National ASL Day is a day of observance celebrating American Sign Language.
On April 15, 1817, the first school for the deaf in the United States opened. Students gathered there over the years and at subsequent deaf schools across our nation. The children intermingled Native American Signs, French Sign Language, and Martha’s Vineyard Sign Language. This process brought forth modern American Sign Language.
10 Ways to Celebrate National ASL Day!
1 – Film your story about ASL and share it with the #aslday hashtag
2 – Host a local signing community potluck or gathering
3 – Create ASL Day cards for your family and friends
4 – Make artwork celebrating ASL and post it in your shop
5 – Perform an ASL poem in your local Deaf club or other community outlet
6 – Photograph your favorite ASL handshape and post it online
7 – Share the story of how you learned ASL with your children or friends
8 – Teach your co-workers or friends 10 ASL words
9 – Email your favorite ASL signer a note of appreciation or post it on social media
10 – Share more ideas on the National ASL Day Facebook page or email us at [email protected]!
According to Communication Services for the Deaf:
- 98% of deaf people do not receive education in sign language
- 72% of families do not sign with their deaf children
- 70% of deaf people don’t work or are underemployed
- 1 in 4 deaf people has left a job due to discrimination
- 1 in 4 deaf women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetimes, compared to 1 in 10 hearing women
According to NIDCD, nine out of ten children who are born deaf are born to parents who hear, which has also pushed the call for early education of ASL.
Anyone can learn ASL! Check out the video below for some basics to get you started.