Essay Example on American Sign Language ASL was founded in the 19th Century








American Sign Language ASL was founded in the 19th century at the American School for the Deaf in Hartford Connecticut by Laurent Clerc Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Mason Cogswell Sign Language is performed with your hands emotions and body language is also incorporated ASL is a vital type of communication allowing those who are deaf mute or both to have access to the rest of the world American Sign Language has evolved and changed to better adapt to an ever growing culture throughout the years The journey of ASL actually began not in America but in England when Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet traveled to better learn methods of education for deaf individuals after meeting his neighbor s deaf daughter Alice Cogswell and realizing the extreme need for deaf education in America From England Gallaudet was invited to learn at the school of deaf in Paris where he picked up the basis for American Sign language after months of studying alongside Laurent Clerc Upon returning to America Gallaudet accompanied by Laurent Clerc America s first deaf teacher and Mason Cogswell founded the American Asylum for Deaf Mutes which is now recognized as the American School for the Deaf in Hartford Connecticut

The bases of American sign language was adapted from Langue de Signes Francaise LSF then Gallaudet observed signs and notations that the deaf community used in America to mold the beginnings of American Sign Language Over the years American Sign Language has changed into a widely accepted mature language and today even though they share some similarities ASL and LSF can no longer be understood by each other Gallaudet s son Edward Miner Gallaudet followed in his father's footsteps advocating for the first college for the deaf in America In 1856 Amos Kendall donated two acres of his own estate in Washington D C for the sole purpose of establishing a school accompanied with housing for twelve deaf and six blind students The next year Kendall persuaded Congress to incorporate the new school which at the time was called the Columbia Institution for the Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb and Blind Edward Miner Gallaudet became the new school s superintendent Congress authorized the institution to confer college degrees in 1864 and President Abraham Lincoln signed the bill into law Gallaudet was made president of the institution He presided over the first commencement in June 1869 when three young men received diplomas Today the college is known as Gallaudet College in honor of both Edward and Thomas

In spoken language we communicate with our mouths while in sign language they communicate with their hands and body language Vision is the key to communication in the deaf community ASL is a language completely separate and distinct from English It contains all the fundamental features of language it has its own rules for pronunciation word order and complex grammar English speakers ask a question by raising the pitch of their voice ASL users ask a question by raising their eyebrows widening their eyes and tilting their bodies forward Just as certain English words are spoken differently in different parts of the country ASL has regional variations in the rhythm of signing form and pronunciation Ethnicity and age are a few more factors that affect ASL usage and contribute to its variety How do most children learn sign language This is a question that many people wonder about Parents are usually the people that children acquire their language from but for deaf children other people might help to teach them exactly what they need to know to get through life Hearing parents that have deaf children might learn sign language along with their children A deaf child who is born to deaf parents will accumulate their parents habits and learn sign language just like hearing children learn how to talk by watching their parents About nine out of ten deaf children are born to hearing parents Children who are deaf can learn to sign quite fluently from their parents even when their parents might not be perfectly fluent themselves Parents should introduce a child who is deaf or hard of hearing to language as soon as possible

The earlier any child is exposed to and begins to acquire language the better that child's communication skills will become Just like there are different accents in speech there are different accents in signs Like people from the south sign slower than in the north There are multiple different ways to sign the word about Many people think that sign language is self explanatory They think that sign language is a clear representation of what the person is trying to say but that is not always true American Sign Language has become a very well accepted type of communication There are many deaf children and adults that love to see a hearing person signing and understanding what they're talking about Deaf people love to go to restaurants stores etc and not have to bring a translator with them They would love to just get a wave and smile from someone even if that person doesn't understand sign language at least they make an effort Seeing their expressions when they meet someone that can communicate with them without any problem is an amazing thing Not everyone's the same and the more people that realize that the better off this world would be Everyone likes to feel accepted and no one wants to be treated different from anyone else so next time you see someone whom is hard at hearing don't be scared of them just smile and wave It will make their whole day They'll appreciate it more than you think Maybe try to learn enough sign language to have a small conversation with someone that might need a friend You could be the highlight of someone else s day because they know that you care enough to at least make an effort

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