Fri. Sep 30th, 2022

There is a tragedy going on at USU that few people know about.

There are two aspects of USU’s Deaf Education Department. The one that trains future teachers of the deaf to use American Sign Language with deaf children is being closed at the end of this spring semester 2022. 

This is a tragedy!
 This program is the only one of its kind in Utah!

University students in this program commit to five years and earn a master’s degree. The Utah School for the Deaf has four deaf school locations that readily hire these graduates. Other states quickly snap them up as well.

My daughter graduated from this program. Deaf herself, she knew intimately how important it was to have a qualified teacher of the deaf who knows American Sign Language. A visual language is the easiest modality whereby a deaf child can access educational content. 

Why was this decision made? This program is vital to the educational future of deaf children.
Were the necessary stakeholders involved? It seems there was no transparency on USU‘s part regarding this decision. It is unconscionable what USU has planned in dismantling its Deaf Education-American Sign Language program. 

This action, if not reversed, will certainly lower the reputation and esteem of USU among colleges and universities across the country.
 But worse than the national reputation of USU will be the damage done to the children. This is discrimination of the worst kind. Closing this program denies deaf children access to teachers who know their language. Without these teachers, these children’s learning capability is stymied. 

The Utah School for the Deaf will not have enough qualified teachers for their students who use American Sign Language as their native language. 

This is a tragedy.
 It’s the children who will suffer.


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