Add American Sign Language Major/Minor At UMD

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The University of Maryland is located 25 minutes away from Gallaudet University, the first Deaf university in the United States. A substantial number of residents near our university and the surrounding Washington, D.C. metro area are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. We are located in one of the 'big three' Deaf communities (Los Angeles, CA; Rochester, NY; and Washington, D.C.) with no access to higher ASL education. 

The University of Maryland does not significantly offer American Sign Language. There is no Major or Minor track, and no classes above a beginner level in the language. 

This needs to be changed. Sign is an essential way of communication. A minimum of 500,000 and maximum of 1,000,000 Deaf and Hard of Hearing persons in the United States sign ASL. It needs to be recognized and taught to fluency in higher education. 

It is not right for the University of Maryland, a deaf-central state university, to not provide these courses. A degree in American Sign Language opens up several job opportunities and is helpful as a social and workplace skill. Students are robbed of a fundamental human language if American Sign Language fluency is not taught. 

Please sign this petition and make a difference.


Zoe Singleton, Devon Rafanelli, Christen Holmes, Georgia Chahalis 

ASL NOW Co-Chairs

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