Deaf Language and Culture

Fast Facts: Deaf Language and Culture Minor

  • Builds a solid foundation of American Sign Language (ASL) and enhances communication skills for careers in any field.
  • Complements majors in fields such as education, business, science, health science, communications, psychology, and various scientific and technical fields.
  • Creates understanding and provides experiences in deaf culture while learning ASL outside the classroom through immersion opportunities to socialize with the deaf community.
  • Addresses a variety of topics in the study of deaf language and culture, including the study of ASL and its structure, ASL literature, literature in English pertaining to the deaf experience, the history of deaf people in America and around the globe, art and cinema, the experience from racial, ethnic, age and other minority groups, oppression in the lives deaf people, political, legal, and educational issues affecting members of the deaf community.
  • Provides several internship and/or culture immersion opportunities that can complement student's areas of interest.

Program requirements

Minor: 20 credits

Sample curriculum

Here are some classes you could take as part of this minor. Please note that you would not necessarily need all of these courses to fulfill a minor. This list doesn't include general education courses. Be sure to create your course plan in consultation with your advisor.

Course Creation Center

Expand and Collapse Coursework

Expand and Collapse ASL 1111 - Beginning American Sign Language and Culture I

Introduces basic signing skills of comprehension and communication. Emphasizes active use in communicative context as well as cultural analysis.

Expand and Collapse ASL 1112 - Beginning American Sign Language and Culture II

Expands students' ability to communicate through introduction of more complex linguistic structures. Completes beginning level sequence. Prerequisite: Placement test, permission of the instructor or completion of ASL 1111.

Expand and Collapse ASL 2201 - Intermediate American Sign Language I

This is the first semester of a two-semester sequence of Intermediate American Sign language study. Students continue to learn sentence structures and patterns and develop intermediate expressive communication. Focus is on expressive and receptive skills. Prerequisite: ASL 1112, placement exam or consent of instructor.

Expand and Collapse ASL 2202 - Intermediate ASL II

This is the second semester sequence of Intermediate American Sign language study. Students continue to learn sentence structures and patterns and develop intermediate expressive communication. Focus is on expressive and receptive skills. Prerequisite: ASL 2201, placement exam or consent of instructor.

Expand and Collapse ASL 2205 - Deaf Culture in the United States

Is an introduction to various aspects of the deaf community as a linguistic and cultural minority group. Designed for individuals who may or may not have had prior experience with Deaf people, the course raises questions concerning the nature of sign language and its varieties, the education of Deaf people, the historical treatment of Deaf people, the sociological and cultural issues important to the deaf community, and political activism.

Expand and Collapse ASL 2305 - Deaf Culture in the World

An introduction to various aspects of the Deaf community as a linguistic and cultural minority group. It will focus on topics in the culture of Deaf people including studies of their beliefs, practices and language throughout the world. Designed for individuals who may or may not have had prior experience with Deaf people, this course raises questions concerning the nature of sign language and its varieties, education of D/deaf people, historical treatment of D/deaf people, sociological and cultural issues important to the Deaf community, and political activism.

Expand and Collapse ASL 3305 - In Search of Deafhood-Advanced Signing in Context

Conducted solely in American Sign Language, this course is an overview of the history of Deaf people and their cultures from the time of Aristotle to contemporary society in order to understand the concept of colonization as an integral part of the “Deafhood” philosophy. That is, the development of a “deaf centered philosophy” in reference to this group of individuals since the traditional idea of “deafness” is seen as restrictive due to the colonization process. The focus will be on how societies have perceived Deaf people, and how those perceptions have shaped their destiny. This course will provide a background of Deaf people, especially as they relate to developing group and personal empowerment. All Deaf people journey toward defining and refining their “Deaf selves.” Students will gain an understanding of these concepts through study of this journey from deafness to Deafhood. Following a historical trajectory, topics covered will include such things as education, Deaf organizations, social welfare, sports, religion, community support systems, and famous Deaf people in the arts and sciences.

Expand and Collapse ASL 3777 - Independent Study

Offers study of subjects not covered in the regular ASL curriculum.