The Importance of Facial Expressions
Facial expression plays a very important part in the meaning of a sign. The same exact hand-shape and movement can totally change meaning because of the facial expression that is used to accompany it.
One example of this is the word MUCH. The degree of how much can totally be determined by the facial expression alone while the sign stays the same.
One question that some users have asked then is why we don't show a great deal of facial expression in most of the videos on the site. This is a legitimate question. With the video on the site, we have focused more on the formulation of the sign (the hand-shape and movement). We understand that in your day-to-day signing, there would be more facial expression used depending on the emphasis in the context of the sentence.
Not only the hands, but also the face, the eyes, and the whole body work together to communicate in sign language. Because of this, we want to inform people who are using sign language that the wearing of sun glasses, excessive jewelry or facial hair that is long (like handlebar mustaches and long beards), can be distracting to the person you are signing with. If you ever watch an interpreter while working, they will be wearing solid dark colored clothing (as opposed to patterns) with very little jewelry and no sunglasses! This all helps in communicating clearly to the Deaf client through both signs and facial expressions.