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ASL should be taught in Ontario schools

American Sign Language (ASL) is a language that has existed for over 200 years. It can be used to communicate with people who are deaf, hard of hearing and people who are mute, but these are not the only individuals in existence who benefit from the use of sign language. I think kids in elementary and high schools should have the option to learn sign language as a second language. Neither my elementary nor high school offered an ASL course. The Durham District School board should consider integrating ASL courses into the elementary and secondary school curriculum. Learning ASL can broaden students’ horizons, and when they are older it can open up other doors for them when they are heading into the workforce for the first time. If you include that you have fluent or even basic ASL on your resume, I think, many employers would be glad to know one of their future employees can communicate with people who use ASL as their primary language. Not only would offering ASL classes within elementary and high schools in Durham broaden student’s job prospects in the future, it would also help kids who are deaf, hard of hearing or have difficulty communicating with others. For example, I attended school with a few students who did not speak. One student had autism, and he did not know ASL. I think it would have benefited both this student and his teachers, if they had been able to communicate using ASL. According to the Canadian Hearing Society, there are about 3.15 million Canadians who are hard of hearing and 340 thousand who are deaf. I think, if children and teenagers were to take an interest in learning sign language, it would, somewhat, destroy multiple stigmas surrounding deaf culture.

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