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The DC Code: § 38-2431 Findings.

Index38 Educational Institutions. (Refs & Annos)
American Sign Language ("ASL") is one of the top 4 widely used languages in the United States and Canada.
The District of Columbia has over 20,000 deaf and hard of hearing residents, many of whom use ASL as their primary language.
ASL has met the accepted linguistic criteria to qualify as a legitimate language in that it has a system of arbitrary symbols, grammatical signals, syntax, has a community of users, and it has undergone historical changes.
Two-thirds of state legislatures in the United States recognize and accept ASL as a bona fide language.

Historical and Statutory

Legislative History of Laws Law 14-50, the "American Sign Language Recognition Act of 2001", was introduced in Council and assigned Bill No. 14-38, which was referred to the Committee on Education, Libraries and Recreation. The Bill was adopted on first and second readings on June 26, 2001, and July 10, 2001, respectively. Signed by the Mayor on July 26, 2001, it was assigned Act No. 14-129 and transmitted to both Houses of Congress for its review. D.C. Law 14-50 became effective on October 26, 2001. DC CODE § 38-2431 Current through December 11, 2012


(Oct. 26, 2001, D.C. Law 14-50, § 2, 48 DCR 7952.)