20% Semester Final

Sign Language- Jade Barlage

Impact/ Purpose

I want to learn basic spelling and phrases in sign language to help benefit me in my career. I plan to get an RN degree, specifically in emergency medicine. I will be working with a variety of people everyday and am bound to come across parents who can't communicate with English or vocal language skills. I am currently finishing up my last year in Spanish and plan to do a study abroad next year. I want to learn another language and I think sign would be less difficult to learn while finishing up my last year of Spanish. I will benefit from this project because it will give me a new skill and perspective on life. The community could benefit from this because their will be one more person able to communicate multiple languages. Lastly, future patients or coworkers may benefit because someone might be able to understand them through basic phrases in high stress situations. I will be relying on the Internet and videos as my main source of mentor. I believe it is a great tool we have access to today and will help me gain perspective from multiple places at the same time.

I chose this topic because working as a CNA I have already seen how language barriers affect patient care. I want to use this project as a personal goal to raise awareness about language barriers and work on decreasing the gap.

Sign Language Alphabet/ Facts

Fingerspelling is the process of spelling out words by using signs that correspond to the letters of the word. An ASL user would use the American Fingerspelled Alphabet, (also called the American Manual Alphabet). There are many different manual alphabets throughout the world. The American Fingerspelled Alphabet consists of 22 handshapes that--when held in certain positions and/or are produced with certain movements-- represent the 26 letters of the American alphabet.
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History of the Language

Aristotle was the first to have a claim recorded about the deaf. His theory was that people can only learn through hearing spoken language. Deaf people were therefore seen as being unable to learn or be educated at all. Therefore, they were denied even their fundamental rights. In some places, they weren't permitted to buy property or marry. Some were even forced to have guardians. The law had them labeled as "non-persons". Aristotle's claim was disputed in Europe during the Renaissance. Scholars were attempting to educate deaf persons for the first time and prove the 2,000 year old beliefs wrong. This mark in the history of sign language is what started the creation of a signed language.

Abbe Charles Michel de L'Epee established the first public free deaf school in 1771. In English, the school is known as the National Institute for Deaf-Mutes.

Early man, before spoken language, probably used gesture. They most likely pointed and created signs for those things they couldn't talk about. Early man was probably the first inventors and users of the most basic sign language.

The first person to use a basic sign language was probably early man. The first to use a more complex sign language to communicate is deaf people. Abbe Charles Michel de L'Epee invented French Sign Language. Laurent Clerc and Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet invented American Sign Language. There are different sign languages used around the world. They have all come about because of the necessity for the language, communication, and education of deaf people. Sign language has been created due to a natural process and the fact that it is the natural language for the deaf.

The history of American Sign Language really started in 1814 with Dr. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet.


So far my biggest challenge is time. It's hard to follow the schedule I originally created. I've rearranged the order of which I learn things and it's starting to make learning the language easier. I'm really gonna start jumping into making videos second semester to show of a few things I've learned. I used most of first semester to plan the overall project and do research on the topic.