ASL is a beautiful language and I attended some classes about 10+ years ago and occasionally (once a month) associate with other deaf and HOH people at the local HLAA group. I have forgotten all but a few signs but it is amazing how fast you pick up when someone else is signing. And yes, they are patient and enjoy teaching me.
Like so many, I grew up in a hearing world and am late deafened…wear 2 hearing aids and have had a progressive loss over the years. All of my friends are and have been in the past hearing….same situation at work (now retired). I don’t use ASL and rarely encounter someone who does and it’s usually a young person who chose that language in school. I have books and have gone on online BUT, if you don’t use it on a daily basis…you will never become proficient enough to be able to communicate.
So it’s not that we choose to live in a hearing world deliberately or are not interested in learning, it’s the fact that these people are our friends and family whom we are in contact every day. Some of my friends know some signs I have taught them because it’s fun but that’s it. We adapt. I could actively seek out some people who sign but honestly don’t have the interest or time. I am more interested in advocating for accommodations and trying assisted
devices and helping people with hearing loss on an individual basis and making hearing people more aware of hearing loss. My friends and family accommodate me and I love teaching new people how to do so and what to do when encountering someone with hearing loss. To me that’s more important than becoming fluent in ASL. I know I won’t use it because the opportunities are not there.
Regards and thanks for a new and interesting topic…..FL Mary