By: Cassie Ericson

North Eugene high school is the only High school in Eugene to offer American Sign Language (ASL) to students. Kelley Coplin, the ASL teacher at North, was first introduced to ASL in 1988 when she was a student at the University of Oregon and took ASL as an elective. She ended up really loving ASL and going on to learn even more it and the Deaf Culture.

Coplin has been teaching ASL for four years and interpreting for sixteen. “People think that ASL is English on your hands,” said Coplin. ASL is in fact not English on your hands because it has its own grammar and syntax. ASL is more closely related to spoken Japanese than English.

Colleges around America like Stanford, Yale, Vassar and Georgetown are now starting to accept ASL as a second language credit. That’s just a few, but all together in America there are 182 colleges which now accept it.

The most important thing Coplin teaches to her students is that “ASL is connected to a culture, not a disability.”