Are there more than 35 different sign languages worldwide? This includes British Sign Language (BSL), French, and American Sign Language (ASL).

Sign language uses facial expressions, hand movements, and body language to communicate to the Deaf community.

But this versatile language also has a lot to offer everyone else. In this post, we share some of the benefits of learning sign language and connecting with your local Deaf community:

Better communication skills

You will be surprised to know that ASL (American Sign Language) is the third most used language in the US.

Sign language is not merely about handshapes and memorizing signs. It also involves a strong understanding of the body and emotional expressions. As spoken language studies have shown, only 7% of communication involves the actual words people say. In comparison, 55% of what we aim to say is communicated through body language and 38% through our tone of voice. Sign languages are just as rich and complicated.

Sign language overcomes many communication barriers that exist between Deaf and ordinary people.
Providing insight into the nuances of language and communication, sign language may help improve your communication skills and your ability to accurately express yourself. People who know sign language can better understand general body language—an important tool to communicate in any language.

Multiple career opportunities

Studying sign language opens the door to multiple career advances and opportunities.

Some of the exciting career paths are:

Interpreter: A certified sign language interpreter overcomes language differences between people who can hear and are Deaf. Their main aim is to make communication clear and compelling for hearing and Deaf participants.

Teacher: You can study to become a teacher of the Deaf at any level, elementary, secondary, or post-secondary, or share what you’ve learned with other hearing individuals by becoming an ASL teacher yourself!

Audiologist: Audiologists diagnose and treat patients with hearing loss. Even better, audiologists who can sign develop a reputation within the Deaf community and can maintain a practice that lasts years as Deaf patients continue to refer their friends and family.

Step into a New World

While learning a new language, you get an inside view of the country, culture, tradition, and people of that particular language. The same is true in the case of sign languages. Learning sign language allows you to connect with people who are Deaf, Deaf-blind, and hard-of-hearing. And to immerse yourself in a new, rich, and fascinating culture.

Improves your vision and attention

Do people who use sign language have better peripheral vision and reaction time?

This is why deaf people have better visual abilities than their hearing counterparts.

When communicating in sign language, it’s not just observing the hand signs but also the facial expressions, the pace of signing, and body language.

Learning a new language can provide you with improved visual and attention skills, which will go a long way when applied to other activities or interests.

Benefits of mental health

Learning sign language improves your mental capabilities and gives your brain an extra workout.

 Some of the mental benefits of learning a sign language are:

  • Augments creative thinking
  • Stimulates potentially dormant parts of the brain
  • Enhances memory
  • Improves spatial awareness,
  • Boosts mental rotation skills

In the end…

As this article explains, sign language is a rich language modality capable of connecting you with a new culture while providing secondary benefits, both personally and professionally.

From giving you a new means of communicating to improving your mental capabilities, learning sign language can be a life-changing decision that, amongst your new friends and abilities, you’ll never regret!.