Table of Contents

Deaf Studies

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Michael D. Eisner College of Education

Faculty

  • Patrick Boudreault
  • Jordan Eickman
  • Genie Gertz

Programs

Undergraduate:

  • B.A., Deaf Studies
  • Concentrations in:
  • ASL/English Interpreting
  • ASL and ASL Literature
  • Pre-Deaf Education
  • Deaf Community Services
  • Deaf Cultural Studies
  • Individualized Program

The Major

The primary objectives of the Deaf Studies major are:

  1. 1. To convey basic knowledge and understanding about the lan¬guage and culture of Deaf people including their history and social experiences;
  2. 2. To provide students with instruction and training in preparation for advanced degree programs and/or professional careers working with Deaf people.

CSUN is proud to be one of the few mainstream institutions in the nation that offers a comprehensive undergraduate program in the area of Deaf Studies and has long been acknowledged as a leader in provid¬ing quality education in a variety of deaf-related fields. In addition, CSUN provides Deaf Studies majors with a variety of other unique opportunities including membership in student organizations, interac¬tion with more than 200 Deaf/hard of hearing students who attend this institution, the most extensive collection of resource materials related to deafness in the western United States, participation in a vari¬ety of campus/community events including Deafestivals and ASL/Deaf Theatre productions, and on-the-job training while earning university credit.

Careers

During recent years, a number of significant legislative and judicial initiatives and directives have appeared at the federal, state, and local levels to ensure that the approximately 700,000 Deaf Americans have full access to public and private programs and services. As social, com¬munity, legal, and educational services have expanded nationwide, many career possibilities have opened up for persons interested in pro¬fessional work in deaf-related fields. The Deaf Studies major at CSUN will provide appropriate exposure and preparation to students inter¬ested in careers as sign language interpreters, sign language instructors, counselors, government specialists, teachers of the deaf, community service coordinators/advocates, and many other deaf-related vocations.

Academic Advisement

Prospective, new, and continuing Deaf Studies majors are encour¬aged to seek academic advisement each semester for assistance in formulating academic and career plans. Appointments can be made by calling the Deaf Studies Department office.

Student Learning Outcomes of the Undergraduate Program

  1. 1. Demonstrate ability to communicate in American Sign Language (ASL) with Deaf people.
  2. 2. Identify the major features of and issues in the Deaf Community and Deaf Culture.
  3. 3. Demonstrate an understanding of the impact of power, privilege, and oppression on the Deaf Community that result in Deaf people’s experience of prejudice, discrimination, and inequity.
  4. 4. Demonstrate an understanding of how the study of Deaf Studies enables individuals to make informed judgments that strengthen the Deaf Community.
  5. 5. Demonstrate an appreciation of the contributions of Deaf arts and humanities for shedding light on what it means to be deaf.
  6. 6. Describe communication between hearing people and Deaf people that is vital to society.
  7. 7. Analyze critically how a Deaf person’s socio-cultural history affects one’s sense of self and relationship to others.
  8. 8. Reflect critically on one’s abilities to interact with Deaf individuals socially, and professionally, and evaluate the level of integration achieved.

Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts Degree

Core requirements include courses in sign language, linguistics, and a variety of other disciplines that convey basic knowledge and under-standing about the language and culture of Deaf people including their history and social experiences. These courses have been strategically selected to provide a solid foundation for entry into any deaf-related career. (Please note that not all American Sign Language (ASL) courses taken at other schools or community colleges are equivalent to CSUN’s sign language courses. Non-equivalent ASL coursework will be evalu¬ated by the Deaf Studies Department on an individual basis. Students with prior sign language experience are encouraged to contact the Deaf Studies Department for advisement and proper placement in ASL classes.)

NOTE: Prerequisites are indicated by an asterisk*. Consult the course list for the appropriate discipline.

