Province investigating whether sign language programs could be saved
Julia Parrish, CTV Edmonton
Published Wednesday, April 24, 2013 5:07PM MDT
Days after CTV News reported two post-secondary programs for sign language were set to be suspended; provincial officials said they’re looking into whether they could be saved.
On Monday, some members of Alberta’s deaf community responded to news that Lakeland College was suspending enrollment in two courses – American Sign Language and deaf culture studies, and sign language interpretation – with concern, saying they are important programs.
Lakeland College offers the courses by remote out of the University of Alberta campus.
They are just two of a total nine courses set for suspension in the coming academic year, as the school attempts to deal with a $4 million deficit in 2013-2014.
Wednesday morning, Alberta’s Associate Minister of Services for Persons with Disabilities said the province was looking at the issue, to see if anything could be done.
“I’m concerned about it,” Associate Minister Frank Oberle said. “It’s a really big issue in the disability community, so we’re looking at what we can do there.
“They do have a problem with low enrollment, it is very hard to get people that are interested in doing that, so we’re definitely concerned and we’re definitely working on the issue.”
Earlier this week, Lakeland College said students currently in the affected programs would be able to complete them, but new students would no longer be accepted.
Oberle stressed the courses are not being completely cut, as that would require approval from the provincial government.