Sign language is very useful in today’s time. There’s a lot of members of the community who are deaf and hard-of-hearing. With sign language, they can communicate with other people. There are times though when they need the assistance of sign language interpreters to be able to get their message across. The interpreter will not only interpret what the deaf and hard-of-hearing signs but will also sign back whatever the another party is saying.
Learning sign language is not an easy task, though. The deaf and hard-of-hearing sometimes need to go to a special school or hire a special teacher so that they learn the appropriate sign language. If you are an interpreter, you not only have to learn the sign language well, but you also have to polish your English communication skills. Body language will also help in letting other people know what you want to say without misunderstanding you.
Certain benefits can be enjoyed with learning the sign language. It will not only be useful in day-to-day living but also in work and business. Here are some of the prime benefits that can be enjoyed with learning sign language.
#1. The number of deaf and hard-of-hearing is high
There are about 36 million deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals living in the country. You can translate that to as much as 17% of the overall population. Not every one of them uses ASL as the primary communication method, but there is still a significant number of people who do. You can lose various opportunities if you don’t learn ASL.
#2. The deaf can still talk
The deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals can still swap stories as well as share tips. They can even communicate their name. Since the community for the deaf and hard-of-hearing is a tight-knit one, expanding your network within is an easy task with your knowledge of ASL.
#3. Time is equivalent to money
Business transactions or personal dealings can run smoothly when there is clear communication. If there is no way for a deaf and hard-of-hearing individual to communicate with others due to language barriers, confusion and frustration can result from that. Learning the basics of sign language allows for effective communication.
#4. Sign language lets you “open” your eyes
If you are talking in sign language, then you will need to reply on your other senses to communicate well. You have to train yourself as well to become even more aware of your surrounding. Those who know sign language can develop notoriously sharp eyes.
#5. Add to your credentials
It is true that getting a college degree and completing certifications and training can improve your credibility. You can put your best self out in the marketplace. In a job market that is extremely competitive, you can add your ASL skills to your resume. That should increase your marketability in finding ASL interpeting jobs. More and more potential employers will take note of you.
#6. Honing your communication and listening skills
If you learn sign language, you will end up becoming a better listener and communicator. As you learn sign language, you will also learn how to re-formulate your ideas constantly and then check for understanding. When it comes to sign language, idea communication is extremely precise. It is also situation-oriented. Non-signers don’t often develop these extremely valuable skills.
#7. Sign language is a ticket to learn more about the deaf culture
The deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals have a culture of their own. If you want to know more about them, then the first step that you have to take is learning sign language. The differences between the structure of sign language and spoken language are evident, but that doesn’t mean that you will have a difficult time learning about them. By learning sign language, the deaf culture is much easier to understand.