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URGENT ANNOUNCEMENT FROM CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF THE DEAF–CAD NEEDS YOUR HELP TO KILL AB 455
WHY DO WE NEED TO STOP CALIFORNIA’s AB 455 BILL??? This AMENDED bill is being brought back to the floor !!!
To help you understand what this bill is all about, here’s the history of AB 455-
The original AB 455 bill was designed to include ASL and Braille options on our new Common Core Standards (CCS) to provide access and inclusion for all Deaf students using ASL and Blind students using Braille. HOWEVER, the new and current amendment has it showing that the non-signing deaf and hard of hearing children should have other kinds of accessibility instead of American Sign Language. It does not make any sense because the current Common Course Standards already have included the need to provide access to English.
The original bill was put on hold because the Oral Only Option (OOO) Schools disagreed with this bill, stating that the bill can hurt non-signing deaf and hard of hearing children’s academic success so Legislator Medina’s Chief of Staff told Deaf stakeholders last year that there would be a stakeholder meeting to get input from both sides. As of today, there was none and the bill was amended and brought back to the floor with input coming from ONLY the OOO Schools folks without deaf stakeholders’ knowledge.
How does the amendment, inserted by the Option Schools, on Page 6, Line 2 make AB 455 a BAD BILL?
Here is the most troubling issue with AB 455, if not alarming revision on Page 6, Line 2 which should be removed altogether:
“The standards are intended for pupils who are Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing, do not use American Sign Language as their primary language, and instead access a general education curriculum by use of amplification, residual hearing, listen and spoken language, cued speech, or sign supported speech”.
The Common Core Standards curriculum is already in English, so the amplification, residual hearing, listen and spoken language, Cued speech, and signed support speech are all tools used for English. It does not need to ride on AB 455 which is specifically tomake the curriculum accessible in American Sign Language for the Deaf and in Braille for the Blind.
With the way AB 455 is amended, all Deaf and hard of hearing children other than those who attend CSD and CSDR actually lose access to and/or prevented from accessing ASL via the IEP process. That’s just unfathomable.
The parents, educators, alumni, allies, and community members need to make an effort to kill the bill extended throughout California, and throughout the nation because the bill would probably serve as a national model. That’s even more alarming, meaning that the bill as amended will become legislative model for depriving DHH kids of ASL through the IEP process.
This bill was created by the Deaf community. OOOS went straight to the legislator’s staff person to have their odd wording added to the bill. The bill is sponsored by the State Superintendent of Special Education, Tom Torlakson, who is running for office again this year.
It is ALWAYS an IEP team decision if a child who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing can benefit from ASL, so the bill should NOT state who the ASL standards are NOT for.
Amendments were NOT vetted with the ASL Deaf Community. Therefore CAD’s position is OPPOSE AB 455.
What can you do to help? YOU ALL CANNOT “WAIT”!!
CONTACT STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION
Contact California’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Tolakson, who is running for office again this year and bombard his social media avenues about why you want to kill this bill. He supports OOOS amendment. Tell him why we disagree and will not support his election if this bill passes- BOMBARD your objections to him with Facebook and Twitter. Use this HASHTAG is #OPPOSEAB455
EMAIL AND FAX TO SENATORS
Immediately send your emails and fax organizations’ letters as well as individual letters within next 24 hours or at least IMMEDIATELY BY MONDAY AND TUESDAY, June 23rd and 24th-Put in the subject line “VOTE NO FOR AB 455”
PHONE TREE TO CALL TOM TORLAKSON AND STATE SENATORS
Also immediately during next 24 hours set up phone tree and ask your people to call starting to the Senators OPPOSING AB455 especially those 7 Senators sitting on the Education Committee
TOM TORLAKSON’s CONTACTS
Mail letters: 1127 11th street, stuie 521, Sacramento, CA 95814
afternoon, the goal is to get the phone tree of the Senators’ phone numbers out and ask your colleagues/friends to call their Senators to request they vote no on AB455
We only have two days to get the letters out and to call the Senators. We cannot sit back and let others do the work. The more e-mails and calls those Senators get, the greater change we’ll have to kill the Bill! It’ll only take 10 minutes of your time. THANK YOU!!!
There are 7 Senators serving on this Committee. The Committee will be meeting this http://sedn.senate.ca.gov/ where there are direct links to those Senators’ websites., to vote on the bill to be moved to the Senate floor. We need to ask those 7 Senators to stop this bill: Carol Liu (Chari), Mark Wyland (Vice-Chair), Marty Block, Lou Correa, Lori Hancock, Bob Huff and Bill Monning. Please visit this website
You can use the following template when contacting the Senators:
Dear Senator _______________,
I am writing to request you to vote NO on AB 455 as amended. This bill started off as an amendment to the common core curriculum to include Braille for Blind students for accessibility purposes. The California Department of Education amended the bill to also include American Sign Language for Deaf and hard of hearing students.
The reasons for opposing this CURRENT/AMENDED bill:
-the bill was taken off the calendar last year due to opposition from Oral Option Only Schools group who did not understand the purpose of the bill, and the Author of the Bill promised to host a stakeholder meeting to work out details. To date, no such stakeholder meeting took place to include the ASL Deaf Community.
-the amended language changes the inclusion of Deaf and hard of hearing students who use American Sign Language to choose or the another, especially with regard to expertise, encouraging one group over the other rather than a requirement that both are to be included and expertise at the table from all. To change to indicate “or” rather than “and” is not acceptable.
-provide a statement why development of standards in ASL should be a mandate, not an advisory (amended bill states: “to develop standards that are aligned to the common core academic content standards, for Deaf or hard of hearing pupils to learn, and achieve the mastery of and literacy in, American Sign Language as a pupil progresses through kindergarten and grades K-12, inclusive”).
-Bill also states as amended “(b) County offices of education, school districts, and special education local plan areas shall may provide to pupils described in subdivision (a) opportunities for instruction to master the Braille reading and mathematics standards adopted by the state board. The standards should be advisory and are not intended to interfere with a pupil’s individualized education program.
Your name and your address
Contact information: If you have any questions or concerns about this bill, please contact California Association of the Deaf President, Julie Rems-Smario, at President@CAD1906.org