Hello Damian! Welcome to our deaf community! Thank you for being honest and open that you are willing to learn ASL and deaf culture. I am myself deaf since birth but I do have both hearing and deaf friends. Each deaf individual is unique and have their own preference of communication. Some prefer to sign ASL only, others prefer total communication (using both ASL and oralism) and it’s all up to them. It’s awesome for hearing people who are motivated and wanted to learn ASL. Hearing people can be great servants such as signing for their deaf customers at Starbuck. I do sign with Starbuck employee if I want to order my favorite drink. I think that’s wonderful.
The key is patience and be extra aware of deaf people’s body language and facial expression. We the deaf people depend on visual as we use our eye for most of the time. Lysander is right about taking ASL class. It’s the best way to start there. Once you are getting better with signs then you can proceed to advanced ASL class.
I have a friend who is deaf and is a ASL teacher. She’s a wonderful lady and happened to be a Christian. She would sometimes invite me to her ASL class to help her students to get know about me. Some of them have never met a deaf person or know nothing about deaf culture. It’s a great way to meet new people and practice signing with the deaf people whether it’s at a deaf event, church (we have a deaf congregation and it’s also a great way to socialize with them), deaf club and many other places.
I'm brand new to this site. I've also been hard of hearing my whole life, at the point now where I can't understand anything anyone says to me. I wish more hearing people would take the time to learn about Deaf culture and learn how to sign because it would make it easier for people who are d/Deaf to sign and communicate with more people. I also wish that ASL and other things to support deaf people were as accessible to deaf people as to hearing people because unfortunately that's not the case and it's something that I wish more hearing people were aware of when using sign and immersing themselves in Deaf culture. Nevertheless...I appreciate you being here.
That's awesome. It was a big thing for me to realize ASL isn't a signed English. But another language. With its own culture. which is pretty awesome! I am a very slow signer. But practice! we can spread sign to everyone.
It was interesting for me to learn the same. I had heard about it to some degree but didn't understand until I started lessons.
I've always had an interest in ASL but it was difficult to stay with it since I didn't use it in my daily life. Kind of like my 4 years of French that I've lost. I'm trying ASL again but this time with my youngest daughter. She's going to continue on through High School so I'm hoping that both of us can encourage and practice with each other.