Petition for William and Mary to Offer Courses in American Sign Language
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This is a petition to request that the College of William and Mary offer courses in American Sign Language as part of its undergraduate studies curriculum whereas:
- American Sign Language is an efficient method of communication.
- American Sign Language is just as legitimate as any language, spoken or written.
- Various high schools offer courses in American Sign Language as a second language for foreign language credit.
- Many community colleges and four-year universities offer courses in American Sign Language, including University of Virginia, Liberty University, George Mason University, Radford University, James Madison University, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Barton College, and Gardner-Webb University.
Why learn American Sign Language?
- To develop skills in a language that is different from standard American English
- To realize, learn, and understand that speaking and writing are not the only methods of effective communication. Learning American Sign Language can reinforce that point.
- Communicate and interact with Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing individuals. 28 million Americans experience hearing loss of some kind, and 2 million of these individuals are Deaf.
- To gain an understanding of American Sign Language, which is widely used throughout the country, and other sign languages used worldwide.
- To gain understanding of Deafness and hearing loss in order to appreciate Deaf culture.