Monday, January 21, 2008

First ASL Class

I signed up today for ASL class. Several years ago I took a beginners class, but since I don't use it everyday I lost most of it. My nine year old daughter and I will start class on Wednesday night. I am very excited.

I would never had been able to make this choice without reading the positive blogs and viewing the beautiful vlogs. Not only am I learning more about Deaf Culture, my hearing daughter is learning positive things as well. What makes this a positive experience is I don't feel I am forced to choice ASL to be a part of the Deaf Community, I felt accepted for me. So thank you DeafRead and all the bloggers and vloggers for welcoming me into the community. I hope you will see me not just an oral deaf adult, but as someone who is proud to be a Bilateral Cochlear Implant Deaf Adult.



mishkazena said...


It's really a beautiful language. For sure, my life had been deeply enriched since I learned ASL in college.

A Deaf Pundit said...

*smile* I'm glad you're learning ASL! I hope this will encourage more of the vloggers to caption their vlogs, so you and others can follow along, practicing! :)

anna s said...

A bit of advice, hmm? Make sure the class you are signing up for is titled American Sign Language and the textbook or online curriculum you are going to use is actually A S L, not a class where you will learn "sign language". There are several classes , thankfully not many, across the nation that claim to be ASL, but is more inclined to a signed mode of English on the hands. Just beware!

Let us know how it's going for you both. Best of luck and have fun!

Anonymous said...

that is great i learned asl in school for the deaf

Seek Geo said...

Yay.. awesome!! I look forward to hear more experience of yours in ASL class as weeks go by.

Way to go!


drmzz said...

That's cool. What are you now, bi-lingual too? Tri? Quad? Smile. Good luck.

Jean Boutcher said...

That is the greatest news I have
so far heard from a CI blogger since the inception of DeafRead
two years ago. Sooner or later, I will hear you comment: "ASL is to stay here!" I hope you will vlog bilingually.

Bonne chance!

Abbie said...

WOO! This is a step in the right directiong for us. I'm learning ASL too! Watching all of these Vlogs, I have been picking up quite a few. My friends are teaching me and I'm excited! I have to learn how to start looking at hands and not the face. That trips me up an awful lot.

cnkatz said...

Welcome, good good. You are one of scores of examples the impact vblogsphere has for the deaf (and human) society. Welcome via a new avenue into the deaf community. Coast well in your journeys.

Misha said...

YAY! That's great! You'll enjoy ASL very much. It will enrich you and your life.

Good Luck!

Misha :D

Tales from the CI Gal said...

Thank you all so much. I am very excited and can't wait to write about my adventures.

moi said...

Hi there,

Wow, how exciting! It's going to be a neat experience for you and your daughter. Looking forward to reading about your journey.

If you're the same Val who commented on my blog last night, I'm very sorry you've had such negative experiences. For what it's worth, you're part of the Deaf community, with or without ASL, as far as I'm concerned. I'm taking the risk of coming here and commenting because you've appeared quite reasonable in your comments elsewhere in the past 24 hours. So, I just want to say hi and offer my best wishes. *smile*

David said...

Welcome to ASL world. I look forward to reading your articles about your ASL experience. Please let us all know if you need any help!

Have fun!


Tales from the CI Gal said...

there are two of us. Val is the wonderful mom with 2 CI children. I am the Valerie who had the bilateral CIs and a hearing daughter. I go by Val, Valerie or Vallee. I am honored you have us confused.

Karen said...

Have fun and enjoy the ASL learning!

Deb Ann said...

Awesome! I am soo excited for you ;)

It's fun!

Anne Marie said...

Val, congrats, and right on, you simply take it because you are interested, not being forced into it. It never feels right if it is under pressure.

(I have been teaching ASL for 20 years) Now thinking as a teacher, will I want to know any student wearing CI? I would. Why? I might would be able to help with cultural aspects especially by time when they start interacting with Deaf people. I might be interested to see if students with CI may still learn differently than hearing students in general. For example, oral deaf students tend to learn ASL quickly, generally more than hearing students because they are more visual oriented.

