Saturday, July 30, 2011

Is technology replacing sign language for people who are deaf?

The debate about whether to teach American Sign Language to children who are deaf has reached a new height in Indiana, according to an article in the New York Times.

Due to budget woes, lawmakers have discussed the possibility of closing specialized schools for students who are deaf. The evolution of technology (smartphones, tablet computers, etc.) has created communication opportunities that may have not been present a decade ago. Some feel that the students who attend these specialized schools should be included in their local school districts.

According to the article:

“Kids in the mainstream save society, taxpayers, a significant amount of money in the short-term and in the long-term when it comes to being integrated into the hearing world,” said Naomi S. Horton, executive director of Hear Indiana, which supports families who use listening and spoken language to communicate.

“There is a financial benefit, but at the end of the day it has to be a parent’s choice,” Ms. Horton said.

This debate is just beginning. What is your opinion? Leave a comment below.


  1. Thanks Mike:) I really hope modern technology could come instead of all the old fashioned methods to help the handicapped, especially the deaf as you mentioned in this article, because it's high time we had better and cheaper ways to help them out in their day to day efforts.