" His hands shaped the words in a swift series of designs"

                       

In America, the standard sign language is ASL (American Sign Language). ASL differs from BSL (British Sign Language) and the two are not mutually intelligible. Before the 1950s, ASL was a subject of great controversy, with the language suppressed in schools and in society. Nowadays, it is estimated that between 500,000 and 2 million people in America use ASL as their primary language.