How to Talk about Office Supplies with American Sign Language

Looking around your cubicle or office, you have many things to sign. American Sign Language (ASL) provides you with a way to communicate what office supplies you have, need, or want to a Deaf colleague or friend. Try the signs in this table.

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You may find the sign for clock to be a bit tricky, but it’s really pretty simple. Touch your wrist where your watch is worn and then make both hands into manual C handshapes toward the wall.

The following sentences can give you a hand with some office items (and because office equipment doesn’t always work, signs exist for that, too):

  • English: The fax machine is busy.

    Sign: F-A-X MACHINE — BUSY

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  • English: The copy machine is broken.

    Sign: COPY MACHINE — BROKE

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  • English: My computer is frozen.

    Sign: MY COMPUTER — FROZE

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  • English: Where is the stapler?

    Sign: STAPLER WHERE Q

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  • English: Do we have enough paper?

    Sign: PAPER ENOUGH HAVE Q

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