International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The Power of Spoken Language in Schools and Deaf Students Who Sign
Jody H. Cripps, Samuel J. Supalla

Subject to critical policy analysis is how spoken language, which dominates the American landscape, affects the education of deaf students. Regardless of efforts in special education and increased awareness about American Sign Language (ASL), deaf students continue to experience reading difficulties. Integration in regular public schools complicates the situation, as deaf students need an alternative pedagogy for reading development through ASL. Discussion also focuses on lack of attention to the signed language, reflecting spoken language biases. These include the declining socialization opportunities as well as ASL acquisition as deaf students are placed with non-disabled, non-signing peers in schools. As part of boosting the value of ASL, the concept of linguistic accessibility is examined through historical accounts of widespread signed language use on Martha’s Vineyard. This is followed with a review of progressive signed language policy in New Zealand, the creation of signed language schools, and signed language proliferation through education.

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