TRU student launches petition drive in hopes of landing American Sign Language course

By Greg Fry
January 24, 2018 - 3:03pm Updated: January 24, 2018 - 3:57pm

KAMLOOPS — A Thompson Rivers University student has launched a petition drive in hopes of prompting the school to offer a for-credit American Sign Language course.

Robert Wisla started the petition at the start of the winter session and is more than two-thirds of the way toward reaching his goal of 1,500 signatures.

"A lot of people have jumped on board already with the campaign. I've got lots of students volunteering. A lot of people want this, too. A lot are surprised we don't have it yet because the University of Victoria and UBC already have it so we'd be playing catch up."

He says such a course would allow TRU students "the opportunity to gain an understanding of the unique deaf culture and language" and to enhance their ability to communicate with members of the deaf community.

Wisla says he also had a much more personal reason for launching the petition.

"What inspired this whole campaign was basically I wanted to be able to talk with my deaf uncle. I know a little bit of sign language already, but just basically the A-B-Cs."

Once he gains the required signatures, Wisla plans to present the petition to TRU's modern language department and administration in hopes TRU could launch an ASL course next fall or winter.

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