According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, American Sign Language (ASL) is the fourth most spoken language in the United States, with over two million people in North America using ASL. However, sign language has no connection to the English language we consistently use. Moreover, British sign language is different from American sign language. Above all, sign language isn’t only about the gestures, it is composed of vocabulary, expression and grammar.

As recognized, sign language is the fundamental language of people who are deaf and hard of hearing. Sign language can be some people’s first language as well. In any respect, learning sign language is beneficial to everyone even if you think you do not need to learn it. So, why should we learn it?

sign-language

Graphic by Propa Alam

 Cultural awareness is notably essential, so being competent with sign language not only helps with your language proficiency but also communicate and comprehend disabled people in a meaningful and considerate way. On the other hand, learning a new language is commonly enjoyable and gratifying to a certain extent. It allows you to have the opportunity to get to know people from the deaf community and learn about the community. According to World Health Organization (WHO), it is stated that approximately 466 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss, which include 34 million children and is estimated that by 2050 over 900 million people will have disabling hearing loss.

Sign language can be convenient in the business world as well. Generally, it is required to learn how to use sign language in the workforce where you are in a position of interacting with deaf individuals and people with hearing issues in any condition, especially when it comes to being a professional interpreter and working in broadcasting. In addition, it is known as a great professional asset and overall enhances your resume. Not to mention, it has been asserted that learning sign language helps with cognitive abilities and boosts your language skills. You will be able to gain an appreciation of visual arts as well.

All things considered, sign language grants a hearing person convenience that helps them learn a whole new language, allows them to connect with the deaf community and is generally a professional asset. Nonetheless, it would be favorable if schools and institutions included sign language as a language choice for the fact it would allow children to learn this particular language which would benefit them and allow them to connect with the disabled community. Broadly, there are more purposes and ways to use sign language apart from business, specialty and joy.

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