May 21, 2024

The History Behind American Sign Language

ASL American Sign Language Poster by KDGrafx | Society6
The alphabet in American Sign Language

American Sign Language has been used since the 17th century and is the only visual form of communication. Being a marginalized community, it has been difficult to express to hearing people that it is vital that we teach our language as it is a part of Deaf culture. 

One man that impacted Deaf people was Alexander Graham Bell. He is most well known for inventing the the telephone. However, he is seen completely different from the Deaf community. Despite his mother and wife being Deaf, he enforced children to use speech to communicate and if they were seen signing, the were punished and beaten.

American Sign Language For Dummies Cheat Sheet - dummies
Basic signs

AGB founded the American Association to Promote the Teaching of Speech to the Deaf. This only harmed Deaf culture because we couldn’t use our language and teach sign. He went so far as to find a way to prevent the birth of Deaf children.

The reason why it is important that Deaf individuals teach Sign Language is because this is our culture and since Alexander Graham Bell hurt the community, we want to take our power back and teach correctly. 

Handicap sign

Having a disability isn’t a poor thing. The reaction of society is what makes it difficult to go about in this world. If we can respect those who are marginalized groups, we can have a better connection with those around us.