International Week of Deaf People runs September 19-25, 2022; plus, International Day of Sign Languages is September 23, 2022. There is no universal sign language, meaning different signs are used in different countries.
In the United States, American Sign Language (ASL) is recognized as a complete language that has the same linguistic properties as spoken languages, with grammar that differs from English. ASL is expressed by movements of the hands and face, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders. ASL is the primary language of many who are deaf or hard of hearing, plus used by hearing people.
Because ASL has the unique capability to unite and connect people of all abilities, AmeriDisability is thrilled to acknowledge International Week of Deaf People and International Day of Sign Languages – this year and every year.
Here’s a round-up of ASL gifts for people with and without disabilities:
1. “Ada and the Helpers” by Travis D. Peterson
A great addition to any home library, this children’s book hones in on the inclusive motto of its main character, Ada: “Be bold! Be brave! Let you be you… and let’s help others, too!” Seems like sound advice from a dancing, deaf fox with cochlear implants who loves to help others. The text is written in the English language with ASL integrated onto every page.
Building with blocks helps little learners work on hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, logical thinking, spatial awareness and more. Made of basswood, these ASL blocks are painted with both the ASL alphabet and the English language alphabet.
John’s Crazy Socks was founded by John Cronin, a creative entrepreneur who has Down syndrome. His company sells tons of colorful socks, including an array of awareness socks. The ‘I Love You’ pair celebrates the people who communicate through ASL. Ten percent of sale proceeds benefit the Lexington School for the Deaf.
This porcelain mug acknowledges the importance of ASL interpreters. ASL interpreters process information from one spoken language (such as English) and translate it into another, like ASL, so people within the hearing and Deaf community can communicate seamlessly.
The popular board game of Scrabble is sold in 121 countries and available in more than 30 languages, according to Wikipedia. Featuring 100 ASL game tiles with point values and two wild card tiles for playing Scrabble, Deaf and hard of hearing players can get their game on while testing vocabulary skills! FYI, a game board is not included.
Word searches are a fun way to stimulate the brain, especially for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Word search games can aid vocabulary fluency and attention skills. This book challenges gamers to learn and/or recall the ASL alphabet using more than 100 puzzles.
Sold in mens, womens and youth sizes, this vintage-style t-shirt makes an important fashion statement: “In A World Where You Can Be Anything, Be Kind” (with complementary ASL translation). It comes in black, navy, heather blue and dark heather gray.
Every employee – with or without disabilities – is unique with varying talents to contribute. An inclusive workplace grants and promotes equal access to resources and opportunities among all types of people, including those who are often marginalized. This ASL desk sculpture is a great addition to an accessible workplace that celebrates diversity and inclusion.
This nameplate bar is made of stainless steel. Aside from customizing this beautiful piece with ASL, choose a black, gold, rose gold or silver finish. The bar measures 1.57″ x 0.28″ and the chain measures 19.5″.
Part of the popular Willow Tree collection, this hand-painted statue features an angel, in a cream dress with wire wings, standing with crossed arms to symbolize “love” using ASL. This ASL gift communicates a genuine sense of caring.