If your signing sucks, at least you can improve it. Don't be afraid to talk to Deaf people. But try to find ways to make them feel you are being 'real' and don't expecting them to be appreciative that you are doing them a favor. They will respect you for your attitude more than they care about your skills."
"I absloutely agree with all you said. You have shared a truly unique perspective. My dad was hearing, but a CODA and was very accepted by deaf community. It seemed he belonged in that community more than hearing. My kids are deaf, I am trying to remember the signing I learned as a kid and learn new signs. I want my kids to be comfortable in both worlds. I am hearing, yet I am finding myself getting very annoyed with comments from well meaning people like, "I want to learn sign language...", "Sign language is so beautiful, so expressive...". I have gotten to the point where I am tired of explaining that sign language is another language and must be learned. You have to work very hard at it and practice constantly. It is beautiful and expressive, but so is English, or Spanish, etc. I just tell people that it is good to want to learn and go take a class. Most peaople go through one semester and get a reality check. I guess what I want people to understand about sign language is that is is the only way for many people out there to communicate, it isn't to be taken lightly or as something fun to try."
"I am deaf and love when hearing people ask me to teach them sign or attempt to communicate with me with sign they've learned. The people at your church can help introduce you to other patient, considerate deaf that will help you. Like ALL people hearing OR deaf- not everyone is friendly. I've had hearing people make fun of me for my speech or my sign language. I've had hearing men that I've dated ask me not to speak or sign in front of their friends, and would not let me meet their family. Ignorance comes from both sides- but there are good people out there."
"The reason why some deaf people treat hearing people badly is because of bad experiences they hasd with hearing people. Try not to take it personally. I know some deaf people and they welcome me with open arms, probably because they hadn't had too many bad experiences with hearing. Like you said, I hope one day we could bridge the gap of communication between deaf and hearing. All hearing these days should know some sign language. It should be required. But they are too selfish. Be patient, and your relationship with the deaf will improve."
"Iam an adult child of two deaf parents and know both asl and exact sign! You have to understand that the way deaf people act is due to the way hearing people act! You have hearing people who go around and change the signs, tell deaf people that are they are doing the signs wrong,and look down on them."
"I'm just learning ASL at 34 and my son seems to be more and more HOH each year. This is a big push for me, but out here in Fargo, ND there isn't a huge need for ASL.
I am finding it most difficult to learn. I am buying many books to learn from (as are all 3 of my children), have several items for my pc, and have recently enrolled in a college as there doesn't seem to be anyone around who will teach me.
It is a struggle for me now, doing this alone without another to practice with and reading many of these stories, my heart breaks. Will my children and I be brandished as needing a LOT of help as we don't know any who are deaf? Will we encounter many of these issues you've stated here with more force when clearly we just want to learn to talk to my son (their brother)? Will we be brushed aside and considered not worthy?
Yes, I believe in any community/race you have problems, but learning any language isn't supposed to be an insult to the one being learned. Yes you have to go slower, but goodness, why persecute us when you've not been in our shoes or wronged you personally? You being whomever the rude person is on either side. I've not walked in your shoes, but I firmly believe in the Bible and how we are instructed to help/serve/love one another.
I'm getting frustrated to think that once through this, whether we learn 'wrong' in ASL, there will be a dismisal of us 'Hearing' as we flounder to just survive. I love my son, and even if he wasn't HOH (he's 11 and has had many ear infections causing scare tissue buildup) I'd learn it anyway!
Everyone has valid thoughts and feelings and I appreciate many who've noted that it occurs regardless of fluency over the years or beginners