[JI] Hello, I’m Jill and this is…. that’s not Jenna. Oh… this is Jenna! This is ASL Stew! (clap) ♪♪♪ So, new signers going to Deaf events. Often if you’re taking a class or if you’re just learning sign language, you’re encouraged to socialize with Deaf people. Meaning you tend to go to Deaf events. It’s pretty common. So, are there specific type of events you should go to, maybe you should not go to? Let’s talk about it today. [JE] Why should you go to Deaf events if you’re learning sign language? Well, it’s very important to go because you can actually see the cultural aspect of sign language. You can see it in a natural form. Not in a learning environment. Everything’s a little bit more awkward.
[JI] Natural [JE] Yeah, like that. A more natural environment to see sign. Yes, it definitely can be overwhelming but overtime if you keep going, you’ll pick it up. It’s really helpful to improve your sign language communication. It’s in real time, in a real situation, and real use. It’s really important! [JI] Right and I’m sure most of you are curious if there are specific type of events that would be a better fit for people just learning sign language, or maybe it doesn’t matter. So, you can explain. [JE] Okay, some events definitely go to them. Some of them maybe aren’t the best option… for various reasons. So we are going to talk about what are some good options for events to go to. [JI] Well, one example which I guess is kind of local to us, but at our local university, RIT, they have something called No Voice Zone, NVZ. There a lot of people go. You cannot use spoken language at all. Only sign.
[JE] Voices off! [JI] Right, voices off. But it’s set up to be extremely new signer friendly. Everyone’s very open-minded. It’s a teaching mindset. So it’s the perfect type of event. [JE] Another good opportunity is some kind of public event. Sometimes they have shows, plays, stand up comedy, all in sign language. Maybe ASL skits or something of that variety. Those are really good places cause it’s open to the public. So anybody can go. Not always, but often they will have interpreters there voicing for people who are struggling to understand. So maybe pre or post show you can do some socializing and meet up with people which is nice. [JI] Another possibility is some sort of game night like playing cards. I know that’s a popular one. Or BINGO night. There’s other possibilities like going to an expo. There’s a lot of different Deaf businesses there, organizations. So you can meet and chat with people briefly but with multiple different people. So lots of good ideas! I’m sure if you go to a college maybe you have your own Deaf events there or your local Deaf club might have something. So just kind of take a look and you’ll know if it’s good or not. [JE] One more suggestion. If you like to go out to the bar or something you can check and see if your local community has either what’s called Deaf Professional Happy Hour or Deaf Night Out, DPH or DNO. Or something similar to that concept where people get together, pick a place and just kind of hang out and socialize. [JI] Obviously if you’re 21 or above, if you’re in the US. Drinking might actually be helpful to calm you down a bit. So we’ve given you a few examples of possible places you can go. Now we want to kind of talk about, if you’re a new signer, what are the… manners, the rules…
[JE] Etiquette [JI] …right, the eti.. etiquette. I’m no good at spelling. Anyways, that! Exactly! So what do you do? First of all, understand if this is your first time going or you’re just a shy person like I was, I was petrified to go to Deaf events, I really was. So maybe you want to go with a friend or maybe as a group. That’s perfectly fine! However, there’s a few things. If you go with a friend or in a group, make sure you actually socialize with Deaf people. Don’t go and then just talk to each other and not actually socialize with anyone. Make sure you’re socializing. That’s why you have each other, to support each other. Also, make sure if again you go with somebody, don’t just talk, verbally talk to each other. Turn your voices off. If people see you signing together in a signing environment, then it’s easier to socialize. [JE] Right, you might be wondering why you should not use your voice? But, think about this. Within a hearing environment, people are talking all the time and you can hear that. So if you are not involved you are still getting that incidental learning. “Oh I heard this.” “Oh I heard that.” However if you’re Deaf and people are talking, you’re missing out on the opportunity to be involved and understand what’s going on. It’s considered rude! So if everyone’s signing, I can say “Oh hey… I know about that…” and join in the conversation. So it’s kind of part of social manners. It’s really important to not use your voice. [JI] Definitely, and Deaf people are going to be more willing to include you if you’re signing and not just talking. Cause if you’re talking they’ll be like “oh never mind”. That means you’re not actually learning which is the point of why you’re going. [JE] Another suggestion is as a new signer, sometimes you’re not gonna know all of the signs needed for communication. But don’t get stuck if you don’t know a sign and give up. “Oh I don’t know, I’m just gonna leave.” No, you can go ahead and fingerspell. You know how to use your alphabet. Practice using that. Fingerspell it and someone will say “oh here’s the sign”. Then you can go ahead and use that. You’ll pick up more signs that way. If you don’t know something, fingerspell it. It’s really that easy. It’ll build your sign vocabulary. Really nice. [JI] Yeah, I still do that. Sometimes I’ll be like, “um… what’s the sign for that?” So I’ll fingerspell it and ask if someone knows. They give it to me and great! I’m still learning too. [JE] Another thing, if you’re communicating with somebody, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. Don’t just kind of nod your head like, “yeah, yeah I know what you’re talking about.” Deaf people use that all the time in other situations with hearing people. So we’re pretty aware and can tell when you’re doing that. When you really don’t know. It’s fine! Totally understandable. We’ve been there, done that. So you don’t need to pretend like you know what’s going on. Go ahead and ask someone to repeat or “Hey you said this. What was the other part I missed?” Something like that and then you can go back and forth and have your conversation. I think Deaf people are pretty use to that so it’s no big deal. We’re more patient in general. [JI] Yeah, so those are pretty much our tips for new signers going to Deaf events. Again, just make sure and check beforehand what type of event it is. Obviously if it’s what you call a “closed” event, like for example maybe the local Deaf club has their own town hall meeting, or something of that nature obviously you might not be as welcome if they’re having a serious discussion. They don’t have time to try and slow down and communicate with you in that sense. But overall, hopefully these tips have been helpful! Let us know, have you gone to your first Deaf event? Do you have any coming up soon? If you’re a new signer let us know! If you’ve experienced it before, what was your experience? Let us know either way. We love your comments. [JE] Yeah, definitely comment your experience whether it’s your first time or you’ve been there many times. Still, we love reading and look forward to your comments. [JI] Yeah, if you have any other tips, like she said, if you’re well versed in Deaf events, definitely leave a tip for other people down below. Help each other out because we’re not gonna cover everything. [JE] Right, this is just kind of the basics. [JI] Well, hopefully you have enjoyed this video and if you did, click LIKE. Remember to subscribe and hit the notification bell for new videos when they come out. [JE] If you want to provide support in another way we have a few options. You can look at our merch store. We have t-shirts and stickers if you’d like to buy one of those. Or we have Patreon. They have cool perks there. So take a look and see whatever you’d like to donate. Also, we have Ko-fi for a one-time any amount donation. We always appreciate any support you provide. Thank you so much! [JI] Yeah, thanks for watching and see you in the next video. Bye! ♪♪♪