Union Democrat staff

Drought threatens local wildlife

To the Editor:

I realize that during a drought conservation orders are necessary. Residents are being told to not water their lawns, use a hose to wash a car, etc. and are asked to cut the use of water 50 percent or more. County residents will survive this drought some way, but a major question must be considered.

Now that water ditches, creeks, ponds, springs and more other water sources are drying up what: What is the wildlife of this county supposed to do to stay alive? I don't believe they can go to the local market to obtain water. What they can do is die a miserable death or just suffer as they try to live and stay alive. Folks that live in this county should talk to influential people to do what they can do to help our animals and all creatures find a way to survive this drought. These must be things that people can do that are legal, sensible and acceptable that can help our wildlife live through this nightmare that we are dealing with. Lets all do what we can to please help our beautiful wildlife survive.

Please get involved.

John Richardson


ASL cause for deaf children's success

To the Editor:

American Sign Language (ASL) is the difference between success and failure in deaf children.

One of the most essential life skills a child acquires during their first years of life is their linguistic ability. However, what happens if you discover your child is deaf? Spoken language they are unable to hear is hopeless. The use of ASL is the answer in providing the best life for your deaf child.

As a person born into a deaf family, I feel very thankful to have been exposed to ASL early in life. Though I was only born with one-sided deafness, the use of ASL allowed me to communicate successfully with family members and other deaf individuals. As a result, I was comfortable and confident with my identity and who I was as a person. This has allowed me to reach goals, and achieve my dreams of working with children.

In contrast, when denying a deaf child exposure to ASL they are setup with a life full of loneliness, struggle, and failure. Deaf adults that are not exposed to ASL as children are more likely to develop mental disorders such as depression, become incarcerated, drop out of school, and struggle with addiction to drugs and/or alcohol.

Many parents experience denial before accepting that their child is deaf, however, they need to realize that their child is perfectly capable of achieving a successful life. Providing ASL to your deaf infant is the best gift you can give them, as it is the best gift my mother gave to me. A child who is deaf will face struggles throughout their life, but the exposure of ASL will determine how your children adapt to those struggles. The use of American Sign Language with your Deaf child is the answer, and it is never too late to start.

Heather Smith