Did you know…

When learning a new language what matters most is your attitude. When you focus on the person you are communicating with and the result you want to get you can become an effective communicator even if you make mistakes. This is true for ASL too!

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American Sign Language (ASL) is the fourth most taught language in the United States. It’s the natural language of the Deaf community and over half a million people use it.

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There are colleges specifically for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students. While a deaf or hard of hearing student today can attend any college, the colleges and universities established to educate Deaf and Hard of Hearing students are unique and unmatched in providing opportunities for access, culture, identity, and pride for Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals.

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WE HEAR WITH OUR BRAINS, NOT OUR EARS. The ears are just a way for SOUND to get in for processing by the brain. The brains of children born with severe to profound hearing loss will naturally become organized to develop a visual mode communication if the communication occurring consistently around them from a young age is a meaningful visual language, like American Sign Language. Babies with hearing loss identified early and that consistently use amplification by 2-3 months (no later than 6 months) have a good chance of being able to develop the neural connections in their auditory brain pathways that are necessary to lay the foundation for spoken language development. How brains develop directly relates to a child’s development of communication skills.

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There are local resources and events to support and connect families with children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

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Hearing aids and cochlear implants DO NOT restore normal hearing. Both take in sounds through a microphone and process the sound digitally to send a signal to the brain. Hearing aids amplify the sound, and cochlear implants bypass the inner ear and stimulate the auditory nerve giving the perception of sound. The brain must learn and be taught how to process and attach meaning to the new auditory signal especially for those who’ve never heard sound before.

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Verbal means the ability to communicate. In order for communication to take place a child must know at least 50 words or signs. Back and Forth communication is the key to language and brain development.

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