  1. 1. Lower Division Required Courses (11 Units)
  • DEAF 200 Introduction to Deaf Studies (3)
  • DEAF 280 ASL III (4)
  • DEAF 281 ASL IV (4)
  1. 2. Upper Division Required Courses (24 Units)
  • DEAF 360 American Deaf Culture (3)
  • DEAF 484 Structure of ASL (3)
  • DEAF 497 Deaf Studies Capstone (3)

Two of the following (6 units):

  • DEAF 300 Advanced ASL Conversation (3)
  • DEAF 370 ASL/English Translation (3)
  • DEAF 430 ASL: Individual Skills Development (3)
  • DEAF 489/L Introduction to ASL Translation of Literary and Artistic Works/Creative Uses of ASL (1/2-2)
  • DEAF 490 A-G Essential Feature of ASL/Signed Languages (1-1-1-1-1-1-1)

Three of the following (9 units):

  • DEAF 350 Principles of Sign Language Interpretation (3)
  • DEAF 400 Deaf People and Hearing People: A Comparative Cultural Analysis (3)
  • DEAF 401 Deaf History (3)
  • DEAF 402 Deaf Literature (3)
  • DEAF 404 Issues and Trends in the Deaf Community (3)
  • DEAF 406 The Deaf Learner (3)
  • DEAF 410 Hearing Science (3)
  • DEAF 485 Issues in American Sign Language (3)

Concentrations (15 units minimum)

Elective courses for each concentration are selected from related dis-ciplines to provide in-depth career education and preparation. A minimum of 15 units is required from one of the following career options.

A. Concentration I: ASL/English Interpreting (15 units)

  • DEAF 380/383 ASL/English Interpreting I (4)
  • DEAF 381/383 ASL/English Interpreting II (4)
  • DEAF 420 ASL/English Interpreting III (4)

Select one of two courses:

  • DEAF 482 ASL/English Interpreting Practicum (3)
  • DEAF 491 A-F Specialized Areas of Sign Language Interpretation (1-1-1-1-1-1)

B. Concentration II: ASL and ASL Literature (15 units)

  • DEAF 401 Deaf History (3)
  • DEAF 402 Deaf Literature (3)
  • DEAF 405 ASL/Deaf Theatre (3)
  • DEAF 485 Issues in ASL (3)

Select one of three courses:

  • DEAF 300 Advanced ASL Conversation (3)
  • DEAF 370 ASL/English Translation (3)
  • DEAF 489/L Introduction to ASL Translation of Literary and Artistic Works/Creative Uses of ASL (1/2)

C. Concentration III: Pre-Deaf Education (15 units)

  • DEAF 400 Deaf People and Hearing People: A Comparative Cultural Analysis (3)
  • DEAF 401 Deaf History (3)
  • DEAF 402 Deaf Literature (3)
  • DEAF 406 The Deaf Learner (3)
  • CD 410 Hearing Science (3)

D. Concentration IV: Deaf Community Services (15 units)

  • DEAF 400 Deaf People and Hearing People: A Comparative Cultural Analysis (3)
  • DEAF 401 Deaf History (3)
  • DEAF 404 Issues and Trends in the Deaf Community (3)
  • DEAF 407 Law and the Deaf (3)

Select one of three courses:

  • DEAF 300 Advanced ASL Conversation (3)
  • DEAF 410 Deaf Women in Today’s American Society (3)
  • DEAF 415 Deaf Studies Community Services (3)

E. Concentration V: Deaf Cultural Studies (15 units)

  • DEAF 400 Deaf People and Hearing People: A Comparative Cultural Analysis (3)
  • DEAF 401 Deaf History (3)
  • DEAF 402 Deaf Literature (3)
  • DEAF 410 Deaf Women in Today’s American Society (3)

Select one of three courses:

  • DEAF 404 Issues and Trends in the Deaf Community (3)
  • DEAF 406 The Deaf Learner (3)
  • DEAF 407 Law and the Deaf (3)

F. Concentration VI: Special Option (15 units)

With the guidance of faculty advisor(s), students can develop a curricu¬lum of field-specific elective courses to complement the Deaf Studies core requirements which reflects their specialized career interests (not part of Concentrations I-V above). The requirements for a Deaf Studies Special Option are:

  1. 1. Before the student has completed 90 units, meet with a Deaf Studies faculty advisor to discuss career objectives and an educational plan of proposed courses totaling 15 units (a minimum of 12 units must be upper division); and
  2. 2. Submit the program of study to the Department Chair for his evalu¬ation and approval.
Total Units in the Major (minimum) 50
General Education Units 48
Additional Units 22
Total Units Required for the Degree 120

