Signed Conversations

by Ansh

Make sure you maintain eye contact during a signed conversation. Look straight into his/her eyes without getting distracted. You also need to avoid eating or chewing anything while signing with a deaf person.

You should also make sure the lighting makes it easy for the person you are signing with to see your signs.

It is OK to turn the lights in a room on and off to get the attention of everyone in the room. To get the attention of one person, though, tapping him/her on the shoulder is the best way. Don’t tap another part of a person’s body or throw something at them. That is considered very rude and can be dangerous.

Comments for Signed Conversations

Oct 21, 2015

Constant eye contact

by: Tamara Moxham

In ASL it is essential to look away during role shifting, personification, and using some depicting verbs.

E.g. when telling a story about a parent and a child having a conversation the signer will role shift into each character. Eye gaze breaks and goes up to the “parent” when depicting the child, and vice versa when depicting the parent.

So in general yes keep eye contact, but there are grammatical exceptions.

Nov 13, 2009


by: Michelle Jay

Yes, you’re absolutely right. Eye contact is extremely important as well as not chewing gum. In Deaf Culture, lighting is important as well. You will notice that the most common place for Deaf people to converse in a house is the kitchen. This is because the lighting in a kitchen is normally the best in the house.

Tapping someone on the shoulder is the most accepted way to get someone’s attention. You can also slightly wave your hand in the person’s train of vision. But, yes, make sure you don’t throw anything at anyone! Unless you want it thrown back at you 😉


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