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Culture - Meeting Others, Name Signs

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by

Minerva Munoz

on 1 March 2013

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Transcript of Culture - Meeting Others, Name Signs

Exchanging information in the Deaf Community is very important! When you meet a Deaf person, they will typically ask you where you are learning ASL, whether or not the teacher is deaf, and the first and last name of the teacher. What is the reason for this? They want to know how a person is connected to the Deaf community. How are you connected? You are learning ASL! Deaf people do the same thing when they meet other Deaf people for the first time. Information shared during an introduction:
Where they are from
Which residential school they attended
Which year they entered and graduated the school
Whether they attended Gallaudet University
If yes, what class? What is this information used for? To talk about things or people they have in common! In the Deaf community, almost everyone's connection can be established directly or indirectly. How is that possible? Most deaf children live at residential schools. What is a residential school? A school where you live throughout the school year, from kindergarten to high school. Because they spend so much time there, the school is seen as their home and their classmates are extended family. After they finish school, they maintain strong social bond by participating in various Deaf community activities. Sometimes they drive for miles to attend events. When you are introducing yourself to someone in the Deaf community, be prepared to share the following: First and Last Name Whether you are deaf, hard of hearing, or hearing Who is teaching you the language and culture Where you are studying Why you are learning the language Name Signs: What are they? Signs used to represent your name. Deaf parents give name signs to their children at birth. Not everyone has a name sign. Short names are often just fingerspelled. You can use name signs to talk about people both present and not present. However, you cannot use name signs when you are addressing the person. Ex: If you are talking to Mary, you cannot say "I don't think so, Mary." 2 kinds of name signs: arbitrary and descriptive Arbitrary - use the first letter of the name; location and movement follow the rules of the language Descriptive name signs -use the first letter of the name and a distinctive physical feature like someone's hair style or a cleft chin Descriptive name signs are usually given by peers (other children in the residential schools) and are almost always replaced in adulthood by an arbitrary name sign. Hearing people cannot receive a name sign until they go out and mingle with Deaf people! Name signs should only be given by Deaf people. Hearing people cannot invent their own! How to use a name sign:
always fingerspell your first and last name first. THEN, introduce your name sign. Getting Attention Waving is the most common way of getting attention. How big the wave is depends on how close you are to the person and how easily you can get their attention. Wave size increases in size as distance increases.
Waving to someone across the room is acceptable as long as you can get that person's attention easily and your wave is not outrageous. If the distance between you and the person is too great, then you need a third person to get the other's attention. Touch is another common way of getting attention, especially when someone's back is to you. Also use tapping when someone is involved in something, like reading, so that your waving is not with their field of vision. Your tap should be firm. A few taps are acceptable. One tap or too many taps is not acceptable. Tapping on the shoulder or upper arm is most appropriate. Negotiating a Signing Environment Add a slight head bow and the sign for "excuse me" as you walk through. DO NOT stop and a wait for them to acknowledge you or give you permission to go through! Passing through a conversation is NOT considered rude. If people are standing in one or more groups, you should go around groups, pressing people's back's or shoulders gently to let them know you need space to get by. DO NOT wait to be acknowledged unless you really need people to move out of the way. For example, you are carrying a large object. If someone unknowingly blocks your view of a conversation, politely ask that person to move aside. Get his/her attention and briefly explain the situation. You can also ask the signer to move for a better view. You should ask for repetition when:
you don't understand a sign
the signer is signing too fast for you
you missed a fingerspelled word
you were distracted and missed something
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