Course List

DEAF 160. American Sign Language I (4)
Not open to native signers. Study of the fundamentals of American Sign Language. Preparation for visual/gestural communication includ¬ing basic information relating to Deaf culture, intensive work on comprehension skills and grammatical structures.
DEAF 161. American Sign Language II (4)
Prerequisite: Completion of DEAF 160. Not open to native signers. Continuation of the study of the fundamentals of American Sign Language: Comprehension skills, grammatical structures, prac¬tice in the production aspects of the language, and exposure to Deaf culture.
DEAF 200. Introduction to Deaf Studies (3)
This course introduces students to the basic information of the American Deaf experience in the United States: Deaf Community/culture and American Sign Language. This course exposes them to the history, contributions, and contemporary lives of Deaf people in America. This course is interdis¬ciplinary in that it introduces a range of issues that are developed in the purview of Deaf Studies: linguistics, education, sociology, psychology, and other fields.
DEAF 280. American Sign Language III (4)
Prerequisite: Completion of DEAF 161. Not open to native signers. Continuation of the study of the fundamentals of American Sign Language: Comprehension skills, advanced grammatical struc¬tures, continued emphasis on production skills, and aspects of Deaf culture.
DEAF 281. American Sign Language IV (4)
Prerequisite: Completion of DEAF 280. Not open to native signers. Emphasis on production/conversational skills in American Sign Language along with continued focus on grammatical and cul¬tural features.

