Deaf Studies Digital Journal (DSDJ) Executive Editor Dr. Patrick Boudreault has just received the Edward Allen Fay Award from the Conference of Educational Administrators of Schools and Programs for the Deaf. The award, which recognizes publications that contribute to the field of deaf education, emphasizes how vital it is for Deaf researchers to be able to communicate their scholarly work.

“This validates what we are doing, which is multimodal publishing through Deaf lenses,” Boudreault says. “We cover themes about deaf people’s lives, art, research, just a variety of things. What makes the journal interesting is that it’s broad.”

DSDJ was developed out of conversations that started about 20 years ago among the Deaf Studies faculty at Gallaudet. The first four issues, published between 2009 and 2014, proved it was possible to design a platform ideally suited to this groundbreaking kind of publication. The format featured innovative ways of navigating between videos, incorporating citations, and pausing for visual media aids, such as diagrams. But by the time Boudreault arrived at the helm in 2017, the Adobe Flash technology that DSDJ relied on had grown outdated. Adobe announced support for Adobe Flash would end on December 31, 2020.

“After that, the journal would be unable to display Flash-based videos,” explains Boudreault, who applied for a National Endowment of the Humanities grant to help rebuild DSDJ. Working with Michigan Publishing, Boudreault was able to preserve the old issues, create a new platform that met the current standards and ensure its sustainability and portability with the Michigan Publishing repository, and once again invite contributors to share their perspectives. The fifth issue covered the 2018 Deaf Studies Conference on Transformations, the sixth issue focused on Language Deprivation, and the seventh issue — set to be released shortly — will share findings from the Black Deaf Studies Symposium, held on the Gallaudet campus last year.

None of this would have been possible without Boudreault’s perseverance, notes Deaf Studies Professor Dr. H-Dirksen Bauman, a former co-Executive Editor of DSDJ. “He has dedicated much of his time and effort outside of work hours,” says Bauman, who adds that this next issue will be a “momentous and milestone event.” “Dr. Boudreault has been working tirelessly on this publication, which will continue the critical work in transforming the field of Deaf Studies. “

Boudreault hopes this award encourages the community to rally around the DSDJ, which is more challenging to publish than a typical written journal. It requires resources and staff to handle filming, editing, translating to English, and other tasks. “We’ll be more successful with more support,” he says.

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