American Sign Language And Deafness Essay

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American Sign Language and Deafness in American Culture Deafness has been an obstacle thousands of people have had to overcome since the dawn of time. Even in the not so distant past, the future was typically very bleak for individuals who were born or became deaf. However, the future of an individual who is Deaf has become much brighter due to the development of American Sign Language. As the name describes, this language relies solely on visible movements and facial expressions with no auditory expression needed.
American Sign Language, often abbreviated ASL, is as complex and complete as any vocal language and is complete with its own sentence structure pattern. ASL is often the language of choice for deaf individuals living in the United States. As reported by the National Census of the Deaf Population, there are nearly half a million people who use sign language as their predominant language. The majority of deaf people were originally born hearing. Although people can be born deaf, many become deaf due to an accident, illness, or old age. A deaf individual can sometimes continue through life relying solely on an auditory language with the help of hearing aids and other assistance. However, when students learn ASL they also discover the deaf community and the rich vibrant culture that accompanies it. Many communities with large percentages of deaf individuals have very close deaf communities where all the individuals know each other and can meet up

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