President Obama, Recognize ASL!

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Recently a petition was set up on the We the People website, asking the Obama administration to recognize American Sign Language as a community language and language of instruction in schools. Adrean Clark explains the petition in this short video.


 President Obama, Recognize ASL! Hi, I'm Adrean Clark. I wanted to let you know something -- President Obama has worked for several years in making the Federal Government more open and accessible to citizens. As part of that work, his Administration has set up a website called "We the People." Its purpose is according to the First Amendment in the US Constitution, a line in which allows people to create petitions to request the government to take a desired action. The "We the People" website makes it easier for the petitions to be created and provided directly to the Oval Office. When I saw that, it gave me an idea to take action for American Sign Language. For many years our community has struggled to convince legislators at the state level to formally recognize ASL, to allow students to obtain credit for ASL classes. We have made progress in that area, but ASL is under the label of a "foreign language."  American Sign Language is NOT a foreign language. It is through-and-through an American language. [Picture of the ASL petition on the We the People website.] The petition I created asks for federal recognition of American Sign Language. This can be done through policy, through the White House working with Congress, and through an Executive Order directly from President Obama himself. We need to reach at least 25,000 signatures in order for our request to reach President Obama's desk. At that point, he (or another staff member in his administration) will read the petition and provide an official response. I encourage you to take three actions: 1) Go to the ASL petition at, register and then sign your name. 2) Tell your friends, email your family about this petition. It doesn't matter whether they are Deaf or hearing. Get the word out and point everyone to the ASL petition page. 3) If you want to do something more, then keep President Obama and his administration accountable by emailing, calling, or writing a letter in support of American Sign Language. Thank you -- and let's work together towards 25,000 signatures for the ASL petition! Take Action For ASL!