Often they do, but it depends on how long they have been deaf and what form of communication is natural to them. You can often see deaf people who are sleeping, talking to themselves in their sleep in full or half formed sign. Many report that the characters in their dreams use the same range of sign – regional professional or technical signs – and with the range of skill as I’ve seen in them while awake.
Deaf friends have told me that they dream they can hear, but since they don’t really know what that entails, or how speech sounds, they imagine some pretty bizarre things.
I have a friend whose parents I had known for quite a few years. I was sad when her mother died. And one day, I was talking to her about her family and I said, “I really miss your mother. We had quite a few telephone visits – and I always knew it was she, as soon as I picked up the phone. She had a very pleasant roughness to her voice. A texture that was unique.”
My friend looked at me in surprise and said, “Are you telling me that people have different voices?”
I told her that not only are our voices different, but most of our emotions were shown in the voice, and not as she had imagined, in face or body language. This surprised her. I also told her that we sometimes play or express other moods with our voices conveying one thing and our body language, another.
Think about what it must be like in prison, where voices are kept dead flat – which translates into dead flat ASL.
- Hero of Galveston Island: The Legacy of Leroy Colombo (1905-1972) (deafinprison.wordpress.com)
- Guest Post from Marsha Graham (deafinprison.wordpress.com)
- What I Learned from a (Deaf) Baseball Player (lipreadingmom.com)
- D for Deaf (deafinprison.wordpress.com)
- ASL-My Future (meganmmckean.wordpress.com)