There are many reasons that a person could decide to learn ASL, but one of the greatest benefits is being able to interact with the Deaf community. Naturally I can only speak from experience with my regional Deaf community, but it seems that there are some traits that are universal. Besides finding a group of open, happy, and welcoming people, you will probably find that many Deaf people love to help others learn their language. If you are eager to learn, you will probably find people willing to teach.
The “search” for the Deaf Community may seem daunting at first. However, there are many ways that you can come in contact. One option is to see if there is a local Deaf Club. What is that, you ask? Good question. A Deaf Club is simply a (generally) small group of people that represent the local community and are in charge of organizing outings, parties, even fundraisers. Think of it as a local Moose Lodge. You can search for a club near you simply by searching the Internet for “Deaf Club in [city]”.
While you are browsing the Internet, you can search for a local Sign Language Interpreter Agency. The people at the agency may be able to point you in the right direction, or even help set up a meeting with a willing Deaf person.
Although interactions can seem intimidating at first, like many situations, the more often you are exposed, the more confident you will become.
You can also see if your local Community College has an Interpreter Training Program, or even some classes. Many times, this could lead to events that have been set up specifically for meeting people within the Deaf Community.
The most important thing that you can do, is to become active in to your own community. The more you are present, the better chance you have of running in to someone who will sign with you. Plus, volunteering is great for any community!!