The Importance of ASL in Public Schools

Dear friends, family, and blogging community:

 I’m requesting your help because you know, educate, or care deeply about my daughter and her needs. That, or you love deaf culture, and/or ASL and know of it’s importance, and that it makes children better readers. Most of you know that my daughter is hearing impaired and has a progressive hearing loss. What you may not know is that public schools across the nation (U.S.A.) do not offer to teach her American Sign Language (ASL), which she needs now and later in life. I need a huge favor from all of you. I want North Carolina to offer ASL in all their public schools (and eventually I hope it will be offered across the nation). Many deaf/hard of hearing families like ours must currently decide between sending our child to a public school that does not support or offer ASL or we must send our kids far away to special deaf schools so that they can learn ASL. We do not wish to send our daughter far away from us, after all, you only get one chance to raise your child.

Below is a video that explains why deaf and hard of hearing children need ASL plus oral English in order to succeed in school, life, and in order to become a successful individual in the society we live in. Please watch it, educate others about it, share the video on Twitter, Facebook, and with our District 8 representatives by calling or e-mailing them and telling them about our need and how you know us.  Ask them to create a bill/law that secures this need: language equality for deaf and hard of hearing children in NC public schools (ASL+oral English). Flood their inboxes! Help it to trend on Twitter. Ask your friends to do the same by sharing our story with them and passing along this information/e-mail.

We need people we can count on, people like you! The biggest thing you can do for us, if you live in NC, is to e-mail our District 8 congressmen and senators to create a bill that would require public schools in NC to teach ASL and oral English to deaf and hard of hearing children. If you live outside NC please contact your own representatives. If you have any media contacts, please make them aware of our need too. Every bit counts! The more we educate others about this great need, the more language, and job equality we create for all deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Help us to create something beautiful for those who so desperately need it, my daughter included.

Here is the link I would like you all to watch:

Below is the contact information for our District (8):

Union County:

D. Craig Horn (704) 844-9960

Mecklenburg County:

Kelly Alexander (919) 733-5778

Congressman Richard Hudson:


Twitter: @RepRichHudson


429 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-3715
Hours: M-F 8:30-5:30pm

325 McGill Avenue, NW
Suite 500
Concord, NC 28027
Phone: (704) 786-1612

Fax: (704) 782-1004
Hours: M-F 8:30-5:30pm

1015 Fayetteville Rd
Rockingham, NC 28379
Phone: (910) 997-2070
Hours: M-F 8:30-5:30pm

Senator Richard Burr:



Twitter: @SenatorBurr


City Hall
181 South Street
Room 222
Gastonia, NC 28052
P: (704) 833-0854
F: (704) 833-1467

OR call the Washington office:

217 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
P: (202) 224-3154
F: (202) 228-2981

Senator Thom Tillis:


Twitter:   @ThomTillis


We appreciate any amount of time you spend contacting these senators and representatives on our behalf. It might make things easier if we all used a special hashtag (#) on Twitter and Facebook to help this trend. If you can please use the hashtag: #ASLandOralEnglishforAllDeaf OR #ASLandOralEnglishforPublicSchools when tweeting, sharing, educating about this need. If someone has a better hashtag, please by all means share your idea with us. :)


Angela Dahle

P.S. – Here are a few quick facts:

“There are 70 million deaf people in the world who use sign language as their primary means of communication, 98 percent do not have access to education in sign language, 70 percent are under or unemployed in the United States” (not because they are not qualified. Many deaf have degrees that qualify them for these jobs).

Over 24,000 children are born every year in the U.S. with some level of hearing loss. Of the children born deaf, nine out of 10 have hearing parents, who know nothing about the deaf experience or the need for ASL.

There is no evidence to indicate that using sign language interferes with speech development.  In fact, research shows that a higher degree of language, including sign language, is correlated with better speech production.  Research also shows that hearing children benefit from learning sign language as well, and that their spoken language develops appropriately.

