• There are approximately 11 million people in the United States that have a hearing loss, one million of whom are deaf (Deaf World Web). 
  • 90% of Deaf people do not read lips extensively. 
  • American Sign Language is the 3rd most used language in the United States (Deaf World Web).
  • The first national celebration of Deaf Awareness Week was held in Denver, Colorado, 1972 (Deaf Life Magazine). 
  • The first public school for the Deaf in America was established April 15, 1817 in Hartford, Connecticut (Deaf World Web). 
  • On April 8, 1864, President Lincoln authorized the Board of Directors of the Columbia Institution (now Gallaudet University) to grant degrees to deaf students (Deaf World Web).
  • Gallaudet University, located in Washington D.C., is the world's only Liberal Arts University for students who are deaf or hard of hearing (Deaf World Web).
  • Sign language is not universal (Gallaudet University, “History Through Deaf Eyes”). 
  • The football huddle originated at Gallaudet University when the football team found that opposing teams were reading their signed messages and intercepting plays (Gallaudet University). 
  •  A deaf center fielder for the Cincinnati Reds, William Hoy, invented the hand signals for strikes and balls in baseball. 
  • When Beethoven created his ninth symphony, he was profoundly deaf. 
  • Alexander Graham Bell, originally an instructor for deaf children, invented the telephone to help his deaf wife and mother to hear. 
  • American Sign Language is derived from the French Sign Language (Deaf World Web).
  • American Sign Language has been linguistically defined as a separate language such as English, French
    and German
    (Samuel Supalla, PhD, “Language and Deaf Culture: Educational Considerations for the Development of a Language Base”). 
  • Deaf people work, vote, pay taxes, drive cars, and attend business, social and religious functions. 
  • Deaf people see themselves as a cultural group and signify such by using a capital letter “D” when referring to themselves as Deaf.  People who have a hearing loss, but do not associate with the Deaf community, refer to themselves as (lower case “d”) deaf, hard of hearing, or hearing impaired (Samuel Supalla, PhD, “Language and Deaf Culture: Educational Considerations for the Development of a Language Base”).


The Sign Language Interpreter:

  • is to keep all assignment-related information confidential;
  • renders the message faithfully, always conveying the content and spirit of the speaker;
  • shall not counsel, advise, or interject personal opinions;
  • shall accept assignments using discretion with regard to his/her skill, the setting, and consumers involved (Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf).


Top 5 Reasons for Learning American Sign Language:

5.   You can communicate through windows.

4.   You can use your hands, body language and facial expressions to express yourself without having to be Italian.

3.   You can sign with your mouth full.

2.   You can communicate across the room without shouting.

1.       It brings together hearing and deaf people.    –Author unknown
Sign Language Interpreters and CART

provided Free upon request

to all City Programs, Services, & Events


Contact: Lorrie A. Kosinski, Sign Language Interpreter

                     Office of Sign Language Services and Resources                            720.913.8487;  303.880.3208, Mobile