The Walking Dead teaches fans ‘key’ American Sign Language words

Lauren Ridloff as Connie, Angel Theory as Kelly - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 7 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Lauren Ridloff as Connie, Angel Theory as Kelly - The Walking Dead _ Season 9, Episode 7 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

A video posted on twitter by the official The Walking Dead account showed fans some important ASL signs that would be useful in the apocalypse.

The Walking Dead has a fairly good track record when it comes to representation and diversity. In season 9A the show introduced the first deaf character on the show played by deaf actress Lauren Ridloff. She plays Connie, one of the members of Magna’s group. She uses ASL, American Sign Language, to communicate with the group including her sister Kelly. Kelly is played by actress Angel Theory, who is partially deaf.

In a style that’s become typical on The Walking Dead the fact that Connie and the others in Magna’s group use ASL is treated as not a big deal, which is very important when it comes to the representation of diverse groups of people in the characters that are on the screen. Judith tries to sign and promised Connie that she will practice her ASL.

When Magna’s group gets to Hilltop and meets the other survivors there, including Carol who was there dropping Henry off to be trained by Earl, the blacksmith Carol introduces herself in ASL even though she says that’s the only ASL she knows. By normalizing the use of ASL among the characters on the show The Walking Dead helps take away some of the “other”ness that some shows use as a trope when adding typically underrepresented groups to their casts.

Today the official AMC The Walking Dead account on Twitter posted a great short video showing fans some very important signs in The Walking Dead world like: “TWD”, “Run”, “Kill”, and very importantly for the upcoming season, “Whisper”.  Watch the video:

One of the commenters on the post asked if AMC could do this regularly and it would definitely be a great thing if AMC would create more of these TWD ASL videos.

Using ASL To Fight The Whisperers

The tweet says “When they whisper, we use ASL” which may be a good strategy to use against the Whisperers. One of several advantages that the Whisperers have over the survivors is that they have perfected a vocal style that mimics the groaning and vocalizations of the walkers so that they can talk to each other and the survivors around them can’t really make out their words. If the survivors use ASL they will be able to communicate clearly with each other even in front of the Whisperers. Even if some of the Whisperers know ASL with their vision impeded by their creepy masks it would be hard for them to pick up on the ASL signs being used by the survivors.

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Hopefully the survivors will realize that this could be a useful skill to have and they will learn some of these useful The Walking Dead ASL related signs.