at some of them! I'm so excited that my little man is just as interested in learning as I am.
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Angel Rivera on Sunday, October 02, 2016 4:33 PM
Hello! I'm finding this class really helpful and educational. Before starting this class I don't feel that I really noticed how much ASL was going on around me. Since starting this class I have been more observant of people who are deaf within my community. I actually had an experience where I ran after a woman in a parking lot and she was responding when I called her. When I caught up with her and tapped her on the shoulder, she saw why I had come up to her and started signing thank you. I liked that I could confidently respond to her in the same way that I would with anyone else but using ASL. I'm glad that I am learning another way to communicate with people.
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Darlene Aresco on Thursday, October 06, 2016 5:01 PM
I totally agree that being exposed to ASL has opened up the door of noticing every single person that is signing and it truly is fascinating. It really shows how much you miss out when you are not exposed to something.


Amanda Coombs on Sunday, October 02, 2016 6:50 PM
Hello I recently went to the deaf panel at hcc and found it very eye opening when they were talking about their experiences and their opinion on different topics. I also found it fascinating watching them sign.
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Lidiya Babinova on Sunday, October 02, 2016 7:46 PM
Hello!! In the past month I learned so much in ASl. I really enjoy learning ASL. The games we have in class make it so much easier to remember the signs.
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Charity Ward on Sunday, October 02, 2016 8:12 PM
Hi! This week I went to the Deaf Awareness Panel and the signing pizza event. I found both events educational and fun. I didn't know that their was different kinds of sign language before, and I learned a few new fun signs as well.
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Ayshia Gollman on Sunday, October 02, 2016 10:50 PM
Hello everyone, I have learned so much during ASL and am finally able to hold a basic conversation with someone. Incorporating ASL into my daily life has helped me become much better.
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Darlene Aresco on Thursday, October 06, 2016 4:53 PM
I found on deafnewstoday.com, that Galluadet University is appointing its first female deaf president. Her name is Bobbi Cordano and is to be inaugurated this coming Friday. I find that to be pretty cool that it is a first for them to have their first deaf female president because it is something that will be apart of Galluadet's History. I follow Nyle DiMarco, some may be familiar with him from winning America's Next Top Model and Dancing With the Stars. He is a deaf man that I admire because he really takes his deafness, what most people would consider a disability as an asset for him. I have no idea how he was able to dance so well when he was on Dancing with the Stars and not even being able to hear the music. He was not off beat or anything. It really shows that no matter what obstacle anything is possible if you put your mind to it. He also has the nyledimarcofoundation.com, where he advocates for children all across the world to receive education and learning ASL. That is truly amazing that he is doing such great things in the deaf community.
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Eric Carreira on Saturday, October 08, 2016 11:35 PM
Greetings from Holyoke Community College.. Great links, thanks for sharing!


Genneria Purrier on Thursday, October 06, 2016 9:17 PM
Hello! I have still been enjoying learning ASL. I found myself really enjoying sharing and learning signs with a couple close friends of mine. They've also studied ASL and we've learned variations of certains things. ASL is really fun and I'm looking forward to being more comfortable expressing myself through signing. It's amazing that we're even able to express ourselves without speaking and I'm so excited to continue on in this journey!
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Lidiya Babinova on Sunday, October 09, 2016 5:56 PM
Last week I went to the signing pizza at Hcc and we played games there.It was a fun way to learn new signs.
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Angel Rivera on Sunday, October 09, 2016 7:42 PM
Hello, I found this article in the New York Times that was recently published from the perspective of a deaf woman in a hearing world. She spoke about how pointing which is a simple sign, was looked at as rude by her hearing friends. Their social norms clashed with what she was being taught at home. It was interesting to me how she had to learn to be comfortable in her own skin when around people who were not deaf. It also became clear that when her hearing friends were trying to learn ASL they had to experience that feeling of learning how to be comfortable in your own skin. It reminds me of a culture shock within our own communities and makes it clear how we need to be more open to other peoples ideas and perspectives. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/28/opinion/the-deaf-body-in-public-space.html
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Jannette Rivera-Vega on Sunday, October 09, 2016 9:46 PM
I read the article about a Deaf man that never gave up on his dream to become an actor. It also talk about theatre and deaf people. That theatre should available to everyone and that deafness should not put a limit on the role a deaf person plays. https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2016/sep/08/deaf-actor-theatre-roles
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Darlene Aresco on Wednesday, October 12, 2016 4:08 PM
I definitely agree! A show that is now ending, Switched at Birth is amazing and I am sad to see it go. I think that the actors on the show are awesome and I even pick up on some of the signs that they do. The cast does have a mix of hearing and deaf actors. It really is amazing how much emotion they can put into a character without even vocalizing a single word.


