Signs for ELEVATOR

ASL sign for ELEVATOR
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ASL signs for 'elevator'

"What is the sign for 'elevator' in American Sign Language?" There are two common ASL signs for 'elevator'.

Meaning: A platform or compartment raised and lowered in a vertical shaft to transport people or freight to different floors or levels.

Pronunciation (sign description): Dominant "C" hand (handshape), with its palm facing outward (orientation) and its edge in contact with non-dominant flat hand (location), slides up and down twice along the non-dominant palm (movement).

Regional variation: Canada and U.S. regions.

Pronunciation (sign description): Dominant "V" hand (handshape) upside down, with tips of index finger and middle finger in contact with non-dominant palm-up flat hand (location), together slides up and down twice (movement).

Regional variation: U.S. parts.

Related signs: ESCALATOR, MOVING WALKWAY.

Cross-cultural anecdotes

What are the scenarios of deaf and hearing people in an elevator? There are variables, depending on the sizes of elevators, number of people, locations of where people stand, whether one uses vocal speaking or signing only, and whether space is unfamiliar or familiar.

Though rarely, if you're hearing and you stand in the elevator with another person, you small-talk with the other person who doesn't respond to you. You think the other person impolitely ignores you. The person may be deaf. Depending on the locations you and they stand, a Deaf person often pays attention to the environment and will respond if they notice you moving your lips.

If a hearing person stands in space of the buttons and a Deaf person enters the elevator, she/he probably would gesture the number or probably would take the liberty of pushing the button hirself. Or, if she/he can vocally speak, they would speak the number (probably with a deaf accent).

In an empty elevator with the only Deaf person in it, she/he probably would stand in the rear or corner to avoid a duty of the buttons if a hearing person enters. Or, she/he would gesture "one, two, three?" Or, she/he might be able to lipread and push the button for the other.

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