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The deaf express their support for American Sign Language instruction in universities

February 20, 2001
By: Aaron Cummins
State Capital Bureau
Links: SB 284

Several deaf Missourians testified in support of a plan to make sign language classes count as foreign language credit at state universities. Aaron Cummins has the story from Jefferson City--

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Under the proposal, students could satisy their foreign language requirement by studying American Sign Language.

Missouri Commission for the Deaf's Roy Miller says the issue is a matter of equality.

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Contents: Miller says even though Missouri recognizes ASL, it is seldom taught in schools.

Miller was one of three hearing-impaired people to express support for the plan-- the other two did so using sign language, with an interpreter translating for lawmakers.


Deaf Missourians expressed support to a Senate committee for a plan to make sign language count as a foreign language at state universities. Aaron Cummins has more from Jefferson City--

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That support came in a way new to the Senate Education committee-- in sign language with an interpreter translating for lawmakers.

The plan would let students satisfy foreign language requirements by studying American Sign Language.

Missouri Commission for Deaf's Roy Miller spoke for himself in favor of the proposal.

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Contents: Miller says American Sign Language should be treated like any other foreign language.

Miller told committee members it takes anywhere from 6 to 10 years to become a sign language expert.

That was a response to concerns raised by one lawmaker that some students would see sign lanuage as an easy way out of difficult foreign language classes.

In Jefferson City, Aaron Cummins, KMOX-News.