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Overview

Overview

Dr. Erin Moriarty Harrelson, Program Coordinator

 

The Concentration in Early Language Advocacy is designed to train students in front-line language advocacy work within the fields of education and deaf community advocacy organizations. Knowledge of Deaf studies lens, advocacy tools, educational approaches, policy-making and legal mechanisms all are an integral part of the curriculum. At the heart of the program is an interdisciplinary curriculum focused on socio-cultural, political and educational aspects of how deaf children acquire language from birth. Students will gain a hands-on understanding of the dynamics of advocacy and policy-making in education through field-based projects.

The curriculum for this Concentration contains a number of courses offered under Gallaudet University’s Infant, Toddler, and Family (ITF) Graduate Certificate Program. The program is a hybrid program. Students take online classes in Deaf Studies and ITF during the school year, with selected required face-to-face courses with the Infant, Toddler, and Family Graduate Certificate Program being on campus during three summer residency sessions.

Admissions Procedures and Requirements

Applicants for the M.A. in Deaf Studies must complete the application procedures and meet the requirements for graduate study at Gallaudet University. Visit the Graduate Admissions web site for more information and a checklist of application requirements. Detailed program information and course descriptions are also available under the ‘Overview’ and ‘Courses’ tabs.

DEADLINE DATE
First Date for Consideration of Application: November 15
Due Date for Completed Application: February 15

Program Specific Requirements:

  • Three letters of reference
  • ASL Essay: Personal Statement. In video format, submit a personal statement of interest in the program. This essay will be used for 2 purposes. It will give help us understand your personal interest in our program and will also be used to determine your proficiency in ASL. Why are you applying for this degree? What do you hope to gain from the degree? What are your professional interests after you graduate?
  • Transcripts
  • ASLPI 3 or above (suspended for 2021 admissions cycle).
  • GPA 3.0 or above.

Recommended Prior Coursework:

  • Introduction to Deaf Culture
  • Introduction to ASL Structure

Courses & Requirements

Summary of Requirements

Fall I

This course will introduce students to the most commonly-used research methods in Deaf Studies, particularly textual analysis, and ethnographic interviews. Students will be guided by the instructor in the processes of developing research questions, methodologies, data collection and analysis.

The course serves as an introduction to graduate study in Deaf Studies. Students are guided in reflecting on the past, present, and future of Deaf Studies scholarship. Exploring the historical trends and debates in Deaf Studies, we seek out foundational questions about deaf lives and communities, including identities, power, culture, and framing from interdisciplinary perspectives. Leading with stories and lived experiences, students connect theory with practice in preparation for subsequent courses within the Deaf Studies Master's Program. The course also aims to develop critical reading and writing skills important to graduate level scholarship.

This course traces the development of the human rights of deaf people within the wider context of the emergence of the concept of universal human rights after WWII. The formation of international institutions such as the United Nations, and the growth of international nongovernmental organizations dedicated to human rights work has allowed non-state actors significant opportunities to develop and use human rights tools to protect particular minorities. The emergence of the concept of linguistic human rights has been applied to signing communities and the concept promoted in the Convention on the Human Rights of Peoples with Disabilities. The concept and the Convention will be examined in depth and applied to the linguistic human rights of contemporary Deaf communities.

Spring I

This three credit course is designed as a guided research course to support students' progress with their individual thesis research topics and methodologies within the field of Deaf Studies. This course is the second of two courses that provide students with experience in preparing their thesis proposals. Students will select their methodology, conduct a literature review, gather preliminary data if applicable, and complete the necessary steps to gain approval for their data collection procedures, such as IRB approval and CITI certification. Students will be introduced to ethical conduct in research, the Institutional Review Board procedures, and grant writing. They will complete and defend their thesis proposals at the end of this course.

