Make ASL a UC Davis class!
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We, the students, faculty, and staff of the University of California, Davis, urge the administration to address the lack of American Sign Language (ASL) classes offered in the course offerings for the following reasons:
1. American Sign Language is widely taught in the United States. According to the most recent survey from the Modern Language Association, American Sign Language is the 3rd most taught language. This is ranked above Russian, Italian, German, Portuguese and Hebrew, which are all languages currently taught at UC Davis.
2. The adoption of ASL classes have the potential to provide more research opportunities for the students, faculty, and staff of the University of California, Davis. Some graduate students and professors have expressed interest in furthering their education and research with American Sign Language. This would provide a vital opportunity for undergraduate students to receive a premier education on this matter.
3. ASL improves receptive abilities visually, and incorporates kinesthetic expressive language skills. Bimodal bilingual competency increases plasticity as well as neuroprotective advantages that can help slow or even prevent the onset of age-related cognitive diseases, such as Alzheimer's and dementia.
4. There’s extensive employment opportunities in interpreting, social work, human service agencies, schools, etc. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for Sign Language Interpreters is expected to rise 46% from 2012 to 2022--an increase of 29,300 jobs. Additionally, adding ASL to your resume increases your job prospects since it diversifies yourself as a candidate for whichever job you’re seeking.
5. Roughly 1 out of 20 Americans are deaf or hard of hearing. By excluding this community on campus, UC Davis is currently infringing upon their Principles of Community without incorporating ASL. According to the UC Davis Principles of Community:
UC Davis reflects and is committed to serving the needs of a global society comprising all people and a multiplicity of identities...We recognize that each of us has an obligation to the UC Davis community of which we have chosen to be a part. We will strive to build and maintain a culture and climate based on mutual respect and caring.
As a whole, this petition serves to inform the University of California, Davis College of Letters and Science and the UC Davis administration that there is high demand to have an American Sign Language class offered in the Fall of 2019.
We, the undersigned, believe this petition is crucial in expanding the diversity, culture, and academic goals and principles of the UC Davis campus and the community at large.
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