Learn sign language from the JS community's own Emily Angeloff - Joubert Syndrome & Related Disorders Foundation
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man and smiling woman speaking ASL


Hello everyone!!! I’m Emily Angeloff, and I have Joubert Syndrome. Today I am posting this because sign language was my first mode of communication and I wanted to teach a few words that might be useful to people with JS.

But first, a little bit about me: I came out of the womb on May 31, 1990 and immediately had problems. The doctors could tell immediately that I wasn’t breathing right so I was rushed off to another hospital. Every surgery and medical issue that you can think of, I had. For three months, I was in the ICU. I even almost died twice. My poor parents, I put them through so much.

Thus, I’m going to teach a phrase that might be useful to people like me who need a little extra help: “Wash me in the shower.”

Note that my signs are somewhat different from American Sign Language, or ASL. I’ll be teaching Signed Exact English, as that is what I learned. A few of these signs involve signing individual letters. In those cases I’ve included hyperlinks to pages showing you how to sign those letters, in case it’s not clear from the videos.

Here we go:

Wash: Lay whichever hand you want, flat, elbow in, palm facing up, fingers stretched out. Then, make your other hand into an “A” shape, place it on your other palm, and move it in a circle once, as if you’re washing something. In ASL, you’re supposed to designate a signing hand and stick with that hand, but as long as you’re always signing with your elbows in, you’re good to go.

Me: Touch your chest with your index finger. Pretty self-explanatory.

In: Make one hand in a “B” shape, the other one in a “C” and with the “C” shaped hand, dip it into the thumb of your “B” shaped hand, as if you’re putting something inside something else.

Making a “T” shaped hand, flick your wrist outward and to the side.

Shower: Make a fist with your hand, place it on the side of your head (whatever side your hand is on) and extend your fingers out, to indicate the water coming down on your head.

And that’s it! Hopefully you find it useful. Questions? Looking to learn more signing? Reach out to me directly at emilyangeloff@gmail.com.

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