S.R. NO.













requesting the state department of education to incorporate american sign language into the public school curriculum and encouraging sign language instructors to assist students with learning challenges in the classroom.




     WHEREAS, sign language is a powerful communications tool for children with hearing or speech disorders, autism spectrum disorders, dyslexia, specific language impairments, Down syndrome, or other disability; and


     WHEREAS, in addition, studies have demonstrated that sign language can promote improved literacy and language skills even for children without hearing or speech disorders and can help older children who struggle with reading; and


     WHEREAS, federal regulations adopted in 2011 pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 eliminated the requirement that a disabled infant or toddler be deaf or hearing-impaired to receive sign language instruction and interpreter services under public early intervention programs; and


     WHEREAS, older children with disabilities would greatly benefit from similar expanded access to sign language services in academic settings; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twenty-sixth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2012, that the state Department of Education is requested to incorporate American Sign Language into the public school curriculum; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that in addition to helping students with hearing or speech disorders, sign language instructors in Hawaii's schools are encouraged to serve as interpreters for other students facing learning challenges in the classroom; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Resolution be transmitted to the Chairperson of the Board of Education, the Superintendent of Education, the President of the Hawaii State Teachers Association, and the President and Chief Executive Officer of Easter Seals Hawaii.









Report Title: 

Sign Language Services for Children with Disabilities