Not All Deaf People Know Sign Language

I wanted to put this out there – not all deaf people know sign language. I’m one of those deaf people that do not know sign language. Yes, I know some signs, but I’m nowhere near fluent. This subject came up when a video was posted on Facebook that was entirely in American Sign Language (ASL). I mentioned that the video didn’t have captions. It did have captions, but it wasn’t working on my end. Any video posted on Facebook sucks for captions. But that’s a topic I’ll discuss another time.

Anyways, some guy commented that since I’m deaf, I still should be able to understand the video since it is in ASL. I commented back that while I’m deaf, I do not know sign language. I was deaf at the age of 2 and grew up in the mainstream hearing world. I went through speech therapy to learn to communicate verbally. I did learn some signing later on, but not enough to carry on a conversation.

And I’m not the only one. There are lots of other deaf and hard of hearing people who don’t know sign language at all or only know bits and pieces.

And yet, this guy insisted we deaf people should know sign language.  It’s not the first time that I’ve dealt with this misconception about the deaf and hard of hearing people and it certainly won’t be the last. I’ll be making a video on my YouTube channel to talk about this subject in more detail. For now, I just wanted to put this out there – not all deaf people know sign language. Please don’t go assuming that they do. Thank you.

Stay tuned for further updates on this topic.

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