Since I am going to school to study speech and hearing, it is necessary for me to learn american sign language. A part of me always wanted to learn how to communicate with the deaf community. Learning sign language might be challenging for me because of my disability. For the most part, it takes two hands to sign but with me, I can only use my left hand. That’s a problem. The way I see it is that anything is possible when it comes to a disabled person. We can do anything that a non- disabled person can do but we may have to do it a little differently.
So, I thought long and hard about how my cerebral palsy may affect me in this american sign language class. I have bought books on american sign language and researched ways on how to incorporate my particular type of cerebral palsy to the language. It is possible to sign everything in ASL with one hand. I don’t know how to but it is. I came across this specific technique in sign language called the Rochester Method. In a nutshell, the Rochester Method is basically just fingerspelling each letter in each word to make a complete thought. From the sound of it, it sounds very difficult to some people but with a whole lot of determination, perseverance, and practice, you can master it hands down.
I made it my mission to begin teaching myself the Rochester Method. It was very easy. I figured that the university wouldn’t allow me to fingerspell in class. So, I talked to the head of the speech and hearing department and they told me that they would give accommodations for the lack of use I have in my right hand. I will be able to sign only with my non- affected hand. Basically, whatever sign I can do or I can sign half of a sign and I will not be exempt from or points will not be taken off because I cannot do that sign completely. I am anxious to see what the second semester will bring, exciting or bad, I can handle it. For the rest of my winter vacation, I will be practicing my sign language and enjoying my time off.
Happy Holidays everyone.