HB1435: American Sign Language; recognition for completed coursework.

Offered January 12, 2011
Prefiled November 4, 2010
A BILL to amend the Code of Virginia by adding sections numbered 22.1-207.5 and 23-9.2:3.9, relating to credit awarded for courses completed in American Sign Language.
Patrons-- Bell, Richard P., Landes and Plum

Referred to Committee on Education

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That the Code of Virginia is amended by adding sections numbered 22.1-207.5 and 23-9.2:3.9 as follows:

§ 22.1-207.5. Instruction in American Sign Language.

"American Sign Language" means the natural language recognized globally that is used by members of the deaf community and that is linguistically complete with unique rules for language structure and use that include phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and discourse.

Local school boards may offer one or more elective courses in American Sign Language. If offered, local school boards shall (i) grant academic credit for completion of an American Sign Language course on the same basis as the successful completion of a foreign language course; and (ii) count completion of an American Sign Language course toward the fulfillment of any foreign language requirement for graduation.

§ 23-9.2:3.9. Academic credit for American Sign Language.

Academic credit received for either successful completion of American Sign Language courses in a secondary school or higher education institution shall be counted toward satisfaction of the foreign language entrance requirements of a public institution of higher education in the Commonwealth.