Watch how Missy gives her view into expectation for deaf people on establishing communication with hearing people using American Sign Language (ASL). Expectations based on learning what is generally our first language, ASL. If we are to overcome language barriers, we are to have expectation with the hearing world to adapt to ASL, rather than for us to adapt to speech and hearing.

13 comments

  • Hi missy, I like the way u do, I am same so I don’t like be barred and set my mind free, sign way along.

  • I watched ur vlog and u were talking abt “Expection” and honest. It won’t work that way.. My bf is hearing and he don’t want to signs at all and he wants me to learn his hearing language because I can lip reader. Otherwise I agreed what u recently said on this vlog.

  • Exactly so!! I keep encouraging those parents of Deaf children to use signs naturally. I won’t give up no matter what!

  • Thank u and I hate doing for my children their exception for My children sake , using my voice and sign.. I must overcome and exception them to respect my signing….

  • I appreciated Missy’s view. But I’d like to leave some disagreement here. First, I’d like to say a balance is a key. You can’t expect for every hearing without knowledge to understand what are you saying. It is impossible. For example, I talked with hearing people they will never understand what I’m saying. I’m not sure what do you mean by teacher understood what are you saying. Another example is a student who attends ASL classes and trying to learn ASL. It is best to give them chance to learn ASL. They will never learn sign language if you just put all expectation. Expectation and Compassion should be balanced.

  • I respect your view. It is a bit unrealistic. I agree with Marc. There has to be a balance of expectation and compassion. For example…my kids are hearing. They have attended school with Spanish-speaking kids who had no knowledge of English. It is unrealistic to expect the Spanish-speaking kids to speak only Spanish in an all-English school and expect my kids to suddenly understand Spanish and start using it for them. Same goes with Chinese, Japanese, German, whatever. Various cultures come to America and we are one huge melting pot of diversity. There needs to be a balance of meeting halfway when encountering those who do not communicate as we do. We can hold on to our culture and our language without forcing another to adopt it. Compromise is a beautiful thing when dealing with diverse language in this country. With my kids, my kids picked up Spanish while helping the Spanish-speaking kids learn English. We can all help each other. We can learn to adapt to THEIR chosen method of communication while they adapt to ours. It goes both ways. There is no one “right answer” that applies to all in this situation. Each of us needs to do what we are most comfortable doing. For myself, I chose to sign with my husband (also deaf), but speak with my children. They are gradually incorporating signs (usually fingerspelling more than signs) into their communication with me, but it is not forced. I respect them as hearing and they respect me as deaf and we meet halfway. I treat those I come across from different ethnic backgrounds and languages the same…we work together to find a way where both of us are comfortable in communication. Sometimes it means the other person goes out of their way to sign (and many who start end up loving it), sometimes it means I go out of my way to adapt to what works best for them. I figure if I wanted to rely only on sign I could easily bring an interpreter along. Being ourselves as Deaf individuals is one thing. Forcing ourselves on another is a completely different thing…we have hated hearing people forcing us to speak, why seek revenge? Why not just meet halfway? Those we have regular communication with will appreciate our patience and possibly even to a point of deciding for themselves to learn to sign to better communicate with us. That’s the best way for things to happen. 🙂

    • That is true in my experience. Once long ago, I met a lady who expressing her feeling about deaf people. She couldn’t understand their sign, too fast for her so she was trying to avoid them.

  • Missy
    I am thrilled when I watched your vlog on accountability. Pah! It is about time that someone speaks out on this issue that has been a problem in the deaf community. Deaf must help other deaf to succeed. We need each other.
    Thank you. I love you!
    Dick Moore

    • I like you say deaf need to help other deaf. We need each other. By the way, anyone there is Homeschooler? I wonder if there already a group of deaf homeschooling family on FB? I would love to join or create one myself. TIA.

  • My Dear wonderful Missy. It took me so many years to understand what you are saying and I do agree–but ASL is so hard to remember at age 79.

    I love you.
    Dad

  • I enjoyed your “Melissa’s View”; Expectation and accountibility. How about having another one such as tipping in resturants and other places. I get tired of being labeled “The Deaf do not Tip”

  • Hi Missy, Yes, I mean it, Big time YES TRUE! Why? when I had real crazy busy day, tolertated with my back injury, frustrated something, going on crazy busy with GOOD stress. then happened I sign fluent ASL as my real naive language, without range of channel to hearing group (small nbr ppl). Those hearing ppl responded – matched to my discuss, understandable me. And I caught it myself and realized that maybe I was rude to them but but they really understand me with their cheerful faces ( they didn’t know about ASL) Whew, hope not I was rude. I can see them really understand me. Ugh! Amazing…That situation made me real real GOOD MY DAY!!! I did continued for a while but my bad habit back to range of channel. me bad. I was suppose do that all the time to hearing ppl… Yes, you’r 100% right.. They did enjoyed to work with me. Missy, Thank you for your share with us.

  • I only know very limited ASL, but I would like to learn more. I was just recently diagnosed with some hearing loss. I don’t know yet what the prognosis is. But ever since I took one beginner’s course in ASL and found that I was able to speak to a hearing Spanish lady who also knew some ASL, I realized that sign language would be a HUGE bridge between different languages and between the Hearing and the Deaf worlds. In my opinion, it’s not an either/or thing when considering who should accomadate to the other world- the Hearing or the Deaf. In my opinion, the Deaf and HOH should have access to all tools possible to comunicate, and each individual should be able to choose whether they want be able to hear with assistance or not. At the same time, the Hearing world really needs to stop being so self-centered and make those tools more affordable and accessible. AND the Hearing world needs to make ASL a required language for all people to learn, no matter whether they can hear or not and no matter what each person’s first language is. But how to make that happen? How to make ASL a required language? Interpreters would not be out of work, becaue if everyone knew ASL at a basic conversational level, there would still be a need for interpreters who specialize in different fields that require more specific terminology (i.e., medical, law, etc.). There has to be some way make this a priority.