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what if we taught Braile and ASL as regular parts of primary education?

@imani Braile would be easier... ASL would be on par with teaching everyone Spanish (which is also not a bad idea).

my ASL-interpreter friend says their ideal world is one where 50% of people learn Spanish and 50% learn ASL and that way in any given group you probably have people who can interpret either

@shel I'm also wondering if like that might be helpful/have a positive effect for learning and retention. Like different modes of taking in information/different senses.

But also what if 100% of people learn spanish and 100% learn ASL? Wouldn't have be even better then 50 and 50?

@shel like as we are learning the alphabet give the kids something to do with their hands, that's gotta help them focus on the lesson.

@imani I mean! A trilingual society would be very cool!! I feel like we'd have to cut a subject from the curriculum for that... But I don't actually know what those other subjects are so maybe you can pick one you don't think is helpful and we'll get rid of that one

Also there's mixed evidence on if things like Eurhythmy (hand signs or dance with letters) helps with learning some good some bad

@imani although when I was in kindergarten I did learn ASL alphabet with the regular alphabet and I did learn to read pretty fast so anecdotally I guess it works though I don't remember the ASL alphabet hehe

@imani @shel I don't speak ASL (although this is making me want to learn) but I love the way it can be a whole body experience, involving facial expression, mouth position, how big you make yourself appear by how you position your arms. I can imagine a history class being more valuable in ASL than spoken English

@shel @imani my middle school seriously encouraged this. everyone had to take some intro 'foreign' language class, i picked french and later spanish for no reason. in HS i did german. looking back i really wish i had gone with ASL at least once, not that the others have been useless but ASL for sure would be more useful

@imani I'm curious why you included braille. A really small number of visually inspired people use braille, like 5%. I don't see it being as useful as teaching a sign language.

@error_1202 The thought occured to me taking my medicine this morning and running my fingers over the braile on my medicine carrier.

@imani I am all for better communication between sighted and visually impaired people. I just don't think braille is the way to do it.

@giltay @imani I don't think the lack of braille literacy is very much due to people who want it not having access to it. People are getting more out of technology (audio, screenreaders, etc.) these days.

I do think the other suggestions are good! I was offered a "living with sight loss" class and said it'd be better if I could teach a "living while sighted" class for how people should treat me instead. :) Because they tend to be bad at it!

@imani one is a language and the other is a writing system, but if ASL were taught in schools the world would be way more accessible to me and I would have access to ASL myself

I was robbed of the opportunity to learn my language by the audiology industry

@imani I did learn both (briefly) as a kid. I went to some kind of learning center as a child on a field trip, and it was a bunch of different games and activities all focused around learning Braille but it looked like a playground. And we carried the lessons back into the classroom but obviously nothing stuck because I don't know Braille.

And my mom taught me a little sign language just because she was a social worker and thought it was useful, so not in school but community-education I guess.

@imani And honestly I wish it was carried though. I find a lot of occasions where I wish I knew *more* ASL and I remember having fun learning Braille as brief as it was.

@imani ASL is massively useful, and I've studied a little through Memrise and as a result I am constantly spotting problems in fiction that'd be no issue at all if the characters had a way to talk besides mouth words.

It's a really gorgeously intuitive and orderly language and more people could be learning it for sure than, like, French.

@imani I don’t know about ASL, but with NSL the grammar differs so much from spoken language that we have a hybrid, “sign to speech”. It uses signs, but combined with speaking, and has different grammar.
Some kindergarten teachers use it, and it’s common among people with disabilities that makes their spoken language difficult to understand or pronounce. Many parents use it with their toddlers as well. Maybe that would be a good idea to teach in early education?

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