What is ASL?
American Sign Language (ASL) is a complete, complex language that employs signs made by moving the hands combined with facial expressions and postures of the body. It is the primary language of many North Americans who are deaf and is one of several communication options used by people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.
How does ASL compare to spoken language?
ASL is a language completely separate and distinct from English. It contains all the fundamental features of language—it has its own rules for pronunciation, word order, and complex grammar. While every language has ways of signaling different functions, such as asking a question rather than making a statement, languages differ in how this is done. For example, English speakers ask a question by raising the pitch of their voice; ASL users ask a question by raising their eyebrows, widening their eyes, and tilting their bodies forward.
Just as with other languages, specific ways of expressing ideas in ASL vary as much as ASL users do. In addition to individual differences in expression, ASL has regional accents and dialects. Just as certain English words are spoken differently in different parts of the country, ASL has regional variations in the rhythm of signing, form, and pronunciation. Ethnicity and age are a few more factors that affect ASL usage and contribute to its variety.
American Deaf culture centers on the use of ASL and identification and unity with other people who are Deaf. A Deaf sociolinguist, Dr. Barbara Kannapel, developed a definition of the American Deaf culture that includes a set of learned behaviors of a group of people who are deaf and who have their own language (ASL), values, rules, and traditions. In 1913, George W. Veditz, president of the National Association of the Deaf, reflected in an old movie the sense of identity ASL gives Deaf individuals when he signed,
“As long as we have deaf people on Earth, we will have signs, and as long as we have our films, we can preserve our beautiful sign language in its original purity. It is our hope that we all will love and guard our beautiful sign language as the noblest gift God has given to deaf people.”
From the beginning I felt secure & that the Doctor knew how to fix my hearing loss. She always put my needs first. I appreciate all the time she spent with me. I did not want to throw the aids in a drawer, I wanted to be able to hear in all situations, at church, TV, in a crowd & I wanted my children not have to repeat & have to be my ears. Thank You Dr. Wilson & also Rev. Wilson. May God richly BLESS YOU. (Betty G.)
Dr Wilson is a caring professional dedicated to hearing improvement. (T.H.)
Dr. Wilson is fantastic. Puts you at ease and makes sure everything is working for you, before you leave her office. I feel like I made a friend, she and Mark are so welcoming. I will send anyone with a hearing problem to Grace Hearing.(L.H.)
WOW! The building is not only easy to get to, it's close to I-20, but beautiful. It looks great inside and out. Dr. Wilson is fantastic! She is kind, caring and knows her stuff. She speaks ASL too. Her offices are extremely clean and very comfortable. She even has a camera so you can look into your own ear. She is thorough in testing and takes time to explain the results so you can truly understand.(IBF)
What a wonderful experience! From the moment I walked in the building, I felt like I was the only guest. The beautiful decor and the great amenities offered in the waiting area just add to the amazing staff and awesome clinicians in the building! I will definitely be back.(P.K.)
My husband and I cannot say enough good things about the Wilsons. Dr. Wilson is always very accommodating in scheduling appointment times and the care she gives is full of empathy and concern. Mark Wilson is professional, kind and caring. They make a good team, both professionally and personally. We will recommend Grace Hearing and Language Services to everyone seeking help with hearing problems.(Phyllis Kagel)
My 3 grandsons and I visited Dr. Wilson’s office for an auditory examination. Dr. Wilson and her husband, Mark Wilson, are an efficient team and met all of our auditory needs. My ears and one of my grandsons ears were severely occluded and needed extra attention. After three visits we both can hear so much better. Dr. Wilson provided some expert maintenance techniques/devices that we utilize regularly with positive results.(J.R.)
I was extremely pleased with the way I was taken care of here. Dr. Wilson answered all the questions I had and made sure my hearing aids were comfortable and that I knew how to operate them and maintain them.(E.K.)
We couldn't be more pleased with Dr. Wilson. She worked with us to get approval for out-of-network with our insurance. She made my husband feel very comfortable and at ease with the exam and afterward.(J.S.)
Dr. Wilson and assistant are caring and thorough in testing. I was very pleased. She made sure my hearing aids were customized for my ears.(Dorothy Thomas)