This week, I spent time looking back on my independent learning project. I went through the first couple lessons again to refresh my memory. There are so many different signs and, just like learning any new language, it takes time and practice to commit the signs to memory. I had gone through just a list of words and was surprised to find that I had trouble remembering a lot of them, most were small signs that are not really used as often. I had also kept practicing the fingerspelling alphabet. I feel more comfortable going back through these lessons and feel better moving on.
In my free time I like to just scroll through my newsfeed on Facebook and see what is going on in the world. During the week I had almost scrolled passed a video but was able to see a girl doing sign language. A hearing impaired girl had wanted to order and the cashier actually knew sign language. The hearing impaired girl was then able to order for herself by communicating with the cashier for herself instead of having someone translate. The caption on Facebook said that it was the first time the hearing impaired girl was able to do this. The girl is fluent in sign language and it is uncommon to find other people, who are as well, working in such public places. I had searched for this video on YouTube, which you can view through this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSwbvd5uzA8, and learned that the girls parents had actually heard about the young girl, working at Chick-fil-a, who knew sign language and would help hearing impaired customers with their order. The girl was surprised and overjoyed when the cashier communicated to her in sign language. The young cashier had learned sign language when she was little from deaf family members.
There are many benefits to knowing sign language. Not only for communicating in the real world, but it will also help in the classroom. I’m sure, someday in my teaching career, I will have a hearing impaired student in my classroom. They may or may not have a personal translator with them, but I think it will make them feel great to learn from me, along with the rest of the class, instead of having to look at a translator the whole time.
It is great seeing things like this and how great it is to other people if you are able to find someone to communicate with. I have not met anyone, yet, who knows sign language or a deaf person. But if I ever do meet a person who is hearing impaired, and I become more skilled and confident with sign language, I hope to make their day, just like this young cashier, by communicating with them in their language.