More students in New Jersey may be able to learn sign language to fulfill a foreign language requirement.
A bill advancing through the New Jersey legislature would recognize American sign language as an acceptable form of world language for students to study to meet state standards for graduation.
Julie Warshaw is an attorney who represents children with special needs and learning disabilities. She says learning sign language can be beneficial for any student.
“With the growing need for translators in our expanding world economy, the movement towards inclusion within our classes, and the multi-sensory nature of American Sign Language, it has become an intriguing alternative to the typically offered languages in our schools,” she said.
Some New Jersey schools already offer sign language as an option.
Supporters of the legislation say it would codify that practice into law and encourage more schools to provide sign language courses.