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Learn sign language

The deaf community has had a profound effect on the English language. As the community grows its advocacy efforts, individuals can gain an in-depth understanding of sign language history as well as other related topics with online sign language courses.

What is sign language and why is it important?

Sign language is a method of communication for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. It can also be a form of communication for individuals who’ve been diagnosed with dysarthria or other speech disorders and impairments. Like spoken languages, it has unique rules of grammar and syntax.

American Sign Language (ASL) is a type of sign language widely used in North America. The deaf community promotes language skills through school and home learning methods, and advocates for ASL as a standard form of communication. Schools for the deaf community promote inclusion and accessibility rights, in addition to providing quality education for deaf people. Signers frequently experience discrimination in accessibility, but the long history of sign language is a vital part of the expansion of rights for the deaf community. The language has native signers just like any other language.

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Sign language course curriculum

Various institutions offer sign language courses for a variety of learners. Some courses may introduce learners to the history of the language, delving into the linguistic theory behind the development of visual languages. Other sign language courses may focus on the basic concepts of gestures that gave rise to the ASL alphabet. 

A sign language course curriculum may explore the relationship between hearing parents and their deaf children and explain how that dynamic has influenced the language's development over time. Additionally, it’s important that learners understand deaf culture, basic human rights, and how deaf studies are transforming life in the community.

Jobs in sign language

Professionals with sign language skills work in a variety of settings as school and medical interpreters, language/linguistics experts, deaf community advocates, and more. They may work closely with audiologists, speech-language pathologists, social workers, or caretakers. Aspiring practitioners can choose from a wide selection of edX courses to help them accomplish their educational and professional goals.