Target: Secretary of Education John King Jr.
Goal: Teach sign language as a second language in schools.
American sign language is essential to communication with deaf individuals, however, many schools still do not offer it as a second language class. Spanish, French, German, and Mandarin are common languages taught in American K-12 schools, but sign language still struggles to be included. Enrollment and interest in sign language classes has increased, yet many schools are reluctant to offer it. School administrators think that it “lacks cultural elements” that other languages have. Sign language is just as important as other languages and it should be an option for those who are interested in taking it.
Being fluent in sign language is a skill that will open many job opportunities for people. Interpreter careers are particularly lucrative, though sign language also helps in other fields like cognitive psychology, education, nursing, and even scuba diving. Also, when more people know sign language, it will be much easier for deaf people to communicate without the help of an aide. It will help make them feel more independent and less handicapped if they can order their own food and attend a regular high school and go to business meetings on their own.
Teaching sign language across the country will open up many benefits for both the deaf and the hearing. Demand that schools be required to offer sign language.
Dear Secretary King,
There is a severe lack in K-12 schools that offer classes in sign language as a second language. The availability of some second language classes depend on what is mainly spoken in an area, but deaf people can be found throughout the country. It should be required that all schools offer sign language classes.
Sign language is an extremely useful language. There is an increasing demand for sign language interpreters, and other fields such as cognitive psychology, education, nursing, and scuba diving also use the language. It will also make it much easier for deaf people to communicate if more people know sign language. They can feel more independent, because they will not need an aide to help them with simple tasks.
There is no reason to not include sign language courses in schools across America. Please make K-12 schools offer sign language as a second language.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Elza Fiuza