Here's some little known facts, about a little known fact: I am fluent in American Sign Language. Well I used to be fluent. Now I would say I can communicate in American Sign Language, but I am much slower than I used to be.
When my brother was born, he was initially (mis) diagnosed as being deaf. To help our family learn Sign Language, we spent months with an in home teacher, as well as taking some additional classes outside of the home. It soon became the second language in our house. He wasn't deaf, but the passion for Sign was firmly planted in our family. Because sign was becoming a great learning tool for my brother, even after he was re-diagnosed we continued to use it and immersed ourselves in the Deaf Culture in our area. My Mother and brother attended a playgroup for children who relied on Sign, and since I was 12 years old at the time, I quickly turned my new language into a skill. It's hard to find a babysitter who can communicate with your child, if your child is deaf, ( or to explain the rules of the house if the parents are deaf and the children can hear!) so having my sisters and I was a great resource for families, and turned into a great part-time job for us. I babysat, helped my Mother teach a Sign Class, and eventually would do some Interpreting for customers while working retail. I love the language and for a number of years thought I was going to become a Speech Pathologist. I haven't used it regularly for a number of years and I have become much slower now than I once was.
When I read about Loud Shirt Day on Love Maegan's blog, I couldn't help but to have my interest sparked. It's an initiative out of Australia which encourages people to wear their Loudest Shirt and help raise money to help give the gift of sound to Deaf children. Today happens to be that day ( well in Australian Time it was probably yesterday by now) and this happens to be my Loudest Shirt. As for Deaf Children? Well they will always have a special place in my heart.