Michelle Liaszenik on Sunday, October 09, 2016 10:46 PM
Hello everyone, I hope that you're enjoying the long weekend! I wanted to share an article that I found while studying the senses for my anatomy and physiology class. There has long been the idea that a person born without one of the five senses has "super-powered" other senses, for instance, if a person is born blind then they can hear much better than people that can see. Well, scientific studies have emerged saying that this DOES seem to be the case, at least for those that are BORN blind or Deaf. If you are congenitally Deaf, the area of your brain that usually is reserved for processing auditory stimuli gets "rewired" to function as extra space for your OTHER sensory inputs. The most common "superpower" among the Deaf is that their peripheral vision is heightened, to the point where they could describe something on their periphery with as much detail as something that they are looking directly at. How cool is that? Here's one of the links that I came across in my research if you want to take a look at it for yourself! Happy signing! https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/superpowers-for-the-blind-and-deaf/
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Ayshia Gollman on Sunday, October 09, 2016 11:13 PM
Hello everyone, I found this video titled "Can you read my lips?"by Rachel Kolb which describes her experience as a person who is deaf. The video uses imagery and audio to remind hearing viewers just how much the majority of people rely on their sense of hearing to communicate. i hope everyone finds this just as interesting as I did. https://vimeo.com/148127830
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Charity Ward on Monday, October 10, 2016 11:41 PM
Hi there, At the Deaf Awareness Panel a few weeks ago, they spoke briefly on different types of sign languages, how they differ from one another, and how some of the panelist often switch which sign language their using depending on who they are talking too. I find not only the fact that there are so many different types of sign languages out there but how they knew a few themselves, pretty amazing.
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Victoria Dias on Wednesday, October 12, 2016 9:23 AM
I am learning the more I keep speaking out of my signing the more I learn and have to push myself to becoming a better signer
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Darlene Aresco on Wednesday, October 12, 2016 4:04 PM
Hello! This last Sunday I went to Bingo at the Greater Hartford Club for the Deaf. It was actually a lot of fun to just experience deaf people communicating to each other. I though that it would be a bit awkward and it was in the beginning but as time moved along and everyone knew that I was learning ASL they were pretty accepting of me. I wish there were more events like this but did not just incorporate the hearing community or deaf community, but as a whole. I think it would be great for people of all ages to be able to learn ASL and what better way to do that than to emerge yourself in deaf culture?
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Eric Carreira on Saturday, October 15, 2016 1:41 AM
Slightly off-topic here, but not entirely. For those of you that have been paying attention, the election has brought a great deal of sadness and shame upon this country. There has been a constant deluge of despicable comments, acts and revelations by a certain someone seeking to be elected to the highest office in our land; someone who has insulted nearly every sector of the human race, who has insulted women in every conceivable way even bragging about sexual assault, insulted every ethnic group, insulted heroes of war as well as a family who lost their son in war, insulted a physically disabled reporter, insulted nearly everyone who has ever crossed his path! This week it was revealed that on his "television show", there was a Deaf actress whom he mocked and used an insulting slur in regards to her Deafness. The woman's name is Marlee Matlin, winner of the Academy Award for Best Leading Actress in 1987 for her role in the movie Children of a Lesser God. Here is an excerpt of the response she gave this week to media questioning her about Trump's insults:
"The fact that we are talking about this during a very important moment in American History has upset me deeply. I am Deaf. There are millions of Deaf and hard of hearing people like me, in the United States and around the world who face discrimination and misunderstanding like this on a daily basis. It is unacceptable...As a person who is Deaf, as a woman, as a mom, as a wife, as an actor, I have a voice. And I’m using that voice to make myself heard..and vote."
I would echo Ms. Matlin's final remark: October 19 is the last day to register to vote in Massachusetts. In Connecticut, the deadline is Nov 1 online, Nov 8 in person. Even if none of the other candidates speak to you, I strongly urge everyone to come out and vote so that we can send a message to the entire world that we overwhelmingly reject the type of ignorance, sexism, racism, shamefulness and the overall violence and darkness of the Trump worldview. End Rant ;)
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Angel Rivera on Sunday, October 16, 2016 4:59 PM
I recently watched a movie "Through Deaf Eyes," and the most surprising part of this movie was the fact that in a certain time deaf students were not encouraged to use sign language but instead were forced to try to speak. What bothered me the most about this was the fact that they were even chastised for pointing in public. It bothered me because their entire education was not spent learning necessary information for their life but instead spent trying to make other people feel more comfortable communicating with them. I thought that in recent times this was no longer an issue. However, upon reading an article about the current debate over ASL it seems like this way of thinking has taken another form. The debate now seems to be between parents who get cochlear implants and those who do not and learn ASL. From what the article said which was in the perspective of a hearing parent with a deaf child, said that doctors told her to not use signs because it would hinder her sons speech. To hear that because of the new technology, this conversation is still a problem troubles me. Children grow up speaking two languages, even if a child gets an implant why can't they also be a part of the Deaf community and learn ASL. It's strange that we encourage high school and college students to learn a new language but ASL seems to be one that is overlooked. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/05/24/parents-of-deaf-children-stuck-in-the-middle-of-an-argument/?_r=0
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Ayshia Gollman on Sunday, October 16, 2016 11:42 PM
Hello everyone, Today I watched a short film I found on the CNN website about a family where everyone is Deaf except for one of the sons. The flim talks about how the sons life is since everyone in his family cannot hear. I found the film to be very interesting because it shows that there are many other families like the ones mentioned in the film. http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/23/living/deaf-culture-all-american-family-cnn-digital-short/
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Victoria Dias on Thursday, October 20, 2016 3:17 PM
I am learning my numbers very well. I am also becoming better at not using words while signing.
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Eric Carreira on Sunday, October 23, 2016 7:18 PM
Hello Everyone, I wanted to share with you all a webpage I've been looking at to help me get a better understanding of ASL grammar, sentence structure, etc. It has some helpful examples, and it discusses ASL word order: the object-subject-verb word order, topic-comment format, topicalization, and the differences between these. http://www.lifeprint.com/asl101/pages-layout/grammar.htm
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Diana Rodriguez on Sunday, November 06, 2016 4:58 PM
Thanks Eric. This is really helpful. Now that I have a client who is Deaf, I have to practice twice as much as school. My client is in a very difficult situation and getting an interpreter last minute is a no go. I practice what i want to let my client know about what's going on, what I need from them, etc... I have to use relay video calls as well because even though I can sign to him, I don't always know what they are signing to me.


