Petition » Bilingualism-Biculturalism: Birthright of Every Deaf Infant and Child

Birthright Petition
Publié le : 27-02-2009
Deaf Bilingual Coaltion



Advocating for Bilingualism-Biculturalism
A Birthright of Every Deaf Infant and Child

We collectively call for an end to intolerance and exlusion of American Sign Language in a Deaf infant and child's life and education.

  1. Whereas research has shown that children acquire a natural language, one that is fully accessible, and that exposure to the language needs to happen at an early age.
  2. Whereas a fully accessible language means one that is easily perceived and expressed so that the child can acquire it without training. Deaf children are visual children. The primary channel for acquiring language fully and completely is through visual channels.
  3. Whereas American Sign Language, ASL is a natural, visual language, which is acquired through natural interactions with others who use the language, and Deaf children acquire it in the same way that children around the globe acquire their native languages. All other methods and approaches that exclude the use of a natural visual language are artificial and inhumane.
  4. Whereas exposure to this natural, accessible language is a human and linguistic right and must happen at an early age in order for the child’s cognitive skills to develop.
  5. Whereas the fluency of ASL has been shown to be the key to ASL and English (functional, critical, and cultural) Literacy for Deaf children and their overall academic development.
  6. Whereas keeping a Deaf child away from sign language and Deaf people communicates a denial that the child is Deaf. This type of isolation from language, identity and culture has adverse affects on social and emotional development and self esteem.
  7. Whereas many Deaf adults today intimately know the experiences of growing up without accessible language, without the ability to communicate smoothly with their families, and without being able to participate in social situations through oral/aural only methods.
  8. Whereas there has been a second wave of Oralism (an oral-aural ONLY mandate) spreading across the U.S., which as been in practice since the Milan Congress of 1880 with an abysmally low rate of success. For Deaf children research and years of experience with oral/auditory only programming has shown that these exclusionary approaches violate a child’s basic human and linguistic right and have been proven to be ineffective for the majority of Deaf children (Babbidge Congressional Report ’65, Commission on Education of the Deaf Congressional Report ’88).
  9. Whereas bilingual-bicultural programs have never EXCLUDED English and there is ample research reporting their success. (Drs. Jim Cummins, Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, Laura Petitto, Harlan Lane, Stephen Nover, et al.)

We resolve to advocate for the basic inalienable human right to a natural and fully accessible language – to understand and be understood naturally – to be a part of the Deaf infant’s and child’s birthright. Be it further resolved, the EXCLUSION of a bilingual-bicultural approach to the Deaf child is no longer a tolerable “option” for civilized society.

Please sign your name to this PETITION to show your support for the Deaf child’s right to ASL and English.

If, after submitting your signature, you see a blank page, this means your submission was successsful (no errors!).  Please be patient, and submit ONLY ONCE - your signature will appear in the list after it is approved (up to 48 hours).

If you know people who do not have computers, or if you want to get signatures at rallies or other similar events, you can print this petition signature sheet (make as many copies as you need for this purpose).  When sheets are filled in, mail them to the address at the bottom of the page. Thank you for standing up for the rights of Deaf babies and children!

There are 857 signatures in this category.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 »
AARON Perez (Appleton, WI, 54914); ADAM Lovelace (San Francisco, CA 94117); ADAM Janisieski; ADELE Kurtz (Raleigh, NC 27613); ADELE ANN Eberwein; ADONIA K. Smith (Woodbine, MD 21797); AIDAN Mack (Croton, NY, 10520); ALAN Beer (Largo, FL 33773); ALAN Wilding (Oregon); ALAYNE Berstler; ALBERT Clark; ALBERT K. Marchman, Jr. (St. Petersburg, FL 33703); ALBERTO Sifuetnes (Boston, MA); ALEX Calogar (78747); ALEX Z Zeibot (St. Paul, MN 55105); ALEXANDRA Fairchild (St. Paul, MN 55414); ALEXANDRIA Pucciarelli (Staten Island, NY 10305); ALEXIS Pokipala (96743); ALFRED Quillia; ALICE Hagemeyer (Silver Spring, MD 20904); ALICE Bianco (Darien, CT 06820); ALINE Shaw (Louisville KY 40291); ALISSA Kaun; ALLEN Markel (University Park, MD 20782); ALLISON Gibbons; ALYCE S. Reynolds (Fremont, California 94539); ALYSSE Rasmussen; AMANDA Aillon (Washington DC 20002); AMANDA Gerfen (Roseville, Ca 95747); AMANDA Simmons (Livonia, MI 48150); AMBER Davis; AMY Hatfield; AMY Siebert (Oakdale MN 55128); AMY Phillips; AMY Cloutier (Billerica, MA 01821); ANA Jensen (Marysville, WA 98270); ANDREA Hallier; ANDREW Taylor; ANGELA Rotstein (New York, NY 10044); ANGELA Albright (Jacksonville, AL 36265); ANGELA Castillo (Manteca, CA 95336); ANGELICA Lopez (Santa Ana, CA 92707); ANGELINA Nystrom; ANGIE Allen (fort lauderdale, fl 33309); ANIKA Polyak; ANITA Christy; ANNE Niska (Mt. Iron, MN 55768); ANNETTE Bene (Smithfield, VA, 23430); ANNICA Detthow; ANNIE James (Chesapeake, VA 23322); ANNIE Haynes (Beaverton, OR 9&008); ANTONINA Wilson (St. Ann, MO 63074); APRIL McArthur; ARDEN Wong (San Francisco, CA 94102); ARLENE Kuschmider; ARTEMISIA Shine; ARTHUR Jones, Jr.; ASHLEY Stockwell (95822); AURORA Solomon; AUSTIN Beatty (Minneapolis MN 55413); AUSTIN Valdes; AVIS Gunnell (Pensacola, FL 32526); BAMBI Riehl (Shorewood, WI 53211); BARB Armistead; BARBARA DiGiovanni (Rochester, NY 14609); BARBARA BAUMGARDNER (CHEYENNE, WY. 82001-1115); BARBARA Kannapell (Washington, DC 20017); BARBARA Bullock-Smith (Virginia Beach, VA 23454); BARBARA Starr (Northridge, CA 91330); BARRY Tracy (fort worth,tx.76107); BARRY Siebert (Saint Paul, MN 55119); BARRY White (20784); BARRY Rothman; Becky Ebert (Cleburne, TX 76033); BELINDA Newman (Spring,Texas 77381); BEN Bahan; BENJAMIN Wagenknecht (Ridgeland, MS 39157); BERNARD Bragg (Los Angeles, CA 90068); BERNICE Crowe (Lapeer, MI 48446); BETH Davenport (Mine Hill, NJ 07803); BETH Siebert (Oakdale, MN); BETH Weaver (Suffolk VA); BETH Metlay (Montgomery, Alabama); BETH Whyle (Norfolk, VA 23513); BETH Williams (St. Louis, MO 63074); BETH Carr (Pensacola, FL 32534); BETH Prittie (Flint, MI); BETTE Wilder (Glen Burnie, Maryland 21060); BETTE Hicks; BETTY Trujillo; BETTY Oshman; BEVERLY Stokem (Lakeland, FL 33803-4814); BEVERLY Beal; BILL Ash; BILLIE DON Jordan (Alexander, AR 72002); BILLIE JO Zak (Green Bay, WI 54303); BIRAJ Jashnani (Newark CA 94560); BJ Mylne; BONNEY DeLaO; BONNY Vanatta;

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