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Partially deaf teen believes ORU students should get foreign language credit for taking ASL class

Posted at 10:19 PM, Jan 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-22 14:51:04-05

TULSA, Okla. — A soon-to-be college student worries about the future of American Sign Language at Oral Roberts University.

ORU’s ASL class is not considered as a foreign language credit for students who take it. That is where Tara Luster's concerns start.

Luster is an 18-year-old with progressive hearing loss. Her condition is mild, for now, but she worries fewer students will consider taking the class because of the university’s policy.

“It is so in-depth. They have their own vocab, grammar, syntax, it's completely separate from English, entirely. It's hurtful to me. I'm losing my hearing and it's progressive. I don't know if I will ever be considered deaf, but I’m still part of that community."

Luster plans to attend ORU in the fall.

The university’s provost sent 2 Works for You a statement on ASL policy.

“The American Sign Language (ASL) courses have been offered for many years at ORU and will continue to be taught. At this time, ORU is seeking faculty members to teach in this area since our current adjunct professor is finishing out this year.
ORU has always offered ASL for credit. The question of it receiving credit as a foreign language is an evolving discussion at many universities, including ORU.
We are excited to welcome Tara to ORU and are happy to clarify any misunderstandings she may have had.”
Dr. Kathaleen Reid-Martinez Provost Oral Roberts University

ORU staff and Luster will meet Thursday to further discuss her concerns.

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