Personal Narrative: American Sign Language

1776 Words8 Pages

Have you ever met a deaf person? Have you ever wanted to learn a new language? I taught myself basic American Sign Language (ASL) after meeting a woman around my age named Sharon. She was fully deaf. I learned her language to show her that I valued our friendship. I would go with her to the deaf social events and was opened up to a new world that I had never knew existed. I was welcomed with open arms and hearts into the deaf community. Even though they have many struggles living in a hearing world, they have a great sense of pride being deaf.
Going to the deaf social events I had the pleasure of meeting an American Sign Language teacher named Donna Bartley-Weiss (Bart.) She currently teaches at Delgado Community College in Slidell, LA. I …show more content…

Her husband was right alongside her, going with her to the local Deaf Action Center to learn ASL. Not long after, she enrolled in college to learn about deaf culture and to improve her knowledge of sign language. After she got that certificate she went into psychology. She had the idea that she could help deaf children or be a counselor for the deaf.
She graduated and soon started job hunting. Her primary focus was to work for the School Board and to help kids with disabilities. Once she does get an interview, the interviewer at the school board tells her, “Come back and see me after you get the cochlear implant because we don’t hire deaf teachers.” Bart took that personally and was shocked someone would say that.
She didn’t find a job very quickly. Then her big break came. A friend of hers overheard through the deaf community that Delgado was looking for a ASL teacher. The school was having a hard time finding someone qualified. Bart scheduled an interview and got hired on the …show more content…

There was a guy in front of me, very drunk. When the light turned green, he put his truck into reverse and backed into me. Our bumpers were hooked.” She got out to check on him but he was incoherent. She had never used the telephone before but figured out how to call 911. “I pressed speaker and 911, and couldn’t hear anything. I waited a few seconds, and all of a sudden I just kept talking. I would say this is my name, I’m deaf, this is where I am, I’ve been in an accident. Send somebody now.” She would talk, hang up, and repeat. She didn’t know if they heard her or not, or even if she operated the phone correctly. “Soon there were 6 cop cars swarming in” she laughed excitedly “they had to carry the guy out of his car.” The police officer on the scene reviews Bart’s papers. He walks back to her and says ‘Ma’am we have a problem. Everything is expired.” The policeman noticed her husband’s memorial service paper was in that stack of paperwork. “He placed it on top of the stack,” Bart pauses, “As the officer stands there I have a meltdown. I tell him, I’m so sorry officer, I’ve never had to do this. My husband just died. I don’t know what to do.” She wipes the tears from her eyes and continues “this cop came and put his arms around me and told me that it was going to be ok and that they were going to work with

Open Document