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OPINION: Why West should teach sign language

In the U.S. there are an estimated 308,648 kids that are deaf or hard of hearing between the ages 5 and 17. It’s hard when someone tries to communicate with another person but they cannot hear you. If they cannot hear, what do they do? Well, they use sign language.


Sign language is a system of communication used by deaf people in which they make visual gestures and signs to communicate with each other. Even though 70 million people know sign language, only 500,000 of those people are not deaf.

The ASL alphabet

Many colleges and universities teach sign language, but only about 1,000 high schools teach ASL. One of those high schools is East. They have two classes: the first as an introduction to ASL and the second is to broaden their vocabulary and skills. Then that leaves west. Even though east teaches ASL, west doesn’t. Maybe it’s time that west got more diverse and started to teach sign language.


West student, Daniela Diaz Castanon, shares, “Yes! absolutely! West High should teach sign language because it's helping others and you could be ranked higher in jobs for having that type of advantage!”


Learning sign language could be useful as you do not know when you would need to use it, especially if you’re able to help those who cannot hear.



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