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Sign Language Cut Sends Bad Message

Opinion: The college's recent decision has come under fire.

I was reading the article by Stacie Chan which was published on August 26, 2011. What caught my eye is that American Sign Language was eliminated at College of San Mateo.

There's something uncouth about this decision to eliminate American Sign Language. If the claim is that there isn't enough student interest, then College of San Mateo is ignoring the Modern Language Association survey in 2009 which shows that it's one of the fastest growing foreign languages taken by college students. In fact, it is the fourth most popular foreign languages in colleges and universities across America not too far behind German.

I understand there are budget challenges, but targeting American Sign Language in spite of the evidence is sending out the wrong message to society that Deaf people and their language are inferior.

Sincerely,

Daniel J. Girard, President
California Association of the Deaf

Timothy Riker August 30, 2011 at 02:06 PM
I am surprised they decided to eliminate the American Sign Language program. I thought the priority was to keep classes that students can transfer to CSU and UC colleges and that meets the general education requirement. I understand American Sign Language lets students do that. In fact, Academic Senate meeting minutes show that the student representative voted no because it's transferable to UC colleges. So what's the rationale here? Will someone from the Academic Senate please answer this?
pat bell August 31, 2011 at 03:43 AM
WHAT??? This is shocking! Voting "no" because it is transferrable makes no sense at all. That must be a typo in the minutes. I am seriously offended that we offer "foreign" languages but not AMERICAN sign language. It's a shame that children aren't fluent in ASL before they get to college. Research shows that infants who are exposed to sign language learn to communicate at a younger age and suffer less frustration trying to make their needs clear. Eliminating ASL is discriminatory and should be challenged under the ADA. Shame on you, CSM!
Julie September 02, 2011 at 03:14 AM
Would be a shame!!! Was one of the first ASL classes I took (at CSM!), my mom, and aunt took it there too! Has been a 'staple' there for 20+ years! :(
Twinrn29 September 18, 2011 at 03:39 PM
I feel there will be a growing need for sign language as it can be used with nonverbal autistic children as well.
mary May 15, 2012 at 11:52 PM
SHAMEFUL!

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