Upper Division

DEAF 300. Advanced ASL Conversation (3)
Prerequisite: DEAF 281. Not open to native signers. Provides further development of conversational abili¬ties in American Sign Language; emphasizes the area of self-expression.
DEAF 350. Principles of Sign Language Interpretation (3)
Prerequisite: DEAF 200. Introductory overview of the profession of sign language interpretation. Forms the theoretical foundation for all other work in sign language interpretation. Particular emphasis on the professional code of ethics and other professional concerns. (Offered Spring only)
DEAF 360. American Deaf Culture (3)
Prerequisite: DEAF 200. Discussion of the various aspects of American Deaf Culture including the description of deafness, Deaf people, the deaf community as defined by audiological and/or cultural means, ser¬vices for and by Deaf people, and culture as reflected in the arts and language of Deaf people.
DEAF 370. American Sign Language/ English Translation (3)
Prerequisites: DEAF 281 and DEAF 350. Intensive examination of translation as an issue in applied linguistics; practice in transla¬tion between ASL and English and extensive discussion of problems encountered in the translation process between the two languages.
DEAF 380. Sign Language Interpreting I (3)
Prerequisite: DEAF 370. Corequisite: DEAF 383. Training in receptive and expressive sign language interpreting for Deaf indi¬viduals; emphasis on the development of consecutive sign language interpreting skills (sign-to-voice and voice-to-sign). (Offered Fall only)
DEAF 381. Sign Language Interpreting II (3)
Prerequisite: DEAF 380. Corequisite: DEAF 383. Further train¬ing in receptive and expressive sign language interpreting for Deaf individuals. Sequenced series of activities leading from consecutive interpreting to the development of simultaneous interpreting skills (sign-to-voice and voice-to-sign). (Offered Spring only)
DEAF 383. Sign Language Interpretation Lab (1-1)
Corequisites: DEAF 380 (fall) or DEAF 381 (spring). Refines sign language interpretation and transliteration skills through individualized instruction. May be repeated once for credit.
DEAF 400. Deaf and Hearing People: A Comparative Cultural Analysis (3)
Prerequisites: DEAF 281 and DEAF 360. For students entering the world of Deaf people in professional and/or social capaci¬ties to conduct comparative/contrastive analysis between Deaf and hearing cultures. Students apply observational techniques to identify and record cultural conflicts/interactions between Deaf and hearing people. Students attempt to describe characteristics of the deaf/hearing group known as the “Third Culture.” Results of this examination are viewed from the perspective of the persons in professional, educational, and social fields. (Offered Spring only)
DEAF 401. Deaf History (3)
Prerequisites: DEAF 281and DEAF 360. Examines selected points of the history of Deaf People and the Deaf Community as well as the Deaf Experience in a historical perspective. Emphasis on his¬torical forces impacting the educational, social, political and economic aspects of the Deaf Community from both the Deaf Perspective and a historical perspective including discussion of Deaf Americans’ adjust-ment to these influences. Discussion of major reforms impacting the lives of Deaf people at various times. (Offered Spring only)
DEAF 402. Deaf Literature (3)
Prerequisites: DEAF 281and DEAF 360. Provides an overview of all genres of both American Sign Language and English literature about deaf/Deaf characters written by deaf/Deaf and hearing authors and explores Western society’s views of the deaf/Deaf experience as depicted in novels, short stories, drama, poetry, folklore, humor, media, and other forms of literature. Prevailing views toward Deaf people in each era are contrasted with the Deaf perspective in the same period as shown through Deaf literature. (Offered Fall only)
DEAF 404. Issues and Trends in the Deaf Community (3)
Prerequisites: DEAF 281 and DEAF 360. The course examines issues and trends in the Deaf community. The course begins with a critical analysis of historical issues confronting the Deaf community. Major emphasis on social, cultural, linguistic, political, and economic pat-terns affecting Deaf people in the United States. Issues of audism and linguicism also are addressed. The course concludes with students’ dis¬cussions of current trends in the Deaf movement and current situations in the Deaf community. (Offered Fall only)
DEAF 405. ASL/ Deaf Theatre (3)
Prerequisite: DEAF 281. A survey of theatre works staged with Deaf and hearing performers in American Sign Language and intended for Deaf and hearing audiences. The course will explore dif¬ferent genres of this type of American Sign Language/Deaf Theatre including sign language adaptations of plays, original works involving Deaf issues, plays concerning cross-cultural conflicts (Deaf-Hearing), and other genres. It will also analyze specific aspects of sign language or Deaf theatre performances including choice of theme, use of sign language styles, nature of Deaf or hearing performers/characters, the theatre space for the visual and signing needs of the Deaf commu¬nity, technical and production considerations, and the philosophy or concept of the presenting theatre or individual artists. These skills and knowledge will be integrated into a final class staged production.
DEAF 406. The Deaf Learner (3)
Prerequisites: DEAF 281 and DEAF 360. This course examines the linguistic, historical, social, and educational development of the Deaf learner. Students are exposed to various perspectives and practices of the traditional and current systems for educating Deaf youngsters. Particular attention on the importance of maximizing visual input for the Deaf learner as part of his/her cognitive development. Students learn how the environments promoting Deaf bilingualism enhance the Deaf learner linguistically, socially, emotionally, and educationally, in terms of grade-level academic achievement, participation in both Deaf and hearing worlds, and fluency in both languages: ASL and English.
DEAF 407. Law and the Deaf (3)
Prerequisites: DEAF 281 and DEAF 360. This course focuses on the laws affecting Deaf people and the role laws and the legal system play in ameliorating the inequalities that Deaf people face through living in a hearing world. Emphasis is on the laws and the legal system of the United States, although legal situations pertaining to Deaf people in other countries may be introduced. (Offered Fall only)
