Speaking the Unspoken – ASL

Highland’s ASL club is a great place to learn about the deaf community, and how to sign


Synn Hauser

Jordan Radford (grade 10), the leader of the ASL club.

Synn Hauser, Club reporter

ASL, or American Sign Language, is a mixture of physical gestures and expressions that replace words.

ASL is an important part of our social lives, as it helps deaf, hard-of-hearing, and mute people communicate with us better. The ASL club strives towards the goal of teaching us, the hearing world, things about the deaf community, and how to sign.

It is important to remember that, although it is a language created by English-speaking Americans, it is not the same as the English language. It has its own set of grammar and rules, different punctuation, and different signs for similar words. To move is not the same sign as to be emotionally moved by something.

The hearing world makes language simple, all you do is speak and listen. But for the deaf community, noises are a visual cue and not so much reliant on the sounds and key tones.

It is important for us to learn ASL, as it will help us get along and get through life. Without ASL, a portion of our fellow humans wouldn’t be able to understand us or each other.

ASL club strives toward this goal by teaching students at our school, how to speak sign language.

The first meeting was held on Monday, January 10th where pizza was served alongside a Ted talk from a deaf football player. He talked about how he learned to see the cues of the play instead of hearing them.

He would watch the other players’ motions, rather than listen for a call. If the ball went right, he would go right.

It was hard for him to learn without hearing, which is one reason why everyone needs to learn ASL.

It is important to note that ASL is not the sign language used around the world, just the one used here in America.

Even though it’s roughly only 5% of people around the world, they are still our people and deserve an equal chance, so maybe come by the ASL club and learn a new kind of language.