Thursday, March 15, 2007

Sign Language

I use sign language websites to brush up on my signing. Most of the signs I have learned are 30 years old. Some signs have been modified over the years.

This website is good for looking for a word you are not sure of. It's also great for beginners, too. I enjoy using this website to verify a sign for a word. You simply click on a letter at the bottom of the web page and then scroll (on the right) for the word you want to look at.

This website is also a fun one. I use the "QuizMe!" to check my knowledge. There is even a section for teaching babies sign language. I remember teaching the girls signs for 'mommy," "daddy," "more," "please," "thank you," "drink," and "milk." This enabled them to tell me what they wanted-especially at mealtimes.

I think it's important to learn the manual alphabet before learning the signs. This is because when you don't know or aren't sure of the sign for a word, you can fingerspell it. Believe me, though I know a lot of signs, I couldn't believe how rusty I was. I didn't use sign language for a long time until I went back to the tech college. A lot of the signs stayed with me, but there were times when I didn't realize a sign had been modified or updated or I just didn't know a sign for a word.

Here is a website to practice your fingerspelling.

ASL (American Sign Language) is not the same as as BSL (British Sign Language) or signs in other countries. There may be similarities, but I really haven't taken the time to compare and really look at the signs used in other countries.

I just thought that I would share the websites with those who are from the States or the UK (BSL).

I will be looking at BSL and look at the differences in ASL. It's interesting.

I want to make a note here that I am not the best at ASL as I am with SEE (Signed Exact English) or maybe even PSE (Pidgin Signed English).

I don't know when or how I will practice tactile signing. This would mean touching the other signer's hand(s) as he or she is signing. It would be another step I don't want to think about. It would be like giving in to Usher Syndrome. It's hard to explain. I know that it's best to be prepared for blindness and learn all I can, but there's still this part of me that wants to hang on to hope that a cure would be found. Maybe I am still in denial. I am continously going through the grieving process (denial, bargaining, anger, depression, and acceptance). I take steps backwards and forwards all the time. I have to keep adjusting to the disease so I start going through the process all over again. I don't just want to sit around and wait for it to take away all my sight. I don't want to give up.

Then again, it could come in handy if I did know tactile or even Braille. I have met so many wonderful and seemingly strong people who have Usher Syndrome nationwide. They are all supportive. They give helpful suggestions and share experiences. They keep me strong.

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