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Brittany Rosendaul

17 October 2017

American Sign Language Used in Michigan Elementary & High Schools

I learned many different outcomes and procedures that involve the deaf community or

people who suffer from hearing loss that go to different types of schools. These types of schools

involve people who welcome them with open arms and/or schools that cant assist them with

their disability while the students learn. More elementary schools and high schools should get

involved with teaching sign language throughout Michigan to help those kids in the future so

they can become more confident in themselves and with others around them. I learned that if the

people in elementary and high school schools, such as the teachers and the students, all knew

sign language, the amount of problems people in the deaf community have towards people you

dont know the language and vise-versa will decrease.

As of recently, in some elementary schools and high schools, do not offer any

opportunities for students who dont know sign language to learn it. There are only about twenty-

one schools today that the state of Michigan who offers sign language as classes for the students.

Most of them are colleges and universities but the others are places meant for the deaf

community (ASL Training). This procedure does offer a website that you can use to help you

learn the language on your own. If you dont go to any of these universities, you can also visit

this website and learn yourself but the only down fall of this solution is that no one is there to

help you in person (ASL Training). Children with normal and healthy hearing are limited to the
opportunities to learn this important language as a young age. Children that already know ASL

are the ones who suffer from being deaf. About 90% of children with the United States suffer

from hearing loss that have parents who dont have this disability (Quick Statistics About

Hearing). For people who are 18 years of age or older show that they are starting to receive some

loss of hearing within 15% of the U.S. population. Children who are deaf go to school that have

other hard-hearing students within the school. Most of those types of schools can make the

children feel isolated to their families (Miller, Education Options for Children That Are Deaf or

Hard of Hearing). These schools can be miles and miles away from the childs home. That can

also mean that these types of schools that are made for children with the hearing loss disability

become a home for the kids to stay, causing them to feel isolated from the normal life other kids

have (Miller, Education Options for Children That Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing).

There were many issues I discovered with this type of schooling for children in the deaf

community. The schools that have the ASL courses can be quite limited for those who wish to

learn it. If you attend the school or not, like colleges and universities, those classes are

specialized for the deaf community, or for students who uses the language that needs assistance.

The ASL dictionary website is where you can attempt to teach yourself but wont be as good

rather than trying to learn in a class with others around you in person. You wouldnt get the full

aspect of this complex language. There are about 360 million people worldwide who suffer from

loss of hearing in any format as of 2015 (Rivito, Why We Need to Teach ASL In Schools). Since

most of these people only suffer mild to severe hearing loss, they can rely on hearing aids and

dont need ASL to communicate with others (Deafness and Hearing Loss). The use of sign

language is the only way that a single person who is deaf could communicate with others. Sign
language is the sixth most used language in the United States (Rivito, Why We Need to Teach

ASL In Schools). People who dont use the language, the ones who are able to hear, can run into

someone who is deaf and is unable to help them. That is what had happened to me. I felt so bad

that I couldnt do anything to help them with whatever they needed. People who have normal

hearing can also be more unaware of whats going on around them. Majority of schools, mostly

high schools, all over the U.S, not just in Michigan, encourages students to learn Spanish, French

or any other language. Sign language is just as important but no one seems to favor this option

from what I learned. People with this disability have to be in different classes or even completely

different schools because no one knows how to communicate with them. These types of schools

can make the children feel sad since they are isolated from their families and can be in the school

for long periods at a time which can involve in a lot of expenses for the family to have the child

in these types of schooling (Miller, Education Options for Children That Are Deaf or Hard of


There are many solutions to this schooling procedure that will help all different kinds of

students with the Michigan elementary schools and high school curriculum. For those solutions

to work, theres going to be some changes we need to obtain. With the few universities and

colleges who have ASL can be more essential with this course for the students. It should be a

requirement to take a course about the language in the young schools because it will benefit them

in the future. In Michigan, at least one class that teaches ASL in each city could make a big

difference in the way the community can interact with one another. The deaf community can

help the students that are trying to learn the language with one on one communicating. They can

help assist the teachers and the young students. In a public school, if a teacher doesnt know ASL
and theres a student in the class that is deaf, there can be a separate teacher to help the student

during the class. since these solutions involve needing money to succeed, there can be

fundraisers at elementary and high schools to help provide the funds to have sign language as a

course for the state or a city so all students, with or without the loss of hearing disability can

come together as one community.

There are many benefits to the proposal. People of different backgrounds can

communicate much better than before. Whether you have loss of hearing or if you can hear

perfectly fine, wouldnt be a major problem anymore since both parties can use the language.

There wouldnt be any awkward, heartbreaking situations if everyone knew at least a little of

sign language. The two different types of people can help each other out more. Especially with

the new teacher being involved can help people who are learning in a one to one manner. If you

learn sign language at a younger age, you will become more knowledgeable and open to more

opportunities. As well as if you learn ASL when you are older. You can become more aware of

your surroundings and the people youre around. The deaf community can be more comfortable

around others who know the language, and vise-versa. Schools in Michigan, and throughout the

U.S, would have such a positive mood because everyone would be together and not distinct from

each other.

"ASL Training." E-Michigan Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Web. 18 Sept. 2017.


"Deafness and Hearing Loss." World Health Organization. World Health Organization, Feb.

2017. Web. 25 Sept. 2017. <http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs300/en/>.

"Quick Statistics About Hearing." National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication

Disorders. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 15 Dec. 2016. Web. 25 Sept.

2017. <https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/statistics/quick-statistics-hearing>.

Miller, John. "Education Options for Children That Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing." Signing

Savvy. 24 Apr. 2012. Web. 25 Sept. 2017.



Rivito, Katie. "Why We Need To Teach ASL In Schools." The Odyssey Online. 7 Mar. 2016.

Web. 18 Sept. 2017. <https://www.theodysseyonline.com/teaching-sign-language-in-