Garrett Bose stands in front of the “Why I Sign” background.
Hi! Why do I sign? It all started back when I was born profoundly deaf to hearing parents who didn’t know ASL and had never met a deaf person before. My mother was an art teacher and my father was an engineer. They tried different methods, like cued speech, speech therapy, using hearing aids, taking ASL classes, and reading ASL books. They tested them all and ended up shifting to sign language because they found that it was a more efficient form of communication. Also, they made sure that all of us in the family could sign as we grew up. Today, I am a college educator and language activist. From what I see, if you want your deaf child to learn to speak with their voice, that is fine as long as sign language is included to support alongside it, instead of tossing sign language out to focus on using speech solely. This will lead your child to miss language and experience frustration. This is not what parents want their child going through, such frustration. Yes, learning new things like a new language does take time, but in the end it is worth it. From what I have observed, by empirical measurements, full communication access equates to increased happiness. This is why I sign and teach sign language.
The “Why I Sign” campaign promotes awareness on why sign language is essential especially to families with deaf children. Check their page. whyisign.comHere is my “Why I Sign” story.