This course is designed as a thorough exploration of the literary practices influenced by cultural traditions in the deaf community. Attention will be given to the unique face-to-face nature of signed literature and its numerous traditional forms as well different types of cultural productions, including online media. Students will become versed in the stylistics, poetics, and cultural contexts of signed literature in its live as well as video-text formats.

This class will explore the historical, medical, social, political, philosophical, and cultural influences that have constructed the categories of ''normalcy'', ''disability'' and ''deafness''. Building on the writing of Michel Foucault and critical work in the field of disability studies, this course will inquire into the institutions that have enforced standards of normalcy, throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to the present. Primary attention will be paid to the rise of medical authority in the West, the history of eugenics, and contemporary bioethical issues confronting disability and deaf communities.

This course focuses on further analysis of relevant laws and policies when it comes to sign language rights, particularly for young Deaf children. Topics include legislative process, regulations writing, power of position statements/policy papers, analysis of federal and state laws. The benefits of mobilization and sociopolitics including the use of framing in media will also be discussed.

Summer I

Fall II

This course provides a multicultural perspective of community organizing for social change in parallel in understanding the deaf community's past and ongoing campaigns for equal rights from an advocacy perspective. Topics covered include organization structure, politics, ethics, inclusion, systematic challenges, and more.

The Deaf Studies Master's Project is a required, culminating project which demonstrates student's exemplary achievement as a Master's student. Under the supervision of Department faculty, students will develop projects that significantly advance knowledge in one of three concentrations: Cultural Studies, Language and Human Rights or Early Language Advocacy. Students may elect to produce a traditional Master's thesis, a creative project, or an applied advocacy project. During the first semester, students will develop and defend their project, including a demonstration of the project's significance, appropriate research methodologies and a detailed plan of action.

This course is the third course in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Infants, Toddlers and Families: Collaboration and Leadership (ITF) Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate Program. The course requires on-line participation. This course examines family systems' perspectives and the interrelationships among the young child who is deaf or hard of hearing, family and communities. Family and community cultures, values and beliefs will be explored. Participants will understand the importance of building relationships and the research underlying the importance of family support systems, acceptance and accommodation. Emphasis will be on collaboration with professionals from different disciplinary backgrounds, leadership and advocacy. The course will address strategies and resources that promote family and professional collaboration, family-to-family support networks, and family involvement.

Spring II

This course focuses on an analysis of relevant U.S. laws and policies when it comes to sign language rights, particularly for young deaf children. Topics include: legislative process, writing of state and federal regulations, power of position statements/policy papers, and an analysis of federal and state laws. Students will learn about community mobilization in the context of sociopolitical movements, with practical use of framing arguments for public consumption.

The Deaf Studies' Master's Project II is a required, culminating project which demonstrates students' exemplary achievement as a Master's student. Under the supervision of Department faculty, students will develop projects that significantly advance knowledge in either Cultural Studies, Language and Human Rights and Early Language Advocacy. Students may elect to produce a traditional Master's thesis, a creative project, or an applied advocacy project. During the second semester, students will present and defend their project. All students take DST 781 for 3 credits. In the event students do not complete their thesis at the end need of DST 781, they enroll in 781 a second time as a one-credit course.

Summer II

This course is the fifth course in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Infants, Toddlers and Families: Collaboration and Leadership (ITF) Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate Program. The course requires both on-line and on-campus participation. The course will focus on both content and skill development in the areas of assessment and programming. Collaboration will be emphasized in the assessment and implementation of goals and services for young children and their families. The processes underlying the development of IFSPs and IEP's and transitions from early intervention to preschools will be explored. Strategies and resources will emphasize best practice in interdisciplinary, developmentally and individually appropriate and culturally responsive programming. Candidates for the certificate will present their capstone projects and final portfolios to provide evidence of their knowledge, skills and professional dispositions for working with infants and toddlers who are deaf or hard of hearing, birth-to-three and their families.

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M.A. in Deaf Studies: Early Language Advocacy

Erin Moriarty Harrelson

SLCC 1112

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