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Old 17-10-2013, 06:12   #1
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Deaf Learning to Sail

Hi All

I have an interesting challenge.

I have a few Deaf friends who are interested in learning to sail.
I have scoured the internet for American Sign Language (ASL) based sailing instruction, but have found nothing.

I am somewhat fluent in ASL, but not completely. (I have been learning ASL for the past year).

I know there are plenty of Deaf folks that sail, so how did you learn? The most famous Deaf sailor is probably the man who completed a singlehanded circumnavigation - Gerry Hughes.

I have spoken with a local organization (C.R.A.B.) that offers sailing excursions and instructions to the ADA population, but they didn’t have anything specifically for Deaf individuals.

Also, I was hoping you could share with me any suggestions for relaying commands from the helm. I was thinking about adopting a colored bandanna system like a semaphore but simpler, i.e., blue = Ready About, green = Ready, yellow = Helms Alee, etc. Or laminated signs. This requires a extra hand, or a third crew member to man the communication. Maybe there are already American Sign Language equivalents for these commands? donno...

Any suggestions you could offer about how to teach/learn sailing basics to Deaf population would be fantastic. I' have entertained the idea of an intermediary interpreter, but the timing delay of that 'middle' step could present timing challenges. Again, hoping anyone can share their experiences around this topic.

Thanks,
J
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Old 17-10-2013, 06:55   #2
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Re: Deaf Learning to Sail

Shake-A-Leg Miami
Coconut Grove Sailing Club

Both of these teach the disabled but for sailing I do not see the deaf as being particularly disabled providing they develop boat awareness and keep their heads below boom level.

"Sail by the cheeks of your arse!" said my instructor and in bad weather it was all sign language! You need to communicate pre-trained actions not language.

Some kind of vibrating device to get the crew members attention might be beneficial.
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Old 17-10-2013, 07:23   #3
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Re: Deaf Learning to Sail

Hand signals would seem to be the most practical method of communicating, like when picking up a mooring.

THE MOORING BALL IS THAT WAY: Point to the ball.
2. SLOW DOWN: Palm of the hand down and moving up and down.
3. SPEED UP: Palm of the hand up and moving up and down.
8. PUT THE ENGINE IN NEUTRAL: A raised fist.
9. STOP THE BOAT where it is, go in reverse if needed, and maintain this station as best you can: A raised hand with fingers splayed.

I think a system to get everyone's attention would be the key, like a vibration or a pennant.
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Old 15-07-2015, 20:16   #4
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Re: Deaf Learning to Sail

Hello J,

Good news! I am deaf ASA certified sailing instructor. I am teaching ASA courses for Deaf sailors at Marina Sailing School in Marina del Rey, California.

Please check my website below:
deafsailinglessons.com

Please check my sailing school's website below:
marinasailing.com

We will start teaching Deaf sailors on Friday, September 25, 2015 for 5 days course onboard. There will be ASA 101, ASA 103 and ASA 104 courses included.

If you have any further question, please let me know.

May the wind force be with you!

Capt. Troy J Stilwell





Quote:
Originally Posted by jplevens215 View Post
Hi All

I have an interesting challenge.

I have a few Deaf friends who are interested in learning to sail.
I have scoured the internet for American Sign Language (ASL) based sailing instruction, but have found nothing.

I am somewhat fluent in ASL, but not completely. (I have been learning ASL for the past year).

I know there are plenty of Deaf folks that sail, so how did you learn? The most famous Deaf sailor is probably the man who completed a singlehanded circumnavigation - Gerry Hughes.

I have spoken with a local organization (C.R.A.B.) that offers sailing excursions and instructions to the ADA population, but they didn’t have anything specifically for Deaf individuals.

Also, I was hoping you could share with me any suggestions for relaying commands from the helm. I was thinking about adopting a colored bandanna system like a semaphore but simpler, i.e., blue = Ready About, green = Ready, yellow = Helms Alee, etc. Or laminated signs. This requires a extra hand, or a third crew member to man the communication. Maybe there are already American Sign Language equivalents for these commands? donno...

Any suggestions you could offer about how to teach/learn sailing basics to Deaf population would be fantastic. I' have entertained the idea of an intermediary interpreter, but the timing delay of that 'middle' step could present timing challenges. Again, hoping anyone can share their experiences around this topic.

Thanks,
J
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Old 16-07-2015, 00:07   #5
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Re: Deaf Learning to Sail

I volunteer with Challenged Sailors in San Diego. We sail modified Martin 16's. We take folks out for day sails, regattas, races and cruises. We also teach people of all disabilities. Check out challenged sailors.org. When teaching, I use a pad of paper. In a Martin, you sit tandem right behind the client. And they are in charge of the boat: main and jib sheets, tiller. Check it out and it is cheap.


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Old 24-08-2015, 12:47   #6
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Re: Deaf Learning to Sail

Thanks for the replies! I will be checking out all of the suggestions!
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