DEAF 410. Deaf Women in Today’s American Society (3)
Prerequisites: DEAF 281 and DEAF 360. This course is a multidisciplinary analysis of Deaf women in the Deaf community and in American society and includes the study of the historical, social, political, educational, and economic factors that have influenced and impacted the role and status of Deaf women including some impor-tant events of the women’s movement. Areas of exploration are Deaf women’s struggles and successes. The course also features contempo-rary Deaf women’s issues within the context of the Deaf community.
DEAF 415. Deaf Studies Community Services (3)
Prerequisites: DEAF 281 and DEAF 360. Field study, observation, and participation in selected Deaf community institutions and agencies to be conducted under supervision and after preparatory instruction to acquaint the student with field and ser¬vice learning techniques. May be repeated once for credit (Credit/No Credit only).
DEAF 420. Sign Language Interpreting III (4)
Prerequisite: DEAF 381. This course will continue devel¬opment of students’ interpreting skills through exercises that focus on memory, processing, discourse analysis, and interpretation/translit¬eration of various communication genres. Throughout the semester students will be exposed to and practice interpreting and transliterating texts from a variety of specialized settings. (Offered Fall only)
DEAF 430. American Sign Language: Individual Skills Development (3)
Prerequisite: DEAF 281. A supervised individual/small group activity designed to provide feedback on comprehension and production skills in American Sign Language. Designed primarily for students whose individual performance after completing ASL IV (or equivalent) indi¬cates the need for additional support from a fluent ASL sign language model/tutor. Individualized attention and feedback can be provided in areas such: grammatical accuracy, vocabulary development, fluency, accent, and comprehension. May be repeated once for credit (Credit/No Credit only).
DEAF 434A. Fingerspelling I (1-1)
Prerequisite: DEAF 280. Develops basic skills in receptive and expressive finger¬spelling. May be repeated once for credit.
DEAF 434B. Fingerspelling II (1-1)
Prerequisite: DEAF 434A. Further development of receptive and expressive fingerspelling skills. May be repeated once for credit.
DEAF 435. Communication Variations in the Deaf Community (3)
Prerequisite: DEAF 281 and DEAF 360. Examination of the various philosophies and strategies of manual communication used by Deaf and hard of hearing people. Includes information and current research on American Sign Language, Pidgin Signed English, manual codes for English, Fingerspelling, Cued Speech, Simultaneous Communication, Oral Communication, and their relationship to the educational process.
DEAF 436. Sign Language Teaching (3)
Prerequisite: DEAF 281. Overview of sign language research and its impact on sign language teaching. Critical analysis of the effect of instructional models in sign language teaching, mainly ASL. Includes discussion on how the concepts found in the research can be best utilized for sign language teaching.
DEAF 482. Practicum in Sign Language Interpreting (3)
Prerequisite: DEAF 381. Corequisite: DEAF 420. Advanced exposure to and practical experience in sign language interpreting and transliterating. (Offered Spring semester)
DEAF 484. Structure of American Sign Language (3)
Prerequisite: DEAF 281. Focus on the grammatical structures and patterns of American Sign Language. View of ASL pho¬nology, morphology, and syntax with emphasis on the practical use of such knowledge.
DEAF 485. Issues in American Sign Language (3)
Prerequisite: DEAF 484. Addresses questions of syntax, language acqui¬sition, and discourse structure in American Sign Language. (Offered Spring semester)
DEAF 489/L. Introduction to ASL Translation of Literary and Artistic Works / Creative Uses of American Sign Language (1/2-2)
Prerequisite: DEAF 281. Corequisite: DEAF 489L. Introduction to the basic principles of American Sign Language as applied in various artistic settings; explores the techniques and prin¬ciples of translating artistic and literary works from English into ASL and from ASL into English. Lab: Provides training in the artistic expression of poetry, storytelling, and song-translation using American Sign Language. Lab may be repeated once for credit.
DEAF 490A-G. Essential Features of ASL/ Signed Languages (1)
Prerequisite: DEAF 281. This group of seven one-unit courses con¬tinues developing advanced ASL/signed language skills and covers a multitude of topics examining applications of specific ASL/signed language skills. Linguistic competence is enhanced through interactive discourse in class. Each one-unit course focuses on a specific topic/skill and includes practice of the requisite skills and process tasks of increased complexity needed to master that particular topic/skill: (A) Classifiers, (B) Technical Signs, (C) Foreign Signs, (D) Sentence Types, (E) ASL Number Systems, (F) Visual-Gestural Communication and (G) Public Signing.
DEAF 491A-F. Specialized Areas of Sign Language Interpreting (1)
Prerequisite: DEAF 380. This group of six one-unit courses introduces students to the broad range of career paths that are available to them within the profession of sign language interpreting. Continuation of skills development within interpretation processes includes applica¬tion of production and comprehension skills in different topical areas. Content areas in each course include theory, best practices, setting-specific vocabulary, cultural implications, and protocol. Applications of techniques, vocabulary, information, and skills are the main ingredients for course activities. (A) Deaf Interpreting I; (B) Deaf Interpreting II (Prerequisite: DEAF 491A); (C) Technological Applications within Interpreting; (D) Ethics and Professional Standards; (E) Educational Interpreting; (F) Professional Settings.
DEAF 496A-Z. Experimental Topics Courses in Deaf Studies (3)
Experimental courses in Deaf Studies with course content to be determined.
DEAF 497. Deaf Studies Capstone (3)
Prerequisite: Graduating senior standing. Restricted to students majoring in Deaf Studies. Taken during the final semester before graduation. Focus on a synthesis of the information, concepts, material, and methodologies provided in the previous Deaf Studies classes. Completion of a project resulting from the research of a signifi¬cant topic in the Deaf community.
DEAF 499X-Z. Independent Study (1-3)