Baruch should invest in sign language curriculum

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Angelica Tejada

Learning sign language enables people to connect to and understand other individuals with whom they would previously not be able to communicate. 

However, sign language courses are missing from Baruch College’s list of many languages that are offered for students to study and learn. 

American Sign Language, abbreviated as ASL, is a language that utilizes different movements of the hands and face for communication, as opposed to a person’s voice.

“It is the primary language of many North Americans who are deaf or hard of hearing and is used by many hearing people as well,” according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, or the NIDCD. The portion of people in the world that communicate through sign language grows every day and so do the means of learning sign language. 

More awareness has been placed onto sign language and the different kinds of benefits from learning it. Disability accommodations are offered within the curriculum at Baruch College to ensure each student is given the same opportunity to succeed. 

Sign language interpreters are one of the many accommodations that are offered to students with disabilities. 

The specific accommodations or adjustments given to each student is determined on a case-by-case basis. Maintaining an inclusive environment is important especially in a college where diversity is seen from one classroom to another. 

Outside of the college environment, diversity grows exponentially. The ability to understand one another becomes more rewarding for each student and this ends up becoming a skill that students will have the rest of their lives.

Sign language courses are not a surprise to City University of New York schools, and it is time that Baruch is added to the list. CUNY schools like the Borough of Manhattan Community College, New York City College of Technology and LaGuardia Community College have implemented ASL courses for students.

Students are able to learn sign language while they are in college and can utilize what they learn once they finish each course. Learning sign language is valuable within different career paths as it can open more doors and opportunities. 

It is encouraged for “people to become fluent and skilled users, teachers and interpreters of ASL..ASL is beneficial to all people, of all ages,” stated the National Association of the Deaf. It is never too late to begin learning a language. 

By exploring the chance to learn sign language, students become more openminded. A person’s new interest in something may spark as they engage with their classmates and the course materials. 

Sign language courses at Baruch College would give each student the chance to add more opportunities to their future. 

The more options each student has to endeavor a new interest, the wider their perspective on the world becomes.