American Sign Language ( Asl ) Is A Visual And Natural Language

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American Sign Language (ASL) is a visual and natural language. It is used widely by the members of the deaf community in the United States (Valli & Lucas, 2000; Andrews, Leigh, & Weiner, 2004). About 90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents (DOH) (NIDCD, 2015). 10% of deaf children are born to families with one or both deaf parents (DOD) (Mitchell & Karchmer, 2002). Deaf children of DOD will use ASL as their primary language rather than spoken English or a different language such as Spanish, Chinese, or other than English (Mitchell & Karchmer, 2002). Deaf families understand the importance of having language access early and their deaf children’s vocabulary will be as big comparable to hearing children who are learning a spoken language (Baker, 2010). Deaf children from DOD have full access to ASL whereas most deaf children from DOH have limited access to ASL. Deaf children of DOH are typically not given the same early opportunity (Baker, 2010). Research suggested that the first few years of the deaf child’s life are the most crucial to a child’s development of language skills and for establishing successful communication (NIDCD, 2014). In Texas, there are nine hundred-eighty Early Childhood Education (ECE) programs that offer either full-day or half-day pre-kindergarten programs (LBB, 2007). One of the ECE is the deaf education program for children who are deaf and hard of hearing. One setting in the deaf education program is a public school setting. A

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