Mexico (MNN) — Is sign language universal? Many folks think it is, but in reality, sign language is quite regional. There are many unifying factors to spoken languages: music, radio, television, movies, the internet, education, travel, and all kinds of printed matter, to name some of the major factors. Even so, spoken languages vary from region to region, which is evident when somebody from New England tries to converse in English with somebody from Great Britain!
Sign Language, however, does not have as many unifying factors, making it far more regional than spoken language.
About 35 years ago when Ruth Lopez studied SEE (Signing Exact English) at a junior college in California, her professor predicted that SEE would eventually be universally used in the United States. She was wrong. Today ASL (American Sign Language) is by far the most prevalent form of sign language used throughout the USA.
LSM (Mexican Sign Language) will probably become the most prevalent sign language in Mexico, in much the same way as ASL in the USA. However, it’s not uncommon to see “Español Signado” (Signing Exact Spanish) on TV and at events. The government encourages interpreters to use “Español Signado,” but deaf people far prefer LSM.
At Dios es Amor School for Special Needs Students, AMG International uses LSM because they consider it to be the best way to communicate with their students. Clear communication is necessary in order to teach their students reading and writing and arithmetic, as well as God’s love. AMG also wants them to be able to express themselves freely, especially in prayer.
Please pray that AMG will be able to effectively teach their deaf students to communicate in LSM and “Español Signado.”