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Metro Deaf School’s American Sign Language (ASL) department consists of three ASL Specialists/Teachers who partner with classroom teachers and staff to provide ASL support services for student’s ASL needs as it relates to each student’s IEP. Since several students arrive at Metro Deaf School (MDS) at different stages of language development related to ASL, from nearly no language to fully formed language skills, the IEP team at MDS determines what ASL skills are needed for those students.

An example would be for a deaf or a hard of hearing student at elementary level who arrives from another country at MDS with no ASL history and based on a decision from the IEP team, a language facilitator can be provided to support the student’s language development. Or a student in middle or high school is transferred to MDS from an educational program with minimal ASL exposure. Again, based on the IEP team’s decision, ASL support services are established and provided to the student on a weekly basis to ease the student’s transition to an ASL rich environment at MDS. Or a Deaf student who has been exposed to ASL since birth but struggles with language can still receive ASL support services.

In addition, all students from K-8 grades take an ASL class year round that covers linguistics of ASL and ASL Literature. While Deaf Studies is also woven into the curriculum for K-5 grades, it is also taught as a course to middle and high school students.

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