Questions and Answers

What is ASL?
A: ASL stands for American Sign Language. It is a complete, complex language that employs signs made with the hands and other movements, including facial expressions and postures of the body.

Is ASL universal?
A: No; just like spoken languages, different types of sign language widely vary from country to country and even from region to region.

How did ASL originate?
The exact beginnings of ASL are unclear, but some suggest that it arose from the intermixing of local sign languages and French Sign Language. Modern ASL and modern French Sign Language are both distinct languages and, while they still contain some similar signs, are vastly different.

Can deaf people talk?
A: Yes; Some deaf people can talk. Some can use words or even long sentences. Others use speech for all communication with hearing people. Still others do not speak at all but prefer to communicate in writing or signs.

Can all deaf people read lips?
Not all deaf people are good lipreaders. Some deaf people can communicate with hearing people only by writing or gestures. Lip reading is a difficult task, so of course, not everyone can do it.

Can deaf people enjoy music?
Yes; some deaf people enjoy music and many have radios and record players. There are some deaf people who are able to work with music like deaf composers and deaf dancers.

What are cochlear implants?
Cochlear implants are electronic medical devices that replace the function of the damaged inner ear. Hearing aids make sounds louder, but cochlear implants actually do the work of the damaged part in the ear. However, the results are not certain and there are risks that come with the implants.

Why don’t all Deaf people wear hearing aids?
Many Deaf people use hearing aids and they work great for them, for others sound amplification does not work. It depends on where your hearing is in decibels. It is the individual’s choice, based on their body and preferences.