Some helpful tips for you!
Attending an event for the first time may seem scary, but there’s no reason it should be scary! The best way to learn any language is simply by getting out and interacting with people. People are just wonderful once you let yourself go and get out there! The first step out of the house is the hardest, after that the rest is easy. Even with this reassurances, you may still be seeking some words of wisdom to carry with you?
In that case, here are some of the handiest tips to keep in mind!
• PEOPLE ARE THERE FOR THE SAME REASON AS YOU!
They, just like you, want to meet new people! Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself and start up conversation. Deaf people love to socialize, it’s an extremely important part of our culture! If someone gives you a dirty look or excuses themselves, then just leave them alone and move on. It’s that simple. As for icebreakers, “hello” is the best icebreaker there ever is!
• ALWAYS practice public safety.
Common sense stuff-never go home with strangers and never accept food/drinks from someone you don’t know. Make sure you let your friends know where you’re going if you plan on going alone!
• BE PATIENT AND UNDERSTANDING.
This is really basic stuff, but it needs to be said! There are many students of ASL in various stages of their education, so not all of them will be fast, fluent signers. If you see a student, be patient! It’s quite an honor whenever someone is willing to put in the time and effort to learn our language! Respect that, and help them along. If a Deaf person seems to have no patience with you, it may just be because they’ve had a long day and are exhausted and want to relax. If that is the case, let them be and move on to someone else. Simple etiquette!
Keep these three tips in mind and you’ll do just fine! Happy socializing!