Lab Report: Beginning ASL 3 & 4

Sign language is a method of communication of which I am becoming more and
more familiar. This is in great part to a series of videos I am currently watching entitled
“The Bravo Family,” Beginning ASL 1-15. I have recently finished watching videos three
and four. I have discovered there are many things that I did not know concerning such
topics as the culture and grammar of the deaf community. I feel these are two aspects
which deserve an abundance of credit and require a large amount of studying.
The culture of the deaf community is still thriving and continues to grow in
strength. This in spite of the years of suppression that people have enforced on these
unique individuals. Technology has extended a great helping hand to all mankind,
especially those of a deaf nature. Flashing lights are becoming a very useful tool in deaf
peoples homes. For example, to help accommodate the special needs of those who can
not hear the telephone or doorbell ring, systems can be installed into someone’s home
which alerts them of someone’s presence at the door or on the phone. The flashing light is
also used to help wake people up in the morning; alarm clocks can also be connected to
the lights. There are also dogs that are trained for sounds. For years blind people have
used these animals to help get them from one place to another. Now the people in the
deaf community can use canines to help alert them of sounds or noises. Another grateful
tool that is used to help the special needs of those who can not hear is a device known as a
TTY or TDD. This is a device that helps two people communicate over the phone lines
by typing on a machine. The message is transmitted over the phone lines and received by
another person on the other line. The problem with this was communicating between a
deaf person with a TTY and hearing person without one. To solve this problem many
states offer what is known as a relay station. This is where a deaf person can type a
message on a TTY, the message is run through a relay station, and the hearing person on
the other line hears a voice which states the message. The opposite is also possible. A
hearing person on one line says something. It runs through the relay station and is
transmitted to the TTY in a typed statement. There is also the entertainment aspect of the
culture. The TV set is a universal tool of education and entertainment. Almost all TV’s
and stations offer closed captioning. This is a great service which scrolls white letters on a
black background across the bottom of the screen. People can see what is being said and
still watch a program. Another aspect of entertainment which is greatly incorporated with
culture is folklore and storytelling. ASL incorporates very creative storytelling with body
language, facial expressions, and the numbering system in number story telling. In this
form of relaying a story numbers represent people, actions, or things. It is very
entertaining to watch someone tell a story using numbers. As you can see the culture of
deaf people runs deep and involves a great many things.
The technical aspect of ASL is just as important as understanding the culture.
Proper grammar is essential when communicating with other people. In ASL you are
required to put the negative at the end of a sentence rather than first. This is opposite, in
form, of English. Another rule of grammar is known as the topic comment rule. This
states that the topic is established first and then what you want to say about the topic, the
comment, is stated last. These rules are very important and can not be overlooked.
I thoroughly enjoyed these two videos over The Bravo family. I learned new signs
for oven, living room, couch, onions, shop, and many more. I am looking forward to
watching more videos and learning more signs. The culture of deaf people is amazing to
me and although the grammar is difficult for me to understand I plan to stick with it and
learn and apply all or most of the rules.