In a message dated 2/8/2006 8:19:41 PM Pacific Standard Time,
lkpinette@ .net writes:
Hello, I'm a student in
I'm right-handed in most regards, but I've found that it's easier
for me to use my left hand for one-handed signs.
I had some tests run on me (I have Asperger's Syndrome, which
apparently makes me an interesting study subject). I for my part
study neurotypicals without the aid of tests and while I complete
almost all tasks with my right hand, there are a few involving
gross-motor skills which I do with my left. I can only think that
perhaps my body perceives sign language as being less complex a
matter than holding a pencil.
So, ...is it acceptable to use my left hand for one-handed signs,
for all that I'm right handed?
Peace, Truth, Liberty, and Justice,
No one in the Deaf community is going to "slug" you for signing
one-handed signs with your left hand (even though you are right
We will notice it in the back of our mind as a small bit of communication
static, but we will understand you just fine.
The only one's who will mention it to you are ASL teachers, "interpreter trainers,"
or self-appointed ASL-police officers.
My advice would be to work on consistency
and do not toggle back and forth. If you are going to do one handed signs with
your left hand, fine...just do ALL one-handed signs with your left hand. Sign
Fingerspell left-handed too.
In a message dated 2/17/2012 9:14:54 A.M. Pacific Daylight Time,
Hi Dr. Bill!
I have an 8-month old deaf puppy and your site has been tremendously
helpful in developing signs to use with him! I use many ASL signs
(slightly modified to be one-handed, since I am usually holding a
leash), and some I have just made up. I have two questions for
First, does the meaning of a sign change if you only use one hand?
For instance, when signing "play", "ball", or "leash", I only use
one hand. Am I actually saying something else?
Also, I have a made-up sign that I use to mean "go here", as in get
in your crate, go into the backseat, go lay down on that mat, etc. I
use the letter "H" and shake my hand twice while pointing at
wherever I want him to go. Does this mean something in ASL? Just
wondered if I am inadvertently telling him that he smells like an
old boot or something.
Thanks for your input!
- Anne (and Alfie)
Doing a sign "one handed" generally doesn't change the meaning of a
Sometimes it makes the sign a bit "less recognizable" but it still
means the same.
We Deaf commonly sign one handed when our other hand is full.
Your "H" hand pointing gesture doesn't conflict with anything in
ASL. It reminds me of the statue of Walt Disney pointing with an "H"
hand at Disneyland. It is done with two fingers on purpose so as to
not offend those cultures which are offended by pointing with an
-- Dr. Bill
One handed signing (1)
Also See "Right
or left handed signing"
Dr. Bill's new iPhone "Fingerspelling Practice" app is
GET IT HERE!
NEW! Online "ASL Training Center!" (Premium Subscription Version of ASLU) **
CHECK IT OUT **
Also available: "ASLUniversity.com" (a mirror of Lifeprint.com
less traffic, fast access) **
VISIT NOW **