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ASL Connect moved under the Office of the Chief Bilingual Officer on October 1. Since its inception, American Sign Language (ASL) Connect has been under the auspices of the Department of American Sign Language and Deaf Studies in the Division of Academic Affairs. The initial vision for ASL Connect was conceived in 2012 as the brainchild of Dr. Kimberly Pudans-Smith, who at the time served as the Coordinator for the Professional Studies ASL Program, and Dr. Dirksen Bauman, who at the time served as department chair of ASL and Deaf Studies.

Over the years, ASL Connect grew in capacity, thanks in part to a grant from the Cafritz Foundation and the collaboration of Gallaudet Technology Services and the Center for Continuing and Online Education. As a widespread university initiative, ASL Connect benefited from the enthusiastic support of the former Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Genie Gertz, former Provost Carol J. Erting, former President T. Alan Hurwitz and current President Bobbi Cordano, as well as the Gallaudet University Board of Trustees.

The official ASL Connect website launched in November 2018. From its humble beginnings, ASL Connect has now branched out into three distinct entities.

  • ASL Connect: Education offers online ASL classes and sponsors the Summer Residency ASL Program.
  • ASL Connect: Families provides live language learning opportunities with families and their deaf children.
  • ASL Connect: Business features workshops and webinars dedicated to improving intercultural communication among deaf and hearing individuals.

The move from the Division of Academic Affairs to the Office of the Chief Bilingual Officer will strategically align ASL Connect with ongoing projects in ASL assessment, digital innovation and bilingual learning from birth onward. This furthers the goal of consolidating resources to enhance efficiency and language vitality, while reducing duplication. Together, ASL Connect and the Office of the Chief Bilingual Officer position Gallaudet for bold lead.

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