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I am sick of the oral vs. American Sign Language battle. I wish that we could have more peace in this world.

I was born with a profound hearing loss. When I was a small girl, I went to the Utah School for the Deaf. I never used sign language because my family and neighbors weren't deaf, and all of the people I knew, talked. I wanted to talk.When I was almost 6, my mother took me to a private teacher for the deaf, who worked with me for a while and then told my mother that I had such a severe learning disability that I would never learn to talk or read or write, so I should learn sign language. She started to teach me ASL.

At first, I thought it was a game, but people stopped talking to me. I knew that ASL was going to change my life, and I was happy with my life. So I refused to use signs. I still don't use signs. I've always wanted to talk to everyone.

When I was 7, my mother took me out of USD and put me in public school. I was never angry or upset with her because of this, because I was so much happier there. It seemed that people were much nicer to me in public school, and I had more friends. Now, as a dancer with a bachelor's degree in ballet, I have traveled all over the country by myself and with my ballet companies. I am always happy that I had an oral education so that I can communicate with most people. But I don't argue with people who prefer to use ASL. It's important to have a choice and to make the best choice for each person.

Holly Williams

Salt Lake City