Eric Carreira on Monday, November 07, 2016 12:21 AM
Hello Everyone, I want to share something very interesting that I discovered. I recently learned that there is a very large Deaf community in Rochester, NY. It has the largest Deaf population per capita in the U.S., with about 90,000 Deaf or hard of hearing people out of the 700,000 or so people in the greater Rochester metropolitan area. That means almost 1 out of every 7 people is Deaf or HH. This city is home to the Rochester School for the Deaf (1876) and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (1965), both of which have attracted many Deaf people to relocate there. The influx of Deaf people and Deaf culture over the years has had a huge, transformative impact on the the city. Rochester is now known as a community that is very welcoming for Deaf people. There are many professionals such as Doctors and other services that are run either by Deaf people or by someone fluent in ASL. Many hearing people learn ASL and become fluent in order to interact with the very large Deaf population. I want to visit Rochester! Read more here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/25/nyregion/25deaf.html
and here:
http://rocwiki.org/Deaf_Community


Amanda Coombs on Sunday, October 30, 2016 9:10 PM
I have been taking ASL so far for 2 months. I have found it challenging to learn the AS structure and making sure th word order is correct. I like the class so far. I can't wait to see what we're learning this week.
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Victoria Dias on Monday, October 31, 2016 9:28 AM
I had gone to a deaf event, it was very interesting to watch the way the communicate. It was good to learn all the new things they were teaching about in the slide shows.
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Diana Rodriguez on Sunday, November 06, 2016 4:57 PM
Thanks Eric. This is really helpful. Now that I have a client who is Deaf, I have to practice twice as much as school. My client is in a very difficult situation and getting an interpreter last minute is a no go. I practice what i want to let my client know about what's going on, what I need from them, etc... I have to use relay video calls as well because even though I can sign to him, I don't always know what they are signing to me.


