Uploaded by Jacob Longstreth

Experience Paper

Jacob Longstreth
AMSL 1010
Spring 2018
International Sign Language (ISL) is a common ground for all of the deaf community to
unite and communicate. I feel without this common ground for the deaf, it would ultimately be
like those who use speaking languages to communicate. Unfortunately, it is quite seldom that
those who use a speaking language as their main form of communication are able to
communicate with others from different countries, cultures, etc. For example, in middle school I
went on a trip to both Mexico and Costa Rica. On both of these trips, we were accompanied by a
tour guide as nearly no one knew the primary language in either of the two countries we were
visiting. We had no way of communicating. This is something I feel makes knowing American
Sign Language (ASL), as well as International Sign Language (ISL) not only a pertinent way of
communicating, but also allows us to reach a whole new community of people in its entirety.
In class, during our activity of Gestuno, I felt that learning International Sign Language,
although we may not use it near as frequently as American Sign Language, was still very
important in knowing/learning to acquire the skills in being fluent in both. This gives us the
opportunity to be more inclusive with the deaf from other countries, as per in class, we also
learned how the use of International Sign Language (ISL) is used in the World Federation of the
Deaf (WFD) congress, as well as events such as the Deaflympics.
I think this goes beyond learning the language itself, but also the culture and about others
with disabilities. Being deaf has its own culture due to many factors, but the most prominent
being people who are deaf or hard of hearing can not hear to the full extent as others; hence,
relying on other senses to make up. Most often I think their visual sense increases drastically,
making them more observant to body language, social cues, etc. to situations without being able
to hear. This also opens our eyes to not only deaf people, but those who have disabilities. I think
it reaches a much larger crowd and this class allows us to explore others’ differences past