How Saying Less Can Say More: The Culture of American Sign Language (353)

Trevor Boucher, , ,



We take for granted how heavily we rely on our language. Whether it is spoken, written, or conveyed in some other form, how would we go about living our lives without it? We see this everyday when people travel to foreign countries and feel vulnerable not being able to order food or ask directions, but what if you had these same obstacles where you were born and raised?

American Sign Language (ASL) culture is just as rich as any other in the United States but not without its own stories of obstacles and persecution. Even to this day there exists a thinking that Deaf people should, "try to be more hearing" to ease their assimilation into the hearing general public. The hearing world often regards Deaf individuals as disabled, but the irony of that opinion is it dismisses the possibility that we (the hearing world) can learn from their culture.

This presentation will briefly cover the history of American Sign Language in the United States, highlight its intricacies, and propose how the language could help the weather enterprise consider alternatives to how it currently communicates weather information to its various publics.