Healthy Hands

wrapped_hand.jpgNever thought about it until today — shame on me. If I used ASL on a regular basis, this hand injury would’ve been more frustrating. I couldn’t type much for six weeks, so imagine trying to sign with one hand.
As you can see from the photo, the splint allowed me to move my four fingers. However, I think the thumb has a big job. Though I am a lefty, I think my right hand may have been the dominant hand when I learned the finger alphabet and picked up on some ASL from friends.
Anyone ever get stuck with one hand? How did you work around that from an ASL perspective?


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    • Hearing Mom on January 9, 2009 at 9:17 pm
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    Since this blog is titled Bionic Ear Blog, I am assuming you have a cochlear implant. I wonder if this blog is trying use injuries to hands in order to sell more cochlear implants or a ploy to point out how signing can be hampered?? Sure seems like your blog is leading people that direction.
    My question to you is….what happens when your batteries go dead and you can’t hear? What happens when you are swimming or showering? etc.etc etc.
    Deaf people adapt to hand injuries. I have friends with missing fingers and they still sign perfectly fine. There are ways to adapt.

  1. Sounds like you’re new to this blog. It originally started as a chronicle of my decision to get a cochlear implant and being a geek — it was a good name.
    It evolved to talking about all things deaf and all points of view. I can only share mine as it’s the only one I have. I support every person’s communications choices.
    I am sorry if it sounded like I was trying to promote CIs. Far from it. In fact, I am not sure the CI was the best move for me as I got almost as much from my hearing aids as I did from CI.
    CIs are NOT for everyone.
    As for batteries dying and going swimming — I rely on lipreading whether or not I have CI in. Lipreading is my first means for communicating. The CI helps me understand better — for instance, Mom and mop and pop all look the same on the lips… thus, the CI helps me hear the mmm vs puh sounds.

  2. Signing with one hand is not difficult.
    Maybe for somebody who is not accustomed to sign in all registers, or not fluent in a language so they cannot imagine not having all “tools”. If you put in some elbowgrease in the research, you can find many studies where Deaf people do use one hand to sign and this is often perceived as “lazy” signing, but in the reality, they were just signing in an intimate register– talking with their best friend, talking about something private that one doesn’t want to be obvious while signing.
    So, relax. Your hand will heal and you will have both hands to help you getting comfortable with your signing skills.
    (for the Casual register, “IN ASL: Production of signs is very lax and normally two-handed signs may be made with one hand, sign space may only be indicated by eye gaze shifting rather than shifting of torso or head, non-manual grammar and signals are fully used since the participants are physically closer, and some signs that might not be familiar to everyone (such as name-signs) won’t be explained if the signer knows that his partner(s) know them.” SOURCE: )

  3. I’m an ASL interpreter/Cued Language transliterator. Thankfully was unemployed when I shattered my wrist last spring. (required surgery, titanium rods and lots of screws) It was my non-dominant hand, but still! I normally type 75 wpm, and was able to get back up to about 45 wpm within a few days of the break. Here’s a post about how it happened. Kinda funny! (afterward anyway! LOL)

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