Blog Post #1: How I Fell in Love with ASL

Here is the story of how I fell in love with ASL.  I was 34 years old. One Sunday I entered church with no idea something was about to happen that would change my life in so many ways!

We had a special song for the service, and I saw in the program a friend’s visiting sister was singing it. I always looked forward to the music, as it always brought such joy to my heart. 

She walked up to the front, and the music was queued.  I’m sure my mouth hung open as I realized that instead of her voice she was using her hands and body to sing the song. It was ASL, and it was love at first sight — I was completely blown away!

As we were leaving the church, I excitedly told my husband — I want to do that!

I had no idea how to proceed.  This was before the days of Google having all the answers.  So I started looking for any way to learn.  We lived in Tallahassee, so I called local colleges asking if they taught it.  The Community College had a class, hooray!  The teacher was John Burns, a Deaf man who was an excellent and patient teacher.  I started taking his class. I also found a couple of very practical ASL dictionaries. Learning wasn’t easy, but it was so much fun!

I dug out the phonebook yellow pages (yes, this was a long time ago), and started going through the listings of churches.  AHA!  I found a church that had a service for Deaf folks.  I felt like I found such a treasure.  I started going to that church, and joined the deaf class for Sunday School and service.  I loved hanging around with sign language people!  I soaked up everything I could to learn ASL.

I even joined the NAD, National Association of the Deaf, and went to a couple of their multi-day conferences.  Now THAT was an experience — being in the middle of thousands of folks not voicing a word but with hands flying.  I loved it … and that led to another story I’ll tell sometime.

Next time I’ll give the story of how I fell in love with Cued Speech.

So please join me next time.  Have fun with your ASL Adventures, and / or  your Cued Speech Adventures!

Here are the links to my signing and cueing YouTube “Word Of The Day” channels. I post a new word every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Check it out and I would love to know what you think of them!

YouTube ASL Word Of The Day with PSE Sentence Examples: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLOG4fqHRMQ8zL3llMl9YDg/

YouTube Cued Speech Word Of The Day: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxojUy-dP6C2YKp3BWQPg1w/

Also, Check out my Adventure Games in the App Stores:

Published by Donna Gateley

Developer of SignCueQuest and CueQuest

One thought on “Blog Post #1: How I Fell in Love with ASL

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