We at Brooks Law Group believe: Every individual deserves the opportunity to be seen, heard, understood, and respected. Needless to say: That includes people with severe hearing loss or without the ability to hear and/or speak! April 15 is the National ASL Day that celebrates American Sign Language (ASL). This is the language used by many people in the deaf community.
The Relevance of National ASL Day for us here at the Brooks Law Group
ASL is often forgotten and is usually under-appreciated in language studies. However, Florida is home to over 800,000 deaf individuals, and more than 340,000 of them live right here in the Tampa Bay area. Learning ASL is SO important if we want to be inclusive of our friends and neighbors who are deaf or hearing-impaired. That’s why Brooks Law Group decided to begin the journey toward making our own practice, and our local communities, more aware of and friendly toward our dead and hard-of-hearing neighbors.
In celebration of National ASL Day, we have recently started an ASL course in our Winter Haven office, with several of our Tampa staff members checking in via a virtual platform. We started with the basics, and our ASL translator who is teaching the course provided an overview of what we’ll be covering in the weeks ahead. Our goal is to learn enough basic ASL signs (and spelling) to communicate with deaf individuals. After all, they are people we come into contact with at work, at school, in our local Tampa stores, and even in our law offices.
The Benefits of teaching children a second language like ASL
Of course, it’s not just our staff that benefits from learning ASL! There are many good reasons for teaching children an additional language! Language shapes our lives from the moment we enter the world. Children perceive much of the world around them via language. Therefore, it’s no surprise that more language means more positive experiences for them as they grow. Teaching children a second (or third!) language is a goal of many schools here in Tampa. But what are the long-term benefits of having your child learn a second language early on in life?
- It encourages empathy among children and increases social understanding with their peers. Why? Because they’re more aware of tone and others’ perspectives.
- It improves cognitive function. Bilingual or multilingual children tend to have better problem-solving skills, improved multitasking abilities, better concentration, and better planning skills
- It can provide an academic boost. Children who learn a second language are more likely to do well in their academic studies. (This is related to the cognitive improvements mentioned above.)
Teaching your child a second language doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. It could be as simple as having them spend time with speakers of another language in close-knit settings. There they can learn in an immersive environment. Some parents seek out local classes (for older children) or preschool programs (for little ones) that provide the opportunity to learn a new language. Remember too, not all languages are “spoken” and ASL is a very important pillar in the study of languages! Maybe the recent National ASL Day has inspired you as well?
Brooks Law Group – Your inclusive attorneys in Tampa Bay!
Our participation in an ASL class is one more way we’re providing a safe space for victims in our Tampa community. Our dedicated team of attorneys provides quality and trusted representation for all victims, fighting for the justice they need and the compensation they deserve as they move forward in life. Personal injuries, car accidents, medical malpractice, commercial vehicle collisions… no matter your accident, injuries, or damages, you can count on us to stand up for you and take your case personally. We offer free consultations for victims who are investigating their options! When unexpected events come your way, Look to Brooks and contact us to schedule your appointment!