Every day, deaf people endure struggles that most of the community pay little or no attention to – even the simplest things can be a challenge to them. Having to try to lip-read constantly, as well as having to sign your thoughts grow to be extremely strenuous, requiring your full attention, especially to someone who doesn’t understand. We strongly believe that signing should be a part of every curriculum, as the benefits don’t just come to the deaf community; there are many hearing people who feel much better from signing too.
It improves spelling, a lot.
Finger spelling is a big part of sign language, which involves spelling our words with individual letters. It is a perfect way to learn for beginners since there is just 26 signs (corresponding with the alphabet) and you can sign out practically anything you want. This method may be time consuming at first, having to take time thinking about what letter comes next, but all this will benefit your spelling. If your brain is constantly having to recall what letter comes next, it will end up becoming engraved in your mind. Practicing enough will make you pretty much fluent when it comes to spelling, which will help a lot in your day-to-day life.
It broadens career options.
Some career branches will require or prefer certain skills, with sign language being a must for jobs which involve working with the deaf or hard-of-hearing. There are approximately 70 million people who are deaf or hard of hearing in the world, with around 8.7 million people in the UK. With these statistics, there will most likely be a large deaf community in your area, one which may offer regular jobs. As well as this, many companies would prefer to employ someone with a skill like this, just the same as they would prefer to employ someone who can speak another language – to deaf people, signing is their language.
It allows you to communicate in difficult circumstances.
Trying to speak to people from far away ends up with a mix of shouting and struggling to hear each other, ultimately causing a scene. Sign language is quiet but effective in these types of situations, offering a simple way to communicate with each other. It also allows you to get your message across through windows and glass, whereas with normal speech that can prove fairly difficult. How many times have you tried to talk to people through glass and ended up awkwardly shouting and moving your mouth to unrecognisable shapes? As well as glass, sign language can also be used to communicate underwater. Even though this may not be extremely practical, it can still be quite a cool party trick to show your friends.
It brings the community together.
Deaf people often feel isolated from the hearing community, simply because they don’t understand what they’re talking about. This issue could be easily resolved if more of us would take a little time out of our day to learn sign language, allowing as all to communicate with each other. People who are hard of hearing put a lot of effort into learning how to lip-read, even if the speaker is rather unclear. If we put both of these skills together, then communication could be made simple between the hearing and the deaf, bringing the local community much closer.