Diana Rodriguez on Sunday, November 06, 2016 4:57 PM
Sorry this wasn't meant to be posted to your msg.


emily lacombe on Tuesday, November 01, 2016 2:06 PM
I am learning asl in my college sign language course, which I have just been enrolled in another semester for, and I have been finding that as I am going through this course, that I am understand the different signs more easily and that the signs that I am using are easier for me to sign.
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Eric Carreira on Monday, November 07, 2016 12:25 AM
Hello Everyone, I want to share something very interesting that I discovered. I recently learned that there is a very large Deaf community in Rochester, NY. It has the largest Deaf population per capita in the U.S., with about 90,000 Deaf or hard of hearing people out of the 700,000 or so people in the greater Rochester metropolitan area. That means almost 1 out of every 7 people is Deaf or HH. This city is home to the Rochester School for the Deaf (1876) and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (1965), both of which have attracted many Deaf people to relocate there. The influx of Deaf people and Deaf culture over the years has had a huge, transformative impact on the the city. Rochester is now known as a community that is very welcoming for Deaf people. There are many professionals such as Doctors and other services that are run either by Deaf people or by someone fluent in ASL. Many hearing people learn ASL and become fluent in order to interact with the very large Deaf population. I want to visit Rochester! Read more here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/25/nyregion/25deaf.html
and here:
http://rocwiki.org/Deaf_Community
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SIGNING Basics on Friday, November 25, 2016 7:19 PM
Excellent post!


Eric Carreira on Sunday, November 13, 2016 8:27 PM
I want to share another valuable ASL resource from Dr. Bill-- I've mentioned him and his ASL website (www.lifeprint.com) several times already on this blog. His youtube channel has over 200 videos, which includes 60 longer lessons. His youtube homepage can be found here:
https://www.youtube.com/user/billvicars
Click on the videos tabs to see the full collection. The 60 video lessons correspond to a 60-lesson curriculum on his website. Find the lessons here:
http://lifeprint.com/asl101/lessons/lessons.htm
A great way to work on your ASL over winter break!
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Kathleen Musiak on Saturday, November 19, 2016 1:28 PM
Hello everyone, I recently attended an HCC Pizza night with a ASL interpreted play to follow. There was a suprising number of people at the last nights pizza night! it was so much fun. At the HCC pizza night we played a miming and it was interesting to not use sign language and attempt to describe something silently. the most interesting part of the night though, was the interpreted play, the plot of the play was so great. also for me since i was born deaf but raised completely oral it was nice to be able to finally understand whats going on in a play. learning ASL is one of the best decisions ive ever made and this play only helped prove to me that ASL is an amazing method of communication.
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Eric Carreira on Sunday, November 20, 2016 8:01 PM
Great post! Very inspiring! I think I was sitting next to you, if I'm not mistaken. I was sitting with my girlfriend in the section reserved for the Deaf. The play was really great! I'm glad you enjoyed it and were able to enjoy the theater because you're learning ASL. I wish we had a chance to meet you. My girlfriend is Deaf and was raised oral just like you. Perhaps we'll see you at the next play or silent pizza! :)


Eric Carreira on Sunday, November 20, 2016 8:53 PM
There's a new app available to help Deaf people be more included when there's a group conversation taking place with multiple people talking at the same time. It could be great for work meetings and social gatherings. With this app, a person can invite others to join a conversation and all the different speakers will appear on screen. The name of the app is AVA. Check out the homepage for AVA here: https://www.ava.me/ and also see this video for an introduction: https://vimeo.com/190619819


Victoria Dias on Sunday, November 20, 2016 11:10 AM
I attended an event at hcc with the deaf community. It was interesting to watch them interact and how well their singing is. It was fun to try to play the games with them.
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Eric Carreira on Sunday, November 20, 2016 8:54 PM
There's a new app available to help Deaf people be more included when there's a group conversation taking place with multiple people talking at the same time. It could be great for work meetings and social gatherings. With this app, a person can invite others to join a conversation and all the different speakers will appear on screen. The name of the app is AVA. Check out the homepage for AVA here: https://www.ava.me/ and also see this video for an introduction: https://vimeo.com/190619819
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Amanda Coombs on Sunday, November 27, 2016 4:12 PM
Hello so my final for my class is to videotape my partner and I in a video having a conversation. I have been trying to think of different things to talk about. It's hard to remember all the signs sometimes and be able to hold the conversation.
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Robin Fordham on Sunday, December 04, 2016 10:15 PM
I wanted to share the following video, which talks briefly about Princess Diana's interest in learning sign language. I learned about her experience recently, and was intrigued to see British Sign Language now that I have learned some American sign language. Also interesting to see someone with as high a profile as Princess Diana taking an interest in the Deaf community. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yelE5nmK0dg
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