36 years ago, when I first started learning sign language, it was not well known as it is today. Actually, they were trying to phase it out for the other methods of teaching deaf people to learn. I was told not to bother. But, I had to learn it! It was just part of me, I suppose, even before I learned it. Besides, my mom named me after the deaf character in the story Johnny Belinda. :)
Well, when I learned, then I started working with deaf children. I found that only a few of the parents knew sign lanuage and could communicate with their children. They would call me when they had a problem for me to interpret for them with their child. Though I was glad to help, it broke my heart that they were not encouraged to learn sign language so they could have that bond.
I am glad it is more promoted today so deaf children can learn sooner and they with their parents can learn together.