According to the American Society for Deaf Children, “Research consistently demonstrates that fluency in American Sign Language and English… offers all deaf children optimal opportunities for academic and social success, and thus both should be part of their language-rich and fully accessible environment.”
Access to educational opportunities equal to those provided for hearing children is crucial to a Deaf or hard of hearing child’s development. It’s a worthy goal that many William Woods University bachelor of arts in ASL interpretation studies alumni work to achieve. Alumni work in schools for the Deaf all across the country — as interpreters, teachers, advocates and mentors.
Many William Woods students take Child Development and Behavior as an elective to understand a child’s unique needs in development — and apply this to specific needs in ASL interpreting.
William Woods alumni have worked with the Whole Family Project in Kansas City, whose goal is to increase the ability of families to communicate with their children who are Deaf or nonverbal due to other conditions such as Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, and other disabilities, while increasing their knowledge and understanding of deafness, the deaf community and available options for their children through individualized instruction in sign language.
So many great resources exist for kids to learn and practice ASL. ASL nook on YouTube, for example, (who created The Polar Express above), provides a number of great videos with children’s books told in ASL, as well as fun and timely videos year round.
See a few other Christmas favorites on the ASL Nook channel, including How the Grinch Stole Christmas.