The Role of Fingerspelling in Saudi Arabian Deaf Education

Author: Ahmed Alzahrani (Majmaah University, Saudi Arabia)
Speaker: Ahmed Alzahrani
Topic: Language, Community, Ethnicity
The (SCOPUS / ISI) SOAS GLOCAL COMELA 2020 General Session


The role of fingerspelling as to its unique features, its use, and its function in the culture and education of the Saudi Deaf population has not been examined. Specifically, this study focuses on assessing historical and existing attitudes and beliefs of Saudi Deaf people regarding the importance of fingerspelling and situations in which they use it. While currently, a disparity exists between the attitudes and beliefs of younger, somewhat more progressive Deaf people and those of their more traditional elders, and the obvious necessity of the acceptance and use of the fingerspelling in Saudi Arabian Deaf daily life and education.

Keywords: Saudi Arabian Sign Language, SASL, fingerspelling, Deaf literacy, orthography