It’s been a year since the 2016 National Speech Language Association (NSLAA) launched its first ASL-enabled NFL team in Chicago.
Now that team is playing its first regular-season game on Oct. 31 against the Chicago Bears.
The team will be coached by former Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle Aaron Donald, who earned his starting job on the team in 2016 after spending time with the Cleveland Browns.
As a player, Donald started all eight games for the Cowboys from 2011-2015, with the last five coming during his rookie season.
Since his retirement in 2018, Donald has been a successful writer of ASL articles and has spoken at conferences about his ASL expertise.
But it was the experience with the Cowboys that Donald had with the team that he decided to give ASL a try.
Donald has written for NFL Network, Sports Illustrated and The Athletic, among other publications, and he is currently the co-author of the book “The Art of ASLU: The Complete Guide to ASL,” which will be released in October.
In the book, he describes how the NFL has worked to increase its understanding of the ASL and to promote ASL inclusion and equality.
The book’s subtitle is “What to Expect When You Start Learning ASL.”
Trump and other coaches are not the only ones who have taken note of the positive results the NFL is seeing with the league’s inclusion efforts.
In 2017, the NFL launched a national program called the National ASL Awareness Month, which encouraged coaches and players to speak to their players and share their experiences in ASLU.
The program is aimed at raising awareness about ASL, including what it means to be disabled, how it can be experienced and what steps can be taken to be more inclusive in the NFL.
Trump said the program is not intended to target or stigmatize anyone who is not disabled, but rather to educate the public on how they can be more supportive of their teammates and help others understand how ASL can benefit them and their families.
He said he and other players have noticed positive effects on their performance, as well as how coaches are more willing to be willing to share their knowledge and skills.
For Donald, speaking up about his experience with his former teammates is the most important thing he’s done since retiring from the Cowboys.
Trump said he believes ASL has a place in the world, and that the league and other organizations are beginning to recognize it.
“There’s a lot of people that are being educated and the NFL as well that are recognizing what’s happening in the ASLU movement,” Trump said.
“And it’s a really big deal because, at the end of the day, it’s just about getting better for everybody.
We have a lot to learn, and it’s something that’s been happening for a long time.
And the NFL, because they’re a really good organization, they’re going to start paying attention.”