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This article is about sign language. For hand music, see Manualism (hand music).

Manualism is a method of education of deaf students using sign language within the classroom.[1]


While working at Gallaudet University in the 1970s, William Stokoe felt that American Sign Language was a language in its own right; with its own independent syntax and grammar. Stokoe classified the language into five parts which included: handshapes, orientation, location, movement, and facial expression, in which much of the meaning of the sign is clarified as well as the grammar of the sentence expressed.[2] Some sign languages, such as American Sign Language, have been promoted as the traditional way of communication for deaf people.[3] Manualism is combined with oralism as the contemporary technique for the education of deaf students.[4]


  1. ^ Douglas C. Baynton. Forbidden signs: American culture and the campaign against sign language. University of Chicago Press, 1996. p. 4. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  2. ^ Bauman, H-Dirksen, ed. Open Your Eyes. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008. 15.
  3. ^ H-Dirksen L. Bauman, Jennifer L. Nelso. Signing the body poetic: essays on American Sign Language literature. University of California Press, 2006. p. 242. Retrieved 2011-03-18. 
  4. ^ J. Madhubala. Adjustment Problems of Hearing Impaired. Discovery Publishing House, 2004. p. 11. Retrieved 2011-03-18.