Back to pending legislation in Council period 14
|Councilmember Vincent B. Orange, Sr.
A BILL IN THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
Councilmember Vincent B. Orange, Sr., introduced the following bill, which was referred to the Committee on Education, Libraries and Recreation.
To recognize American Sign Language as the modern language of choice for many deaf, hard-of-hearing and hearing residents; and to recognize American Sign Language as a foreign language course eligible for credit and satisfaction of any foreign language requirement.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this act may be cited as the "American Sign Language Recognition Act of 2001.".
Sec. 2. Findings.
(a) American Sign Language ("ASL") is one of the top four widely used languages in the United States and Canada.
(b) The District of Columbia has over 20,000 deaf and hard of hearing citizens-many of whom use ASL as their primary language.
(c) ASL has met the accepted linguistic criteria to qualify it as a legitimate language in that it has a system of arbitrary symbols, grammatical signals, and syntax, it has a community of users, and it has undergone historical changes.
(d) Two-thirds of the state legislatures in the United States have recognized and accepted ASL as bona fide language.
Sec. 3. Definitions
For the purpose of the act, the term:
(1) "American Sign Language" or "ASL" means a visual language that is separate and distinct from English and other languages, and uses the hands, arms, facial markers, and body movements to convey grammatical information.
(2) "ASLTA" means American Sign Language Teachers Association, a national professional organization located at 814 Thayer Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910. The ASTLA provides evaluation and certification for ASL teachers.
(3) "Deaf people" refers to people who use American Sign Language as their primary language to communicate in their respective cultural groups.
(4) "Deaf" means the inability to hear or understand oral communication, with or without the assistance of amplification devices.
(5) "Hard of hearing" means permanent hearing loss which is sever enough to necessitate the use of amplification devices to hear oral communication.
(6) "Provisional certification" means a teacher has met minimum requirements as specified in the standards section of the ASLTA Certification Procedures and Standards. The teacher must demonstrate proficiency in ASL and basic knowledge about ASL teaching, including developing course outlines and lesson plans.
(7) "Qualified certification" means a teacher has met all the requirements as specified in the standards section of the ASLTA Certification Procedures and Standards. The teacher has demonstrated proficiency knowledge of second-language teaching methodology, language activities, evaluation, and knowledge of ASL linguistics.
(8) "Professional certification" means a teacher has met all requirements as specified in the standards section of the ASLTA Certification Procedures and Standards. The teacher has demonstrated the highest level of knowledge and skills in teaching ASL. These include knowledge of curriculum development, evaluation, linguistics, and theoretical and contemporary issues in the field of ASL.
Sec. 5.[Sic] American Sign Language instruction.
(a) American Sign Language may be offered in elementary and secondary public schools, community colleges, and four-year state universities and colleges, as a modern foreign language for which credit may be given.
(b) Minimal requirement of ASL teachers in K-12 school and 4-year universities/colleges is at least a college degree in teaching ASL or a degree in a field related to Deaf people with an ASLTA professional level certification.
(c) Minimal requirement of ASL teachers in the community colleges or other educational programs is at least an ASLTA Qualified level certification.
(d) Minimal requirement of ASL teachers in state service providers or agencies is at least an ASLTA Provisional level certification.
(e) The requirements of ASLTA certification will be effective on January 1, 2002.
(f) ASL Curriculum for K-12, Ll users and L2 learners, will be approved by the ASLTA effective January 1, 2003.
Sec. 6. Fiscal Impact.
The Council adopts the fiscal impact statement in the Committee Report as the fiscal impact statement required by section 602(c)(3) of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 813; D.C. Code, sec. 1-233(c)(3)).
Sec. 7. Effective Date.
This act shall take effect upon its enactment (approval by the Mayor, or in the event of veto by the Mayor, override of the veto by the Council), and approval by the Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority as provided in section 203(a) of the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Act of 1995, approved April 17, 1995 (109 Stat. 116; D.C. Code, sec. 47-392.3(a)), a 30-day period of Congressional review as provided in section 602(c)(2) of the District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Responsibility Act, approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 813; D.C. Code, sec. 1-233(c)(2)), and publication in the District of Columbia Register.
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