Many studies have proven that the time for language acquisition is when children are young. Children who learn ASL (or any 2nd language for that matter) become better readers and perform better on tests. Here are some other facts related to that:

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Susanna Leonard Hill Contest

I was told I can enter a photo for Susanna Leonard Hill’s Illustrator Contest with the illustration prompt “discovery.” I love that she has added this fun contest for illustrators, very exciting stuff! Well, since I had a crazy amount of fun painting this piece I wanted to post it here for those of you who are not on other social media and may not see it. If you click on the image it enlarges it. :)

Here it is: Little Red Riding Scarf



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Recent Work In Progress

 The first watercolor is “Little Red Riding Scarf”. I’m finding I like working on coldpress paper. 

The second is from a prompt “discover” for Susanna Leonard Hill’s challenge but I will also be using it as my SCBWI “adventure” prompt. Unless I decide to use “Little Red Riding Scarf” for that instead. The next time I paint it I’ll be taking out the two smaller balloons because I feel they clutter the area surrounding the bird a bit much. I’m still working on giving the scene some depth with shadow under the highway. 

I’m really enjoying working on both of these. I’ll post again when they are finished (aiming for June 2oth or prior to that).  Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments as to which I should use in each prompt. :) Adios for now. 
2015-06-04 14.10.54

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Work In Progress

20150309_141928 20150313_094954

2015-01-14 15.50.08

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Kidlit411 A Happy Birthday

Kidlit411 is celebrating and in a BIG way! Hop on over to help them celebrate!  Prizes are involved, and who doesn’t like party favors? Click above to find out more!

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The Skateboard Princess and the Pebble

I didn’t think I’d be doing another one of Susanna Leonard Hill’s Contests, but this one seemed even more fun than the last one, AND I needed to get the juices flowing, AND it just isn’t fair that the DH gets all the March Madness fun via basketball (because I haven’t been paying attention), AND I have never written a fractured fairy tale before. Ha! No more! Enjoy. Here it is:


By Angela Dahle

In a skatepark, far away, lived Katarina and her skateboard. She was the happiest princess alive. It was hard not to be happy when surrounded by 10,000 square feet of amazing skatepark: quarter pipes, half pipes, bowls, and street obstacles, set upon a plethora of ever-smooth concrete.

But all was not perfect in her skatepark kingdom. It all came down to a pebble, a tiny pebble wedged in the ground. The King and Queen tried to find a way to remove it, but alas, it was impossible. Neither knave nor royal knight had been able to remove it. Tony Hawk even attempted it, but he was no match for the tiny thing. The pebble was an absolute eyesore (not to mention a lawsuit waiting to happen) on the smooth asphalt.

“This pebble…it’s just not happening. It! Must! Go!” said Katarina.

She tried to grind it down by riding over it. No luck. Her makeshift sandpaper wheels were no match for that pebble. It had quite an edge.

“To the mattresses!” said Katarina.

They piled mattress upon mattress atop the pebble. No luck. The princess could still feel that blasted pebble as she soared over the top.

“I can totally sense its presence,” said Katarina. “I can see the lump from high in the air!”

Maybe, just maybe, thought Katarina, my diamond earrings will cut right through the pebble.

No luck. It was bad, a very bad day. “So much for diamonds. I should have known. They’re just another rock.”

Suddenly a vision popped in her head. “Wo! If we can’t take the pebble out of the park, let’s put more pebble in!” said Katarina. Then she dialed her best friend who knew a thing or two about pebble.

He pedaled down from his mountain bike park.

“What else are friends for? I had plenty to spare. Now let’s pound these right in!”

So they did. Diamonds or pebbles, dresses or shorts. Katarina knew her friends were the kind that raved about sports!



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My Tomie dePaola Entry

I didn’t win anything by entering. That’s fine. I saw this more as an assignment. Something to do for fun to get the creative juices flowing, and it was and it did. There were so many lovely entries. I was surprised by the ones I enjoyed more than others. That just goes to show how subjective the whole ordeal can be.


A sneeze is a breeze in your nose.

A sneeze is a breeze in your nose.


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