When people draw on the available modal resources (e.g. gestures) in specific contexts over time, those resources come to display regularities. The more a community uses and regulates those resources, the more fully and finely articulated their regularities and patterns become. Modes, organised by regular means of representation, are constantly transformed by users, depending on what the community needs. This paper discusses the way semiotic resources and practices, i.e. social actions with a history, used by sign language signers in visually oriented communities, as well as the research in such domains, have been marginalised. The paper reflects some of the main reasons for such marginalisation and argues how marginalisation is a result of some crucial misunderstandings in relation to (signed) languages, language learning, deafness, and disability. Research into human interaction, in general, has taken a multimodal turn. This paper suggests, through practical examples, how multimodally oriented research could enrich its view by recognising communication-practices inside visually oriented domains, as well as research in the area, instead of considering D/deaf and sign language related research as a specialised area of research.