Saturday, November 18, 2006
Artist's Response to Ridor's "This is Cool, Is It?"
Recently today, blogger Ridor wrote a piece about the SuperASL T-shirt that is selling like hot cakes on BuyASL.com. I read it with amusement, knowing who created it. Folks, here's the link to his blog, "This is Cool, Is it?" Be sure to check out a photograph of himself wearing the T-shirt that I - yes, I - created. It's worth a few good laughs. Hey, Ridor, muy gracias....you can let out the air now! ;)
Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to introduce myself. I'm the one who designed that famous T-shirt Ridor talked about. The credit for the idea goes to BuyASL.com. I was approached by them and asked to design a logo that is similiar to Superman but that has the word ASL incorporated into it. I designed three logos, and they picked one. I was paid my commission for the logo design. FYI, I do not receive any residual on this T-shirt. It is for the deaf community. BuyASL.com is a company known to be very supportive of the deaf community.
This design that I created is intended as a novelty item, to put a spin on the issue of American Sign Language with humor. This is the message that I believe BuyASL.com is trying to convey with this design, that it's OK & cool to communicate in ASL and that ASL is...SUPER-cool!I would like to let you a little on my background. I'm not an ASL extremist, either. I do not see this design I made as a symbol for ASL extremism, and I do not think it should be taken as such. I see this design as a proactive, positive message in support of ASL as our language.
I learned sign language at age 8. Before then, I was an oralist. I was a student at one of the most famous oral schools, Clarke School for the Deaf in Northampton, MA. As you may know, Clarke School banned sign language in the classroom and frowned upon its use outside the school building. At the dormority where I lived, we'd communicate by handmade signs and grunts - short, brief speaking. Not everyone at Clarke I knew was skilled at speech and lipreading, including myself.When I first learned sign language, it opened a world for me. I will never forget this day when I first learned sign language...like my hospital stay and survival, it was one of several major turning points in my life. I am sure it was the same for many, many deaf people.
The school where I learned sign language was at Amoskeag School for the Deaf, a small day school in Manchester, New Hampshire. The type of sign language taught there, however, was PSE (Pidgin Signed English). PSE is like a combination of SEE and ASL. When I saw ASL signed, it was at an elementary school where my bus would pick up some students, and my first impression that ASL was a language spoken by kids at elementary school level. Boy, was I wrong!MSSD was where my mind changed and expanded. While I was a student at MSSD for three years from 1978 to 1981, the way I signed was heavily influenced by the people I met there and the school plays that I participated in. Despite MSSD's official policy of total communications at that time, ASL was widely practiced everywhere I went. It was at MSSD when I realized ASL was a common language that the deaf community in America communicated in.
Through my involvement in theatre I learned to develop profound love and respect for this beautiful, visual language called ASL. Since then I've been an ASL signer and will always remain one to my death.So...folks, ladies and gentlemen, to celebrate our love, honor and respect for ASL as our language, PLEASE buy the Super-ASL T-shirt from BuyASL.com! And don't forget to buy 6 wrist bands of “GOT ASL?”....$ 2 from each sale will be donated to the FSSA Coalition or the GUAA! Go to this link:http://www.buyasl.com/Wear one TODAY and look SUPER-COOL! Get it?Many, many thanks to everyone, y'all for your time reading and for your support towards Gallaudet University / Kendall Green!
posted by Dan McClintock at 1:37 PM