ASL is a language

American Sign Language and other signed languages are languages. It’s important to respect them as languages.

ASL is not English. It is a completely different language. Similarly, signed languages aren’t all the same. British Sign Language is completely different from ASL.

Signs are not universal, any more than spoken words are universal. The meaning of a sign isn’t always obvious just by watching; many signs are completely arbitrary.

Sign is not pantomime, and it’s not ad hoc gesture. It’s also not like symbolic gestures that are sometimes made up to accompany kids songs either. It’s a language, with all the complexities of language. The difference is important, and it needs to be respected. 

In order to know what signs mean, you have to learn them. (Just like in order to know what spoken words mean, you have to learn them.)

ASL is not just gestures, any more than spoken languages are just sounds. ASL has grammar, vocabulary, and culture. It’s important to respect this and not erase it.  

Stop Craptions.

Okay so I’ve made a post about this before but this is just getting ridiculous. Actually, the post I made before regards the same freaking video I’m going to talk about now. This has to do with closed captioning. After my little rant in my other post about how big youtubers like Markiplier and Jacksepticeye have people writing captions for them and inserting stupid jokes and unnecessary commentary, there were edits made to the CC in the video I specifically talked about. A good start, but not revolutionary. 

I went back to watch that video tonight because it’s one of my favourite videos, and the captions have somehow gotten WORSE. Not only is there stupid commentary, but now there’s jokes that are actually offensive. 

(For context, they are doing the Whisper Challenge).

For YEARS people in the Deaf community have been trying to end the stigma/stereotype of deaf = dumb and then this BS rolls around. I’m just.. I’m just so done.

I shouldn’t have to turn the CC off for some of my favourite youtubers simply because they’re obnoxious, distracting, and/or offensive. I shouldn’t have to struggle to understand videos because I had to turn the CC off. So, to those who write captions for youtubers, please do it right oh my god. If you want to add commentary, do so in the comments like you’re supposed to. Otherwise you’re ruining it for a lot of people, and not just in the Deaf community. People who don’t have English as their first language, people with auditory processing disorder, people with ADD, etc. You’re ruining their youtube experience “for the lolz”. 

I just wish youtube had regulations for CC like television does. This shouldn’t be an issue. 

For more information about CC and “craptions”, check out @rikkipoynter​. 

How to Deaf Culture

I’m about to go attend a deaf event, so I decided to write this quick little list! A lot of my followers don’t know any ASL or even what ASL is (American Sign Language) , so here’s a guide for if you’re ever around Deaf people and how to respect them!


  •  DO NOT use the term “hearing impaired”. Good willed people like to use it for political correctness, but to the Deaf Community, it’s offensive because they are proud to be Deaf. They embrace their deafness and the lifestyle that comes with it.
  • TAP, don’t YELL. Yes, unbelievable, I know. They’re deaf. So yelling in their faces won’t help you or them one bit. Besides that, waving obnoxiously to get a deaf persons’ attention is also rude. Simply give a little tap on the shoulder to alert them, unless you’re facing their front! If coming up from behind, give a little tap! If not, a small wave will be fine.
  • ASL is not a direct translation of English. It is its’ own language, something like Korean or Mandarin or French and so forth. ASL has its own grammar structure and rules, so signing direct English is technically incorrect. If you accidently sign in PSE (pigeon-signed-english) which is direct translation, whoever you are signing with will most likely remind you/correct you to sign in the technical structure.
  • ASL is not universal. There is no count of how many signed languages there are, just like how it’s difficult to get an accurate number of spoken languages! The point is, there is British Sign Language, German Sign Language, Japanese Sign Language, and so on and so forth. For Deaf who go overseas frequently or attend international meetings, there is an improvised form of sign language, but not so much that it is a learned sign language.
  • If using an interpreter, talk directly to the deaf person. Facing the interpreter is like saying that the deaf person is not there, which is extremely rude. The interpreter will catch on and interpret even if you’re not facing them, that’s their job.
  • Breaking eye contact is rude. In the hearing world, eye contact isn’t as important because we can look at one thing but still listen to the speaker. In the deaf world, eye contact must be made while conversing to show respect.
  • “S…L…O…W…L…Y” is a no.  Many deaf persons can read lips. Does that mean you should mouth every syllable of a word at a snails’ pace when talking to a deaf person? No. It’s like having the same done to you. Also, though it may be done with good intentions, it often comes off as stuck-up/having the higher power. Speak normally.
  • Don’t be scared! The Deaf Community loves to sign and help students learning ASL. If you have basic knowledge of it, then approach them politely and introduce yourself! Especially if at a deaf event, Deaf are more than happy to warmly greet you and sign. There’s no need to hold back! Just remember that Deaf Culture is different from Hearing.


I encourage you to learn ASL/your countrys’ sign language if you’re curious! Learn from classes, because online diagrams will not give you the correct forms. Sign language is a beautiful form of communication , along with the people in the community! Remember, every culture has its differences, and Deaf Culture is no exception!

To the woman who owns my high school:

Let me just say that telling a Deaf student that they should “Learn to lipread if they ever want to succeed in getting a job” is completely inappropriate and it’s also complete bullshit. 

Implying that I need to pass as hearing in order to be successful is terrible. I have a job that I love, and I didn’t need to lie to get it. I didn’t need to strain my eyes and struggle to understand to get my job. And guess what! We use ASL at my job all the time. Not even just for work but for casual conversations in the store. 

To tell a Deaf student that they should want to be more like hearing people and that it’ll make them more successful, ESPECIALLY if you’re the founder of the school, is inappropriate bullshit and I will NOT stand for it. 

Reblog if 2017 is the year we stop interrogating d/Deaf/HoH people

If a d/Deaf/HoH person tells you that they are d/Deaf/HoH, you believe them. No questions asked.

If a d/Deaf/HoH person wants to communicate orally with/or without lip reading, using sign language, gesturing, cued speech, using their cell phone, or pen and paper, you respect their decision. No questions asked.

If a d/Deaf/HoH person speaks, do not comment on the “quality” or “tone” of their speech. If they choose to speak to communicate that’s their choice, no matter how it may sound to you. No compliments given, no criticism given, and again, no questions asked.

If a d/Deaf/HoH people talks/listens on the phone, uses hearing aids/cochlear implants, speaks clearly, grew up hearing, reads lips, etc, you will respect what they tell you about their being d/Deaf/HoH. No questions asked.

2017 is already an amazing year for equality, support, solidarity, and inclusion. Let’s band together to make the lives of d/Deaf/HoH people a little easier, and allow them to breathe easier when communicating with hearing people. 

Please reblog and add your own “d/Deaf/HoH No Questions asked”! I want to see what y’all have to say! 

Keep reading

It is hard to tell in this photograph, but Ariel was signing to me! I am hard of hearing and there are times where I have to use ASL for communication. My mom told her that I couldn’t hear and immediately she turned asking (in sign), “You are deaf?”. I started sobbing, ugly happy sobs. In the time slot allotted we signed the entire time and it made my trip to Disney absolutely incredible. Think about that. Five minutes of just being able to communicate with a character made the long plane ride, long car ride, etc. worth it. The bonus is that Ariel is my favorite Disney princess. I felt included in a world that is tailored to the “norm” and it meant the world.