By Hadley Quigg, staff writer
The ASL, American Sign Language, class at Lassiter High School was in danger of being removed last year. Lassiter’s D/HH, or Deaf and Hard of Hearing department, did not have enough money to fund the ASL class. Lily Herman, an ASL student, played a key role in getting The ASL allotment back. Lily explained, “I researched and saw that most other schools funded their ASL classes through the foreign language departments, while ours was through the D/HH…I went and petitioned to get the allotment reinstated as foreign language.” Lily rallied hundreds of people to sign the petition, and her efforts were rewarded.
The ASL class was given a foreign language allotment and students continue to learn about deaf culture and sign language. The ASL class brings lots of opportunities to people who learn the language such as jobs, different forms of communication, and access to a new culture. The ASL class grants many benefits in multiple career areas.
Knowing ASL looks great on resumes and applications for any job and opens career pathways that otherwise would have been closed. ASL helps nurses, doctors, social workers, and therapists communicate with their patients and customers. A person who learns ASL could be an interpreter for schools, politicians, the justice system, doctors, etc. Some bands even utilize ASL interpreters at their concerts.
Another benefit of ASL is it also introduces students to the deaf community. The deaf culture is a very proud culture. They celebrate their own celebrities, use slang, and organize national, state, and local meetings, and learning ASL grants people access to that culture.
The fact that Lassiter has gotten its ASL class back for the 2019-2020 school year means a wonderful opportunity exists for students to learn a new language and culture. Students will benefit from the exposure to the deaf community and learn the difference between English and ASL.