PETITION GOAL: (Scroll Down to Sign!!) We are asking the Ontario Ministry of Education for course codes that correspond with the curriculum for Classical and International Languages in order to grant a third language credit to students currently taking American Sign Language in Ontario Secondary Schools. BACKGROUND: American Sign Language is a rich and complex language with its own grammar and syntax. It is internationally recognized in highly respected universities around the world including the University of Victoria, York University and Harvard University. ISSUE: American Sign Language is currently offered for credit at a number of secondary schools across the province of Ontario. However, none of these secondary schools are able to recognize this credit as a third language credit for diploma purposes. Therefore, it is not currently recognized as a potential compulsory \"Group 1\" credit. It is also considered an \"open\" course. This prevents students from using the credit for entrance to colleges and universities and often discourages them from acquiring proficiency in the language during their high school years. SOLUTION: What we need is a set of course codes from the Ontario Ministry of Education that correspond with the curriculum for Classical and International Languages that would be effective retroactively to the fall of 2006. The ministry has shown interest in meeting this request, but it would be beneficial to demonstrate the support for the rightful recognition of American Sign Language as a language of study. BENEFITS: These course codes will not only acknowledge the hard academic work of students enrolled in American Sign Language classes, they will also provide a number of key benefits. Providing a language credit will increase the number of students enrolled in American Sign Language and encourage existing programs to grow. It will also allow new programs to start up around the province and naturally increase the number of people with signing fluency. More people with signing fluency means more potential for integration and communication in our schools and our society. It will increase job opportunities for those who are fluent in American Sign Language and provide opportunities for those who are learning to sign as well. It will also help to fill the interpreter shortage in our province and make our society a more inclusive and successful place for all people. In short, it will establish an equitable place for a minority language and create positive change. Please sign our friendly petition now and show your support!
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