Obscure physics words get sign language equivalents - physics-math - 22 June 2012 - New Scientist

Alice Faber faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU
Mon Jun 25 02:23:43 UTC 2012

On 6/24/12 10:05 PM, Dan Goodman wrote:
> Studying physics is tough as it is, but if you're deaf it can seem even
> harder as many of the terms don't have sign language equivalents. Now
> the esoteric language of physics has been translated into British Sign
> Language (BSL), and made available online.
> The glossary of 119 physics words includes Milky Way, ampere,
> wavelength, vacuum and weightless. It should remove one of the barriers
> to deaf people taking part in science.
> http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21967-obscure-physics-words-get-sign-language-equivalents.html

I have a friend who's been teaching physics at National Technical
Institute for the Deaf for 20+ years. The impression I have from her
descriptions is that the barriers to her students studying physics have
nothing to do with technical vocabulary, but rather with basic
scientific method. For any student, deaf or hearing, learning a new
scientific field involves learning new, technical vocabulary as well as
new, technical meanings for familiar words.

Alice Faber                                       faber at haskins.yale.edu
Haskins Laboratories                            tel: (203) 865-6163 x258
New Haven, CT 06511 USA                               fax (203) 865-8963

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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