ASL (American Sign Language) is used in the U.S. and Canada by members of the American Deaf community. It is used in residential schools where it is acquired by both hearing children of the deaf and some deaf children of hearing parents. It is also used in institutions of higher education for instruction of deaf people.
ASL is an autonomous, fully formed language with its own system of linguistic elements that are visual symbols rather than sounds of a spoken language. ASL did not derive from any spoken language. However, it is most closely related to French Sign Language (LSF) with which it shares many cognates.