Did you know that learning a new language is, above everything else, just a matter of practice? A few simple keywords can help you pick up basic sign language. And that means a world of a difference to a DEAF person.
Finger Chats, a volunteer-based initiative operating in New Delhi, Bengaluru and Kolkata, has stepped forward to make learning sign language more accessible to those who are interested.
“We have been excluding the DEAF population owing to various myths – like DEAF people are stupid or mentally handicapped, these are not true,”says Rajesh Menon, one of the founders of Finger Chats.
A few simple words in Indian Sign Language will help you communicate better.
Sarah Sharma says ‘Hello’. She is only 18, she is still in school. Both her parents are DEAF and she has been learning sign language along with spoken languages since childhood. She feels that more people need to learn Indian Sign Language to help the DEAF community grow at par with everyone else.
2. “My name” is…
You can ask for the DEAF person’s name, in writing or in sign – depending on how well you understand sign language with this sign. The sign above shows “my name”. You can alter it to point at the DEAF person, instead of yourself, to start and say, “your name”.
3. I’m DEAF.
It is important to use this particular signage of DEAF to explain that you are familiar with Indian Sign Language and not American sign language. Most Indian DEAF know only Indian Sign Language.
4. The “problem” is
Communicating with people who do not understand you is flustering, and it is the same with DEAF. This signage can help you get them to explain only the problem at hand.
5. The most important word is “communicate”.
This signage makes it easier for a DEAF person to know who to speak to. This combined with the problem signage can help you to point to a person who the DEAF can direct their issue to.
6. Or “help.”
The help signage can be addressed to the DEAF person to tell them whether they can receive assistance in their problem, or not.