SASL Journal Vol. 1, No. 1 - Page 19

ASL : Access , Benefits , and Quality
Rosen
being employed in deaf schools along with hearing teachers who sign , which helps provide strong language modeling for ASL acquisition .
When looking back at the history of deaf education , oralism can be viewed as a poorly conceived idea . In the past , many educators tried to make deaf children become speakers , while modern educators have a somewhat different view . However , the same underlying notion persists with the push towards promoting integration in the education system . Once again , educators are placing deaf children in a school environment with speakers . The assimilationist attitudes prevalent in special education are not sensitive to deaf students ’ differential needs . The American deaf community has protested over the integration practices as described , but they were shunned and put aside ( Van Cleve , 1993 ). While special education is known for trying to address the needs of children with disabilities , it has to be done in a real and meaningful way . Signing and sign language are a serious business , greatly affecting the education of deaf students , especially in relation to linguistic accessibility ( S . Supalla & J . H . Cripps , 2008 ).
When denied access to ASL , deaf children have experienced chronic underachievement in cognitive and literacy skills . This includes deprivation of linguistic and cognitive resources when these children do not have an opportunity for immersion in sign language ( Schick et al ., 2007 ; cf . Humphries et al ., 2012 ). Deaf children with hearing parents are at risk . Being enrolled in a speaking school clearly will not help with this situation . The impact of language delay is particularly acute in the area of theory-of-mind abilities ( Schick et al ., 2007 ).
Schools for the deaf have a long way to go in terms of provisions for strong programming for deaf children . Unfortunately , a connection between ASL and English has not yet been pursued in a systematic way in any school for the deaf . Those with cochlear implants will need to be part of the same programming as they continue to be deaf and must participate in an education approach that works for them . Such reasoning is based on the understanding that deaf children with implants experience reading difficulties , and their reading performance worsens as they get older ( Marschark , Sarchet , Rhoten , & Zupen , 2010 ).
A most fundamental need for deaf children is to have a legal mandate that will mandate their access to a well-established sign language such as ASL . The Education of the Deaf Act ( EDA ) enacted at the federal level does not include this mandate ( S . Supalla , 1994 ). A significant amount of work will need to be done to improve this legislation as a part of The Higher Education Opportunity Act in 2008 . Amending EDA is not a new idea as it has already undergone changes through the years as did IDEA . IDEA is designed for students with disabilities , whereas EDA is specifically for deaf children . The changes to EDA will align it to IDEA so that the two pieces of legislation will complement each other . Some new key provisions to EDA would require schools for the deaf to have highly qualified teachers from Pre-K through 12th grade . These schools will need to have a strong program for making sure that hearing parents who have deaf children are supported in their learning and use of ASL at home .
A more effective integration model could be pursued through EDA , which would encourage hearing siblings of deaf children and others who know ASL to enroll in a school for the deaf . This “ reverse integration ” is already taking place in a number of charter schools nationwide ( Leigh , Andrews , & Harris , 2017 ). This innovative integration approach , among other practices , could help boost the status of schools for the deaf in the eyes of society . The reform as described here calls for re-inventing deaf education and turning it into a form of sign language education ( J . H . Cripps & S . Supalla , 2012 ; Padden & Rayman , 2002 ). The new model would be more in tune with what is understood about linguistic accessibility and how to best teach deaf children .
SASLJ , Vol . 1 , No . 1 – Fall / Winter 2017 19
ASL: Access, Benefits, and Quality Rosen being employed in deaf schools along with hearing teachers who sign, which helps provide strong language modeling for ASL acquisition. When looking back at the history of deaf education, oralism can be viewed as a poorly conceived idea. In the past, many educators tried to make deaf children become speakers, while modern educators have a somewhat different view. However, the same underlying notion persists with the push towards promoting integration in the education system. Once again, educators are placing deaf children in a school environment with speakers. The assimilationist attitudes prevalent in special education are not sensitive to deaf students’ differential needs. The American deaf community has protested over the integration practices as described, but they were shunned and put aside (Van Cleve, 1993). While special education is known for trying to address the needs of children with disabilities, it has to be done in a real and meaningful way. Signing and sign language are a serious business, greatly affecting the education of deaf students, especially in relation to linguistic accessibility (S. Supalla & J. H. Cripps, 2008). When denied access to ASL, deaf children have experienced chronic underachievement in cognitive and literacy skills. This includes deprivation of linguistic and cognitive resources when these children do not have an opportunity fo [[Y\[ۈ[Yۈ[XYH X][  ً[\Y\][  LKXY[[]X\[\[\H]\ˈZ[[Y[HXZ[œX\H[[]\]X][ۋH[\Xو[XYH[^H\\X[\HX]B[H\XHو[ܞK[ً[Z[X[]Y\ X][  K܈HXY]HHۙ^H[\\وݚ\[ۜ܈ۙܘ[[Z[™܈XY[[[ܝ[][KHۛX[ۈ]Y[T[[\\Y]Y[\YY[H\[X]X^H[[H܈HXYH]X\[\[[YYH\وH[YHܘ[[Z[\^H۝[YHHXY[]\\X\]H[[YX][ۈ\X]ܚ܈[KXX\ۚ[\\YۈH[\[[]XY[[][\[™^\Y[HXY[YX[Y\[Z\XY[\ܛX[Hܜ[\^H]\X\\\] [ \[ L KH[[[Y[[YY܈XY[[\]HHY[X[]H][X[]BZ\X\H[ Y\X\YYۈ[XYHX\T HYX][ۈوHXYX QJB[XY]HY\[][\[YH\X[]H ˈ\[K NNM KHYۚYX[[[[وܚ[YYHۙH[\ݙH\Y\][ۈ\H\وHY\YX][ۂܝ[]HX[  [Y[[QH\H]YXH\]\[XYH[\ۙH[\YHYX\\YQPKQPH\\YۙY܈Y[]\X[]Y\\X\QH\œXYX[H܈XY[[H[\QH[[Yۈ]QPH]HYX\قY\][ۈ[\[Y[XX\YH]^Hݚ\[ۜQH[\]Z\H™܈HXY]HYH]X[YYYXX\HKRY LܘYK\H[YY]HHۙܘ[H܈XZ[\H]X\[\[]HXY[[\B\ܝY[Z\X\[[\HوT]YKH[ܙHYX]H[Yܘ][ۈ[[[H\YYYQKX[[\YHX\[X[وXY[[[\ۛT[[H܈BXY\8']\H[Yܘ][۸'H\[XYHZ[XH[H\و\\][۝YBZY [] \\ MK\[ݘ]]H[Yܘ][ۈ\X [[ۙ\XX\[[H]\و܈HXY[H^Y\وY]KHYܛH\\ܚXY\H[܈KZ[[[XYYX][ۈ[\[][HܛHوYۈ[XYHYX][ۈ  ܚ\ ˈ\[K LY[ ^[X[ KH][[[H[ܙH[[B]]\[\X][Z\XX\X[]H[\XXXY[[T Kˈ H8$[ [\ MŒN