Questions and Answers

Can Deaf people drive?
Of course.

Do all Deaf people have Deaf parents?
No, it is estimated that 10% of Deaf people come from Deaf families, the other 90% are born into hearing families.That Deaf Guy Comic

Does ASL follow English grammar and syntax

No; ASL has its own unique grammar and syntax, distinct from the English language. It is written in a Topic Comment Format and is written in all capital letters. Topic is for the first item mentioned in a sentence (whether it is the subject or object) and the comment is the latter, and it makes a comment about the topic. For example, "the three of us went to a party last week" Could be signed" "WEEK PAST US 3 GO WHERE? PARTY".

How do I talk to a Deaf person when there is an interpreter?
When using an interpreter, their role is to facilitate communication between the Deaf person and the nonsigner. They will speak in first person as the Deaf person, you should look at the Deaf person and speak directly to them instead of “tell him or her”.

How do I get a Deaf person’s attention?
Waving your arm, tapping on the shoulder, using a third person to get their attention for you, flashing lights, tapping the table (to create a vibration) and tapping your foot on the floor (again, for vibrations).

Is it rude to watch Deaf people signing?
Yes. It is akin to eavesdropping, except you are staring directly at the people having the conversation, who are most likely VERY aware that you are staring at them. It is ok to say hi, and tell them you are learning sign language.

If I am signing and I don’t know a word… what do I do?!?
Just like in ANY new language, you will be in the middle of a conversation and realize “oh no! What is that sign?!” no worries, just fingerspell the word. The Deaf person you are having a conversation with will continue the conversation or show you the sign. Additionally, you can just ask “how sign…?” both work!

How do I know how to communicate with a Deaf person?
The deaf person will let you know their preferred method of communication, whether it is speaking, reading lips, gesturing, signing, writing, etc.
How do Deaf people talk on the phone?
TTYs, videophones, Facetime, video texting, text messaging, Skype, etc.

What is the ranking of ASL (American Sign Language) as a "Spoken Language"?
It is suggested that ASL ranks six in the USA with estimated users in the order of 500,000 to 2,000,000 signers (speakers).

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