ASLdeafined Weekly Newsletter – The Dragon Prince, ASL Origins, & More!

ASLdeafined Weekly Newsletter – 10/19/2018


General Amaya, Deaf and commander of the king’s army in Netlix’s The Dragon Prince

Netflix’s The Dragon Prince Features Deaf Character, Signs

It’s always nice to see some representation in the media! Netflix recently premiered a series entitled The Dragon Prince; An animated fantasy series featuring humans and elves at war. 

Now, obviously, we don’t want to give away too much of the plot, but we do want to thank Netflix for doing their research. A character in the series, named General Amaya, commands the human army. She also happens to be deaf! General Amaya is seen using sign language and even utilizing an interpreter as her second-in-command. 

The best part about this is that all of the sign is American Sign Language, and it’s accuracy is pretty darn close to 100%! There are even little “Easter eggs” for ASL users who watch, where the captioning drops off and only the signing remains. 

After so many botched attempts at portraying a deaf character (let alone in a light that paints them as an army-commanding bad ass) it is a wonderful sight to see such a well thought-out addition to television. 

The Dragon Prince has also been renewed for a second season, and we can’t wait to see how General Amaya progresses within the series. 


American Sign Language: Where Did It Come From?

Many people assume that American Sign Language is a dirivitive of British Sign Language, but we actually get to thank the French! Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, a Yale graduate, travelled to France and studied the way they educate the deaf. After being fascinated by the use of signs he convinced Laurent Clerc to return to the States and found the very first school of the deaf in Hartford, Connecticut: The American School of the Deaf. Clerc developed American Sign Language using a combination of signs that were already used within the American deaf communities and a bit of French Sign Language. Thus, American Sign Language was born! 

Dialects of American Sign Language exist throughout the states and even around the world! A signer from Michigan may use a different sign for “store” than someone from California, for example. ASL is also used in parts of Canada, Mexico, and even Africa and Asia (thanks to some awesome missionaries!). 

A special little part of America’s Sign Language history can be found in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts: Thanks to intermarriages in the early 1690s, the area has an abnormally high rate of genetic deafness. The resulting community of several deaf individuals lead to the development of their very own form of Sign Language, which was used by all residents in the area (both hearing and deaf). 


What’s New With ASLdeafined?

November 16-18th, ASLdeafined will be presenting at the ACTFL conference. The title of our presentation, “Implementing & Integrating Technology with American Sign Language”. We will also have two booths to demonstrate the latest features on Come and meet our entire ASLdeafined staff. We hope to see everyone in New Orleans.

All activities on now also come with a built-in answer key! Go ahead and check it out! 🙂 


Handshape of the Week: V!

The V-handshape looks just like a peace sign, as demonstrated below in the sign for CAREFUL!

Other signs that use the V-handshape include: