Hey, I am Coach G! I want to make some points about deaf and hard of hearing youths. I want to recognize the importance of providing both speaking and sign language options instead of limiting to one and rejecting the other. This topic is for you—parents, educators, medical specialists, and the government. I want all of us to bring deaf and hard of hearing youths nothing but for them to thrive! Right? C’mon!
Sign Language Inclusion
Point 1: If you want your deaf and hard of hearing child to thrive, provide them with both options of speaking and sign language first! Research has proved that when including sign language, their literacy will improve, and they will not fall behind learning to speak. If sign language is put on hold and the focus is only on speaking, they will miss some language and communication, which will lead to delay. This will impact their cognitive language abilities and make it more challenging in life. Can the trial of speaking only while putting sign language on hold be beneficial in the long run? Nooo!
What should you do? Provide sign language as an option first! The result is that everything else, including communication, will fall into place better. For deaf and hard of hearing youths, we want nothing but for them to thrive! Right? C’mon!
Sign Language Option in Education
Point 2: About legal issues for deaf education in general. Some states passed bills to require providing a sign language option in education. Other states struggle to pass such bills. The movement that promotes providing a sign language option in education is still fighting and striving. This means that the education for some of these deaf and hard of hearing youths is stuck. Sign language is being put on hold while putting focus only on speaking. Is this path beneficial? Nooo!
What should you do? Help this movement pass bills nation-wide to legally require a sign language option in deaf education. We want nothing but for the youth to thrive! Right? C’mon!
Online Teaching in Sign Language
Point 3: Some states don’t have a deaf school. Some deaf and hard of hearing students have to go to a mainstream school and be taught through interpreters only. At times, interpreter translations is not easily understood. Today, there are internet course resources. Why not provide an option for online courses that teach students directly through sign language at a local school? Some people think that the idea of offering online courses is complicated, so they dismiss that. Can this dismissal be beneficial? Nooo!
What should you do? Roll your sleeves up! There are public online courses already being offered. Where are the ones for deaf and hard of hearing youths? We can collaborate with the government to set up online courses to provide education directly through sign language as an option. Bring it on! We want nothing but for the youth to thrive! Right? C’mon!
In short, the paths of deaf and hard of hearing youths are being built by whom? It is us— the parents, educators, medical specialists, and the government. It’s important to provide both speaking and sign language options first! Sign language is powerful! We want nothing but for the youth to thrive! Right? C’mon!