I’m Deaf (Notice the Capital D) with a deaf friend

by Alex


I’ve been learning sign language for four years now, and have just recently started considering myself OK at it. When I first met my deaf friend, Issac, I expected him to shut me out and look down on me for totally messing up everything I sign (Because I do). I’ve found it’s the exact opposite, he actually encourages me to work at it and get better, and he always says I’m doing fine even when I know I’m totally mucking it up. He signs slowly for me and repeats things when I need it.

If you’re learning signing, I would highly suggest signing with, well, a deaf person. They know the language better than any hearing person does and they’re usually just happy that you’re trying to learn and communicate with them, because most hearing people don’t care.

Good luck and keep going! It’s really rewarding when it finally clicks and you get it, I promise 🙂

Comments for I’m Deaf (Notice the Capital D) with a deaf friend

Jan 26, 2016

Thank you for the perspective

by: Nick

Thank you to Alex and those who have commented to help me learn Deaf culture from the experience of others. It really helps me as someone who is hearing and also learning ASL. This is very helpful so thank you!

Jan 26, 2016

Thank you for the perspective

by: Anonymous

Alex, thank you for your original comments. Thank you to the others who have given more clarity on the “Big D”. This site does make it seem like someone who is hearing and not related to a deaf relative can be considered part of the Deaf community. I thought that was kind of a strange thought but to hear the others indicate this is incorrect brings perspective I really need. I am just starting to learn ASL because it could have been useful in the past for communication with deaf people. I also think more people need to learn so we can all communicate more effectively so it is encouraging to see everyone’s comments here to help me learn not just how to sign but about Deaf culture.

Jul 10, 2015

With all due respect, Alex…

by: Anonymous

Technically,YOU are not “Deaf” (or “deaf” either). YOU are a hearing person who is learning how to communicate with Deaf people and participate in Deaf culture events. (Your FRIEND is most likely “Big D” Deaf.) That would be the most accurate and respectful way to describe yourself. Though I understand how you might have gotten confused after reading the Start ASL article above. LOL. It is wonderful that you are learning this beautiful language to enhance your friendship. And, most members of the Deaf community are very patient and helpful to hearing people who show a genuine interest in learning about their culture and language. Keep up the good work!

Nov 08, 2014


by: Anonymous

Forgive me if I’m assuming, but are you hearing? Because hearing people who aren’t CODAs/KODAs don’t automatically join the Deaf community if they learnhow to sign. That isn’t how it works, and that isn’t what “big D Deaf” connotates.

Sep 22, 2014


by: Matt

Thank you, Alex. I am Hearing and have wanted to learn ASL for a few years after meeting a Deaf girl at a college I used to attend. After learning of startasl.com I have begun my journey with adamant gusto in becoming fluent.
And I wanted to say thank you for your comment because it inspires me to reach out to the Deaf community. Thank You!



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