Deaf Culture Pretest
What does ASL stand for??
ASL is short for American Sign
 Those who are familiar with this
acronym almost always primarily only
say ASL when referring to American
Sign Language.
 Those who are fluent in this language
take pride in using the term
ASL is not = English
ASL is historically related to
French Sign Language
 The first Deaf American Sign
Language teacher came from
Is American Sign Language
(ASL) Universal?
According to the World Federation of the
There are about 70 million deaf people who use sign
language as their first language.
Each country has one or sometimes two or more sign
Examples of Various Sign
There are at least 25 sign languages in Africa
British Sign Language (BSL)
Japanese Sign Language (NS) and MANY MORE
across the globe.
American Sign Language is closely related to
French Sign Language, because of the “fathers
of ASL” Laurent Clerc and Thomas Gallaudet.
Reading Level Stats for Deaf
An average reading level of 3rd
grade is typical of graduates of
deaf education programs in the U.S.
45% of deaf individuals do not
graduate from high school and only
5% graduate from college.
In general, it is the least effective
communication strategy.
 Only approximately 30% of speech
is visible on the lips
The American with Disabilities
A benchmark law was signed by President George H.W. Bush
in 1990 called the American with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Under Title II of the ADA, all state and local governments
are required to take steps to ensure that their
communications with people with disabilities are as effective
as communications with others.
Simply put, “effective communication” means that whatever
is written or spoken must be as clear and understandable
to people with disabilities as it is for people who do not
have disabilities.
Interpreters and the ADA
Under the guidelines of effective
communication, state and local
government must provide auxiliary
aids, such as interpreters to Deaf and
Hard-of-Hearing persons.
Can I take my interpreter
Unfortunately, Deaf people aren’t
provided an interpreter for home and
personal use.
 The interpreter is only provided when
the Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing person is
receiving services provided by the
state or local government.
 Examples include:
◦ Court
◦ School
Can Deaf People Drive???
Deaf people are legally allowed to
drive in the United States
 They are taught how to drive the
same way, but they learn how to do
it visually
 According a study conducted in New
Zealand, out of 30,000 accidents,
not one was directly related to
hearing loss.
Michigan School for the Deaf
Founded in 1848
Located in Flint, Michigan
Currently has approximately 150
Service grades K-12
Always rumored to be closed. Over
the past 15 years 5 state schools for
the deaf have closed across the
United States. Others have
experienced reduced enrollment and
Telecommunication Device for the
Deaf (TDD): an electronic device
for text communication over a
telephone line
 This is a very dated form of
Video Relay Service
Is a videocommunication service that allows deaf
and hard-of-hearing individuals to communicate
over video telephones and similar technologies
with hearing people in real-time via a sign
language interpreter.
Major Video Relay Companies include: Sorenson,
Purple, and Power.
Deaf means the inability to hear.
 Mute means the inability to speak.
 Deaf-mute used to be an acceptable
term, but is now viewed as an
insulting term.
Cochlear Implant
A cochlear implant is a small, complex
electronic device that can help to provide a
sense of sound to a person who is
profoundly deaf or severely hard-ofhearing.
An implant does not restore normal
hearing. Instead, it can give a deaf person
a useful representation of sounds in the
environment and help him or her to
understand speech.
“Fixing” Deaf people
Many hearing people assume that deaf
people want to be able to hear and
encourage them to get cochlear
 Deaf people do not view being deaf as
a disability and do not feel they need
to be fixed.
 The first Deaf president of Gallaudet
University was quoted as saying, “Deaf
people can do everything but hear.”
 Deaf people take pride in the language,
community and their culture.
Deaf Person’s Interpreter Act
Signed into law in 2007 in the State
of Michigan.
 Requires that deaf people be
provided with a “Qualified
 "Qualified interpreter" means a
person who is certified through the
national registry of interpreters for
the deaf or certified through the
state by the division.
Interpreting Programs
ASL is a very complex language and
one cannot effectively interpret
after taking 3 entry level classes.
 Madonna University has a Sign
Language Studies program, which
requires students to take and pass
over 80 credit hours.
This is just a glimpse into an
amazing culture, language, and group
of people. There’s so much more to