Updated: Jan 23
Like most high schools, Rialto High School offers foreign language for students. The school teaches Spanish I-III and AP Spanish, as well as French. Although these languages are offered to students, American Sign Language (ASL) should be another option for students to choose from.
ASL is a visual language that is used within the deaf communities in America. Although you can’t speak it, you can communicate by using hand gestures and facial expressions.
Learning another language is very beneficial for when you travel or get a job and have to communicate with others who don’t speak English. ASL is just as important as any other language out there.
According to Gate Communications, there is an estimated 1 in 1000 babies born deaf. Although the number of babies being deaf are low, approximately there are 4,000 new cases of sudden deafness each year in the United States. There are nearly 10,000,000 persons that have difficulty hearing and close to 1,000,000 are functionally deaf. This has a large impact on those in the labor force.
Data from MyDisabilityJobs shows that 53% of deaf people were employed in 2017. Deaf people are more likely to look for jobs than those who are able to hear. Many places fail to provide an ASL interpreter which is an issue because a deaf person may not be able to be interviewed or even communicate with employees or customers. Knowing American Sign Language is important so we can communicate with those who are nonverbal or hearing.
Although you might not expect to communicate with someone who is deaf everyday, it is crucial we all learn so it can make things easier for those in our communities who are affected and we need to communicate with it.
Adding an ASL class at Rialto High School will not only give students more options to learn a language, but it can also help prepare students for the real-world and make it easy so we can communicate effectively with people who can’t communicate verbally
photograph of the alphabet in sign language