What is sign language?
Sign language is manual communication commonly used by people who are deaf. Sign language is not universal; people who are deaf from different countries speak different sign languages. The gestures or symbols in sign language are organized in a linguistic way. Each individual gesture is called a sign. Each sign has three distinct parts: the handshape, the position of the hands, and the movement of the hands. American Sign Language (ASL) is the most commonly used sign language in the United States.
For more information about disability-related terms, consult Glossary of Disability-Related Terms. For a list of accommodations for students with hearing impairments, consult the Deaf or Hard of Hearing area in The Faculty Room.
Last update or review: January 24, 2013