Sign language offered to DHS students, the community

By Hannah Smith

After 13 years of teaching American Sign Language (ASL) to those who are deaf and hard of hearing and their families, Matt Kevan decided to bring the language to the schools. Students at Delta High School can now take ASL as a second language. Kevan was born deaf and had to learn ASL when he was 19. He originally got a degree in secondary education and spent many years as a special education teacher for deaf and hard of hearing students in the elementary level. He decided to bring the class to DHS because he likes having students in the secondary level classes, and he also wants to spread awareness of those in his community.

Last semester was the first semester that he taught this class at the high school, but it went so well that they expanded, and he now teaches two ASL1 classes and one ASL two class. When asked how he feels knowing there are many students who are interested in taking his class, he responded, "I am excited. What makes me most excited is when students leave my class with a greater understanding of the deaf and hard of hearing community and I am able to get rid of those negative stereotypes." He mentioned that his main goal here is to spread awareness of that community, and by teaching ASL he hopes to inspire some of his students to really study the language and excel at it. Delta High School is the only school on the Western Slope that teaches ASL, which makes it hard for those who need it to find people to communicate with.

Kevan is very happy with the classes he is teaching right now, and is planning to expand with a class offered to the community Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:30 to 7 p.m., starting Sept. 22. The class will be held at Delta High School for six weeks.

The opportunity to receive continuing education units (CEUs) for this course is available through Delta County Joint School District.

Please email Matt Kevan at to register. The cost is $120.