So many people advocate for all deaf children to have access to ASL as a native language. I am one of them. The problem is that it is very complicated. One obstacle is where you live. To be totally honest I don't always think that is a valid excuse.
There is the argument that a family may not have access to classes in a rural area or fluent signers to practice with. I challenge that because I was geographically isolated in a big city with plenty classes. My challenge was I worked about 16 hours a day. I didn't work with anyone who signed. I really didn't see my family five days a week. At first we hit a wall when trying to find fluent signers to hang out with when I was off work. We were a nation of three. I believe if you really need something you have to do whatever you can to make it happen.
So I bought a book.
Every spare moment at work I poured over it. Some folks I worked with wanted to learn (with a little pressure from me) so I had people to practice with. Some might argue that they can't learn to sign from a book. I challenge that, make it happen. A running joke at my job was, "You can sleep when you die". Find the time and a way.
Reading ASL gloss is strange at first and maybe confusing. READ the first part of the book, the boring part that tells you how to do it. Learning this way is not my style but I needed to do this. Maybe a parent doesn't have a text book. Maybe it is too expensive. I find Goodwill is a great source. ASL students donate old text books. Really, if that is the problem contact me and I will make sure you get one.
13 years ago I didn't have the technology resources we have today. We had clunky TTY, email, a few captioned videos (VHS) and a captioner that worked sometimes on the TV. Now if you have internet you can access ASL online. You can visually call people in many ways (I just got a phone the has video chat). The world is not as isolated. Go online and find a way to get help. Can't afford it? Fair enough but does the SSI check really only go for things for the child? If your child was hearing would still spend the money the same way? We don't get SSI but if we did it would go to the best way to support Haddy.
One the other hand if a rural family doesn't get on the radar how would they know to make it happen? JTC has a correspondence course for families. Where is the ASL version? Where is the national advocacy group the seeks out new families and offers services without pressure or bias? I mean a group that makes learning ASL accessible not just a soapbox. Wait, there are groups out there that would jump at the chance to help families! Are parents given this information? If so how is it framed? How are these groups funded? Do companies have an interest? Do these groups have funding to help provide accessible services?
Another challenge is families who are ESL and maybe some who don't have the supportive educational background to step up on their own.
Funny, when we lived in Los Angeles they majority of hearing families with deaf children that we were able to socialize with in ASL were from Central America, really poor and with REALLY limited English skills. They had the same access to ASL as the more affluent families in the district that didn't sign. If you have the option you can make a choice and make it happen.
It took thirteen weeks to get to a point where I could have a conversation with a deaf native signer without feeling confused. Thirteen years later it is so comfortable sometimes I forget all people don't sign.
Another running joke at my work was, "Cowboy up!". If you feel worn out and wimpy get tough because it does get better.