Hear Me Out: ASL Education is necessary for everyone | The Slate

During my year of community college, I was lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to take an American Sign Language (ASL) course. I had taken ASL classes in high school before, though my class was taught by a hearing teacher, so it was not as immersive. However, during my year of ASL taught by a deaf professor, I consider it to be the class that has educated me most. I was able to learn about the history of an entire culture and gain perspective for their way of life. While my ASL course was certainly the most enriching one I have taken, I continue to wonder how different would the world be if they knew what I had learned?

The most important piece of knowledge that has stuck with me is this — deaf people do not need your sympathy. The deaf community is an immersive community in which members can befriend those with shared experiences. They have their own humor, traditions and stories. While they are without their sense of hearing, they celebrate what makes them different. They could, however, use a breath of fresh air for the way the hearing world treats them as outsiders. This is mostly due to the lack of deaf education in schools.

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