This blog post represents the opinion of the author and not necessarily the views supported by The Deaf Dream.
ASL Increasing in the Young Generation
When headed into High School, most freshmen think that Spanish, French, and maybe German, is their only choices for foreign language. In the past that might have been true, however, now ASL is the booming language choice of most incoming freshmen. Speaking from personal experience, my first foreign language choice was Spanish, sophomore year I decided to switch to ASL and I fell in love with it! ASL was a new experience because to fully understand the language, you need to be exposed to the culture. I found out that Deaf Culture is just as intriguing as Spanish!
Not only has High School seen the exponential increase, colleges are seeing a rise in ASL majors. From 2006 to 2009 there was a 16 percent increase in ASL enrollment. With the increase of enrollment, more exposure has came to the language. Who doesn’t know the ABC family show Switched at Birth, which shows a look into Deaf Culture? Now that ASL is increasing in the new generation of the world, it will bring to the surface more interest in the language, and Deaf Culture!
The increase of exposure to ASL to the hearing community has introduced the world to more ASL issues. The world was appalled when they found out that the interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s state funeral was a fraud. Who knows how ASL will impact the future! Gallaudet is producing more undergraduates year after year and the future looks extremely bright for the Deaf world. As the saying goes, Deaf people can do anything, except for hear.