There are a wide variety of benefits to learning American Sign Language (ASL). Some might think that there is no point to studying ASL if they are not deaf or do not know others who are. Would it stop you from learning Spanish just because you are not of Spanish decent or have no plans to travel there? That would be unfortunate, because you never know what the future will bring and the endless opportunities that may be presented to you. Sure, if you do not live in an area where much of the population speaks a second language like Spanish, you may feel it is not worth your while. Yet, there are deaf people everywhere you go, in every city, state, country and continent across the globe.
Should you take the opportunity to learn ASL through an online program you are opening up an entirely new world for yourself! One of the obvious advantages is that you are developing the valuable skills and knowledge of a second language. A more unique advantage is that you are crossing through a door into a new culture and can make connections that many others do not have access to. You never know when you might meet people who are deaf and the positive outcomes that may result. If you learn to communicate with American Sign Language, you can use those skills to enrich your life through a deeper involvement in deaf culture.
Beyond the personal benefits of broadening your scope of friends and contacts, there are worthwhile professional aspects to consider as well. Perhaps you will decide to pursue a career in sign language as an interpreter or teacher for the deaf? Need a more practical, immediate incentive? ASL is an interesting alternative to the traditional languages offered for meeting the two-year language requirement. Still not convinced? Think about the fact that if you and a friend learn sign language through an online program you could communicate secretly with each other in the middle of a crowded, quiet room and no one would be the wiser (unless they know it too J). Besides, learning American Sign Language is fun! Try it and you will see.