Should We Teach Sign Language In Our Schools?
Here in Buffalo, we have nationally recognized school, St. Mary's School for the Deaf. Its mission statement:
St. Mary's School for the Deaf is committed to providing equitable access to exemplary educational programs that prepare Deaf Students to be self-directed, lifelong learners, who are productive members of society.
So why aren't we teaching sign language to everyone? In a recent edition of The Alestle, an educational magazine, they think all kids should learn.
Despite the significant population of ASL users within the U.S., sign language is rarely offered as a second language at schools and colleges. The state of Illinois, among most other states, recognizes ASL as a foreign language for high school credit, according to the National Association of the Deaf. Many schools, however, do not offer classes due in part to a shortage of ASL-certified teachers.
Plus, there are advantages for all,
Learning ASL would not only benefit individuals entering these fields but also those who may serve members of the deaf community such as law enforcement and emergency response workers. ASL interpreters are also in demand in settings such as courts, governmental agencies and hospitals.
Lastly learning ASL can expand awareness,
Students should consider learning ASL as an alternative to or in addition to a foreign language. Learning ASL would not only expand their means of communication but also enrich their understanding about those with disabilities
So, what do you think?