|Published online: March 14, 2014||$US5.00|
Society’s views largely impact the Deaf population’s ability to thrive. The traditional “disability model” imparts a negative, individualistic view of a medical impairment needing remediation, while the more current “culturo-linguistic model” fosters a positive, collective view of a whole person with a rich language and culture. American Sign Language (ASL), identified by linguists as a true natural language distinct from spoken English, is the heart of American Deaf culture. Society benefits from education and increased cultural understanding between non-Deaf professionals and the Deaf community. This paper provides a rationale and a model for infusing study of ASL and Deaf cultural perspectives following the culturo-linguistic model across all disciplines in higher education Humanities programs. This model prepares students as future professionals and prepares current working professionals to embrace Deaf perspectives, to better communicate with the Deaf community, and to provide a higher quality of service. Key features of a successful American Sign Language program in the humanities include a practical application and approach to teaching ASL and Deaf culture, authority figures as educators, a student-centered environment, direct connections to the local Deaf community, and collaboration across disciplines.
|Keywords:||Deaf Cultural Studies, Language Learning, Critical Interdisciplinary Discourse|
The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies, Volume 11, Issue 2, March 2014, pp.41-51. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: March 14, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 411.160KB)).
Assistant Professor of American Sign Language, Modern Languages Department, Onondaga Community College, Syracuse, NY, USA