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I'm learning ASL essentially because of my job.  I work as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist/CT Tech for a local hospital.  It's happened a few times now that I have had some dear or hoh patients and haven't been able to help them without the assistance of a video interpreter or someone from the Easter Seals coming with the patient.  I had a patient recently with a cochlear implant who was able to understand me while she had he device on, but with the CT machine and scanning peoples heads, the device has to be detached for the scan.  Once that thing came off, I no longer had the ability to communicate my instructions.  It was frustrating for me, and I'm sure it was frustrating for my patient.

There are other reasons as well.  About a year ago I was hanging out with a group of friends.  We were at a bar.  One of my friend's boyfriend is deaf.  Only his b/f and he knew ASL.  During the course of the night the two of them got into an argument.  At one point my friend, who is hearing started ignoring his b/f.  His b/f was frantically signing to him, trying to communicate.  We couldn't help because none of us were able to sign.  At one point my friend turned his back on his b/f and was talking with us while ignoring his b/f.  The rest of us felt awful, but really didn't know what to do because there was no way for us to sign with him to in any way comfort him, or even understand what the argument was about.  I also felt as though my friend used our ability to hear as a means of emotional abuse of his b/f.  Not cool.  I felt like this situation could have had a better outcome if others of us had been able to sign; also, if my friend wasn't a complete dick. 

So those are my reasons for learning.  I don't feel like other people should be prevented from communicating with me because I didn't take the time to learn something challenging. 

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