The Gift of Communication
Updated: Feb 20
The Holiday season brings the entire family together, but the end of the year can be difficult for family members that struggle to communicate. Some family members can feel left out during this time of togetherness. This Holiday season give the gift of language.
As we age we inevitably face challenges that make it difficult to take care of ourselves and communicate with others. Specifically, Alzheimer's disease, stroke victims, dementia, and hearing loss are a few of the prevalent issues that thwart seniors’ ability to communicate with the world around them. Because of this, growing older becomes a slow process of isolation. To combat these negative effects of aging, we can learn to use American Sign Language. Sign language education should be expanded so that all ages have the opportunity to learn ASL and use it when necessary.
An amazing program at the Model Cities Senior Wellness Center in Washington DC provided seniors with the opportunity to learn American Sign Language every week. This type of program is beneficial for seniors in multiple ways. By practicing sign language seniors exercise their mental dexterity which can help prevent Alzheimer's disease. However, others attended the weekly meetings to cope with hearing loss and other issues. An elderly couple attended the program to learn how to communicate visually to combat hearing impairment.
Do you have an elderly relative or neighbor that struggles with hearing loss? How about giving them your time. Learn sign language with them so that they can communicate with you and others. Learn some key phrases to share with others around you. Your older friends and family members will be very appreciative. These relatives usually don’t want any more stuff so being provided with the ability to communicate will be very empowering.
It is important that ASL education is an accepted part of education across our country. Access to ASL should be available in every elementary and high school as well as every community center and nursing home. Municipalities should learn it as well as first responders. It could save lives. Communication is a gift for each and every one of us. ASL should not be treated as an exclusive language for those with disabilities.
Download one of our apps today to learn some key words and phrases and surprise your family and friends this Holiday season. GraceSigns' mission is to help ASL become more accessible to anyone that wants to learn it. The non-profit organization has developed three easy-to-use apps called Sign Me A Story, Sign Me ABCs, and Sign Me A Sentence. These educational apps have been downloaded over a million times by educators, parents, and individuals in 184 countries. Start your ASL journey by downloading these free apps and learning to speak a new language while give others the gift of communication at the same time.