University of Washington DO-IT Home  
[DOIT Logo]
Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology

Did You Know?

American Sign Language (ASL) has its own grammar and syntax.

American Sign Language (ASL) and signed English are two different types of sign language. ASL has its own grammar and syntax and is considered a native language. Learning English is difficult for students who use ASL if they have never heard the language. Mistakes such as the omission of articles and the use of the wrong tense are not uncommon among the written language of individuals who use sign language. Manual English (signed English) is sign language in English word order. For students who use this form of signing, learning written English is somewhat easier. Approximately 25% of individuals with a hearing loss use ASL.