Sign language and body language are some of the oldest methods we use to communicate. Before we developed verbal language, humans relied on different forms of sign language to effectively relay information, strategize, and more. Now, sign language is a primary method of communication between people with a hearing disability and hearing people.
Sign language is a visual-based language that uses natural body language to pass information. Over the years, several countries developed several systems like the American Sign Language (ASL), British Sign Language (BSL), French Sign language (FSL), etc. These systems are just as linguistically rich as other languages of the world. Like English, French, Arabic, etc, sign languages have accents, dialects, different flows and pronunciations, and slang.
One great thing about this mode of communication is that anyone can learn it. Here are some of the reasons everyone should learn sign language.
For effective communication.
The importance of communication cannot be overemphasized. For individuals who are hard of hearing or those who have friends or family members with a disability, learning a form of sign language is a must. It enables communication between hearing parties, hearing–hard–of–hearing individuals, and people that are deaf.
Sign language is also a method of communication with people with other conditions that affect their speech. These conditions include degenerative diseases, autism, and speech impairment.
There are many situations where one can take advantage of sign language to effectively disseminate information. Examples of such are people who work in extreme conditions or environments where verbal communication is not viable. Deep-sea divers need some form of sign language to pass vital information between themselves. The same rule applies to soldiers at war or law-enforcement officers in hostile conditions.
You don’t have to be a deep-sea diver or soldier at war to enjoy these benefits. You can also communicate discretely on various occasions. You can talk with your friend or partner through a window, or in a very rowdy place- This also adds a bit of exclusivity and fun to your relationship.
It is easy to learn.
Contrary to what many people think, sign language is easy to learn. Several sign language systems use commonplace gestures to make communication more effective and simple. With a good tutor who has certification in sign language, children and adults can learn quickly.
Sign language is beautiful.
The idea of visually relaying complex thoughts and sentences is very fascinating. In many ways, sign language is like a beautiful dance. You don’t need to rely solely on your mouth, but instead on more expressive parts of your body. Many people learn to sign for its beauty and freedom of expression.
It develops your cognitive abilities.
Children who learn a second language quickly develop their cognitive abilities. Studies have shown that learning a second language can help improve memory, enhance your critical and problem-solving skills, improve your social awareness, and more.
You become more aware.
Sign language is a fundamental part of the deaf community and culture. Learning it yourself will improve your appreciation for the culture, and you will get to understand the struggles, victories, and challenges.
The needs of people with disabilities have many other benefits to society and mankind as a whole. We can develop better technology, provide better amenities, and make better policies that accommodate every member of society.
You can pursue a career as a translator. People with proficiency in sign language are indispensable in many aspects of the industry and society.
Interpreters work with government bodies, media corporations, educational facilities, and more.
Learning Sign Language
With all these benefits, you must be eager to learn new languages. You can sign up to learn sign language online. A good course I’ll recommend is Sign language online by Dain Taylor. The course caters to the needs of everyone. It has sections like sign language for elementary students, sign language for teenagers, and sign language for adults. These programs have a structure that caters to the needs and difficulty levels of different age groups.
Learning sign language has many benefits for everyone. First and foremost, sign language provides a viable means of communication between hard-of-hearing individuals and hearing individuals. Learning also has many benefits for hearing individuals. Sign language is easy to learn, improves your cognition, and promote awareness. By understanding the unique needs of people with disabilities, we can build a better world.