Daily Story: Schools NEED to Teach ASL

Kya Gooch, Reporter

American Sign Language, commonly known as ASL, should be taught in high school. Most high schools offer a variety of language classes such as French, Spanish, and German, but few of them offer an ASL class.

ASL is an important form of communication, as it allows people to speak to those who are hearing impaired. 

Around 20 percent of Americans have some form of hearing loss; that is almost 50 million people. Many people across the world are only able to communicate through sign language due to the cost and it inconvenient, if not impossible, for them to have a translator around all of the time.

Besides the basic communication aspect, it has been proven that children who learn sign language have an average higher IQ by eight to 13 points. This option would benefit so many. 

ASL should at least be offered as an option along with the other foreign languages. According to a study at Gallaudet University, ASL ranks as high as the third most used language in the United States. As of now, there is a language barrier. Those who want to expand their knowledge and learn ASL have to take extra time out of their day and even sometimes pay for classes to learn the language. It would be much easier to learn the language and help break the barrier by having ASL available in schools. 

ASL classes would also help hearing impaired students feel more included and accepted in their schools. Rather than feeling embarrassed by their hearing issues, more people could relate to them and they could make friends much easier if more of their peers knew ASL. This would also help the general public. When encountering a hearing impaired person in public, one might not know how to converse or relate to them. If Americans had general knowledge of ASL and knew some easy terms or simply the alphabet, it would be much easier to communicate with a hearing impaired person. 

ASL classes in United States schools would have a helpful effect on everyone, those who can hear, and those who have limited hearing.