By learning ASL and learning about Deaf culture, you gain a meaningful skillset that will allow you to communicate with members of our community who are sometimes barred from meaningful connections because of language differences. The Minor in Deaf Studies will not prepare you to become a certified interpreter, but it will give you excellent communication skills and allow you to interpret informally. This minor helps to bridge cultural divides and improve communication, ultimately reducing inequality and strengthening our community.
The Minor in Deaf Studies focuses on two areas:
1 American Sign Language. The foundation of Deaf Studies is the study of American
Sign Language (ASL). It is a fully formed language (as opposed to a variation of English)
with its own grammar, syntax, and morphology. Learning ASL is much like learning any
other language; students take classes in foundational skills (vocabulary, syntax,
basic sentences) and then move on to more advanced study.
2. Deaf Culture and History. The minor has six credits devoted to the study of Deaf culture (the capital “D” here distinguishes Deaf culture from the medical condition of deafness). In addition, an understanding of Deaf culture is crucial for understanding ASL, so lessons in Deaf culture are embedded in all ASL classes.
For information on the Minor in Deaf Studies, you can reach out to our ASL Club, or you can contact:
Gregory Robinson, PhD
Chair, Humanities Department