Communicating is an essential part of our everyday lives and is used in a variety of ways throughout different places. From the day we are born we learn to communicate in a specific language and advance and carry on with it forever. There is nothing better than hearing your baby's first words.
There are so many different languages in the world which is why it is so important that we learn other languages aside from our first language. We need to have the knowledge of others so we can make new relationships and be able to expand on different cultures and people.
Our school has a few languages to offer including Spanish, French, and Italian. But, one language that we do not have but can be very beneficial to students is sign language. American Sign Language (ASL) can provide a useful education to students and even open up a lot more job opportunities and career paths. Some including an interpreter of sign language, a faculty member in a deaf school, and many more.
ASL is a complex language and to have a head start rather than going to college with no prior knowledge can be a big help. Even if students don’t intend to have a career using ASL or follow through with it, ASL is a fun and different language than most to learn. “If we had sign language as a course I would take it. The school has narrowed down the languages to only 3 and I think a lot of people would be interested in this” says junior, Toniann Rizzuto.
A lot of people are not aware of this language because when people think of a language they think of verbally communicating. Sign language is unique because it is all about body language and speaking with your hands. “I can say the alphabet in sign language but that's all. If I had an opportunity I would love to learn all of the language.” says Sophomore Caroline Kearney.
Imagine waking up and not being able to hear your alarm every morning or sitting in a classroom not knowing what anybody is saying and feeling alone. Unfortunately, Over 5% of the world's population is deaf; that's 360 million people that have hearing loss and deal with these hard situations every single day.
For some, the only way to communicate is sign language. Unfortunately, there has been many cases where parents don’t learn sign language or people around them don’t understand why they can’t use a verbal language, or even jobs will be cruel to accepting a deaf person because of their disability. It is important that more people learn sign language and it becomes more of a known language to help these people. There is a big barrier between the deaf and “the hearing world.” People being unaware of this puts up the barrier and to take it down, the hearing should step up.
With the knowledge of ASL you can teach more people the language. One more person who knows the language is one more life that can be potentially saved. “I hope that the school will add on sign language as a course at some point. It would be great to get more people aware of it.” Says senior Nicole Tenti.
It would make the deaf community very happy to see an expansion on their language and to see people all around them being able to converse with them. It might seem small to us but for them it is a really big thing. Don’t let them stand alone. Don’t let there be a barrier between deaf and hearing. Be the one to make a difference.