Sign language or gang signs?

March 22, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Disability Services will be posting information each week through the end of the semester called “SIGNS of the Times – ASL Awareness” to raise campus interest in, and awareness of, our students who use sign language.

Sign Language or Gang Signs?

As a society, our awareness of sign language use is so low that communicating through sign language has been mistaken for throwing gang signs.   In January of this year, a North Carolina man was stabbed while using sign language and a similar event occurred just two years ago in Florida when two deaf men were stabbed by someone who mistook their sign language for gang signs .

If you see a group of people gesturing with their hands, you should consider that they may be using sign language.

The acclaimed TV show Switched At Birth is  the first mainstream television series to have multiple Deaf and Hard of Hearing characters and scenes shot entirely in ASL. The show included a scene in which an onlooker mistakes sign language for gang signs. Switched At Birth made television history when they aired an all-ASL episode earlier this month.

Did you know….. a Wofford graduate, Chad Fiveash is a writer and co-executive producer on the show.