Why ASL is an Important Language for Students to Learn


Jey Morriss

Sign Language Interpreter Ms. Kent uses the sign for “interpret.”

American Sign Language (ASL) is an important language that more students living in America should learn. Increasing the number of students who can communicate with deaf/hearing impaired people and interacting with deaf culture will not only make hearing impaired students’ lives easier, but it will also uplift deaf voices in areas where they are not always heard. 

In hearing dominated situations, deaf people are at a great disadvantage. Without interpreters or other people who know ASL, ASL utilizing deaf people will have difficulties getting information and opportunities that hearing people take for granted including medical information, speeches, meetings, and even the chance to have friendships/relationships with hearing people. Having to work harder for these relationships and opportunities is an extreme disadvantage for deaf people in hearing dominated environments, and can be improved by increasing the number of hearing people who know ASL.

If more hearing people can learn how to communicate using sign language, we can make the world more fair and create less disadvantages for deaf people. It is also important for deaf/hard of hearing people to continue their own culture and not be expected to always be the adaptive partner in making a relationship work. Hearing people should try to keep an open mind when learning about deaf culture. 

There is a growing ASL club at Cherokee full of students eager to learn ASL. Hannah Sturtz, the founder of the club, believes that “ASL is important in everyday life. It allows us to be able to communicate with a wide range of hard of hearing individuals. Using ASL, many new relationships and friendships can aspire, one’s that you may have never thought were possible.”

Students should make an attempt to learn ASL and work to understand deaf culture. This will make us able to communicate with each other and build meaningful relationships. Students at Cherokee have the opportunity to join the ASL club, and use online resources such as YouTube to start learning the basics of ASL. Any questions about the ASL club can be answered by Hannah Sturtz, Mackenzie Browne, Ms. Kent, Mrs. Black, or Mrs. Weiss.