A Complete Guide to Sign Language
Sign language is an excellent resource to have that will help bridge some of the communication gap that can be lost with hearing impairment. Communication is such a valuable asset and is something that can be sorely missed when you are unable to achieve it. The information on this page will answer the question what is sign language and also address the benefits of sign language and share some tips for learning how to do it.
What is Sign Language?
The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) defines American Sign Language as a complete, complex language that employs signs made by moving the hands combined with facial expressions and postures of the body. It is the primary language of many North Americans who are deaf and is one of several communication options used by people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.
Benefits of Sign Language
Of course, the main benefit of sign language is that it helps people who cannot hear well communicate with each other. However, in addition to helping with communication, there are quite a few other benefits in learning or using sign language; some of them are:
- It reduces frustration in communication.
- Build better relationships.
- Increases self esteem.
- It helps to grow strong language and listening skills.
- Aids in the development of all communication skills
- It helps your brain stay sharp.
- Can increase IQ.
- Facilitates bilingual learning.
- Allows for communication in noisy environments that make listening difficult.
How to Learn Sign Language
When sign language was first invented, not many people knew how to use it to communicate but with the increase in use and development of a standard for American Sign Language, it is now very accessible and easy to learn. Here are a few ways you can learn sign language and some great online resources too:
- Hire a private tutor.
- Take a class in your local community or school.
- Take an online course.
- Watch videos online.
- Read about it in a book.
- Ask a friend who knows sign language to teach you.
- The ASL App: http://theaslapp.com/
- Basic ASL: First 100 Signs: http://www.lifeprint.com/asl101/pages-layout/concepts.htm
- SignLanguage101.com: http://www.signlanguage101.com/
- Apps like: ASL Coach, ASL: Fingerspelling, and Marlee Signs
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