You do have rights not to have to reveal anything about your wearing CI. Like anything related to personal information, ASL teachers are to remain professional by not asking too many questions about it.

Abbie, a correction, you said, "I have to learn how to start looking at hands and not the face. That trips me up an awful lot."

Actually ASL signers look at face peripherally and still can see hands and movements enough within the proximity.

Good luck! We look forward to hearing more about your experience with learning ASL.

Deaf dating said...

hey, im an asl student as well. if i learn anything new ill make a video and let you know

Dianrez said...

Wonderful, welcome to our cozy community! Soon as you have enough ASL, do jump into work with deaf children or with community members, even if it is volunteer work, because ASL needs to be practiced all the time or like any other language, it fades away.

My best ASL experience was working with disadvantaged Deaf people in the inner city. The richness of the street language is unbeatable for picking up ASL as it is truly used.

You're in for a treat, indeed!

Abbie said...


I need to learn how to widen my visual range to include the hands. I have a tendency of staring dead straight on a persons lips that I see nothing else. Do you have any tips that I could use to break from that?

Anonymous said...

Val, I am so thrilled! ASL is truly a beautiful language and I'm happy you'll be learning it with your daughter. Who knows, maybe when you both become fluent enough and after much practice you'll both be signing in ASL at home like it's the most natural thing in the world. :) Welcome! :)

I was born deaf but didn't learn ASL until I was 17 and when I took the classes, not to brag or anything, I was indeed the better signer and caught on to the language much faster than the other hearing students. I went on to Gallaudet University 2 years later and learned MUCH more about the Deaf World. :) Maybe one day you'll attend Gallaudet, too? Even if just for a summer workshop.

Please keep us up-dated on your ASL classes and your thoughts and feelings on it. We at DeafRead are here for you! :)

Carrie Gellibrand

Jodi Cutler Del Dottore said...

Geeze, Val,
That is so weird, I got, finally and strangely, an announcement about a LIS course in the mail. It's an 80 hour course until May, I have to call today to see the hours. I hope I can do it,my schedule is just beyond. That's great that you're doing it with your daughter...jealous Jodi:))
PS. what does your husband think? Mine looked at me like why do you need to add this to everything you're already doing? That REALLY pissed me off.

kw said...

WooHOO-- YAY! I'm high-fivin ya here. We beginners can stick together and make silly fools of ourselves. hehe! I'm putting up a blog on ASL practice later on. You'll see. . .

Abbie-- I still look at the face and lips a lot too. Looking at the face is a big part of ASL, because facial expression is important. You don't just stare at the hands. :-) If you tried it, I bet you would LOVE it, because those of us who have been HH/deaf/Deaf for any length of time process communication visually. It's a very natural way of communicating that makes so much sense in your head once you start learning it. Like magic!

Tales from the CI Gal said...

Honesty my husband is troubled by the ASL course. He has seen such a big change in my hearing, that he feels I don't need sign. And I think the word is "I don't need it." I am not doing this for need or to be accepted. Jenna and I want to communicate and I also want to be able to view the vlogs without caption. Not being forced and allowing me to learn just to learn is empowering. That has been my whole point, show options and we will want to learn, force this and we will not want to even be around.

Anonymous said...


Good luck for both you and your daughter taking the ASL class.

Anne Marie said...


I see, it takes a while to rewire your brain where to focus at a signer.

Just my wild idea, with a tutor or a buddy after class time, have this person wear bright color sticker on his/her forehead and also a bright color pin on bottom of his/her neck. It should help augmenting your vision field.

Kw, I look forward to seeing your blog for ASL practice, I will be there to give tips and guide. I really wanted to do this but really have so little time here.

Anne Marie

Jennifer said...

I wanted to take one last semester, but it was on a church night, so I couldn't. This semester I'm working so much that I can't go! I am practicing it on my own...but I wish I could take a real class....ugh!