Course Title:                         Introduction to Deaf Studies
Course Number:                  SPED 43309/53309
Course Time/Location:       Fall 1998; Mon, 4:30-7:00pm; 208 White Hall
Instructor:                              Dr. Pamela Luft, 391D White Hall
                                                  Office Hours: M 2:00-4:00, 7:00-7:30; W 3:30-4:00, 7:00-7:30,
                                                                          H 2:30-4:00


An introductory survey course to provide an informational base and understanding of the unique experiences of Deaf people as a cultural minority. Includes etiology and prevalence data, service delivery systems, diagnosis and assessment issues, and communication systems. Specific topics include a historical, medical, and cultural perspective on interactions between Deaf and hearing cultural groups and the resulting impact on social, academic/educational, and vocational experiences of deaf children, adults, and their families.

Accommodations: In accordance with University policy, if you have a documented disability and require accommodations to obtain equal access in this course, please contact the instructor at the beginning of the semester or when given an assignment for which an accommodation is required. Students with disabilities must verify their eligibility through the Office of Student Disability Services (SDS) in the Michael Schwartz Student Services Center (672-3391).


1. Students will describe the historical processes by which deaf education and communication methodologies evolved in the United States.
2. Students will describe the etiologies of deafness and multiple disabilities, their prevalence, and their implications for educational/vocational programming and placement.
3. Students will describe issues and challenges facing diagnosis and assessment, instrumentation, and their implications for service delivery.
4. Students will compare and contrast historical, medical, and cultural perspectives on interactions between Deaf and hearing cultural groups.
5. Students will describe the impact of societal perspectives on social, academic/educational, and vocational experiences of deaf children, adults, and their families.
6. Students will describe significant features of Deaf Culture including membership, cultural transmission patterns, cultural activities and values, and cultural conflicts with hearing society.
7. Students will receive positive evaluations from staff regarding their conduct, interaction, sign language skills, maturity, responsibility, and performance which will be used in evaluating their readiness to progress toward student teaching.


    Moores, D. F. (1996) Educating the deaf: Psychology, principles, and practices. (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.

    Lane, H., Hoffmeister, R., & Bahan, B. (1996) A journey into the deaf-world. San Diego, CA: DawnSignPress.

    Packet of additional readings and information to be purchased by students at Wordsmith’s.

Graduate Students: additional text

    Vernon, M., & Andrews, J. F. (1990). The psychology of deafness: Understanding deaf and hard of hearing people. White Plains, NY: Longman.

References: (not required)

    Hairston, E., & Smith, L. (1983). Black and Deaf in America: Are we that different? Silver Spring, MD: T. J. Publishers.

    Scheetz, N. A. (1993) Orientation to deafness. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

    Van Cleve, J. V. (Ed.)(1993) Deaf history unveiled: Interpretations from the new scholarship. Washington, DC: Gallaudet University.



8/31             Ch. 1m*, 1-lhb*              Introduction to Deafness and Deaf Education, Web assignment

9/7               Labor Day--no class

9/14             Chs. 2-3m                      Historical Perspectives, Child/Family assignments

9/21             Chs. 4-5m                      Causes of Deafness and Additional Disabilities

9/28             Chs. 6m, 2 lhb                Family Interactions and Response to Deafness

10/5             Chs. 9m, 3lhb                 Communication Systems

10/12                                                    Review; Interview paper due

10/19                                                    Midterm Exam

10/26           Chs. 7-8m                      Cognition and Mental Health

11/2             Chs. 11-12m                  Grammar, Speech, and Literacy

11/9             Chs. 7-8lhb                    School Programs and placements, graduate presentations

11/16           Ch 10m                          Early Intervention and Elementary Programs; Community Visit paper due, graduate                                                              presentations

11/23           Ch. 13-14m                    Elementary, Secondary, and Postsecondary Programs, graduate presentations

11/30           Readings                       Transition Training, Acquired Deafness, Support Services, graduate presentations

12/7            Chs. 12-13lhb                 Deaf Community, Deaf Child & Family presentations, papers due
                    pp. 449-255 lhb

12/14                                                   Final Exam: 5:45-8:00pm

*Note on assignments: m = Moores textbook, lhb = Lane, Hoffmeister, & Bahan textbook


    Undergraduates                                      Graduates
    A = 90-100                                              A = 93-100
    B = 80-89                                                B = 85-92
    C = 70-79                                                C = 75-84
    D = 60-69
    F = <60

Quizzes, in-class "writes" & 2 web "hits"            5%
Interview                                                                15%
Deaf Community visit                                          15%
Deaf Child & Family Study                                 15%
Midterm                                                                 25%
Final                                                                      25%

Graduate Students will be responsible for:
(a) scheduling outside meetings and keeping Deaf Child & Family groups on target.
(b) organizing additional research/readings for group
(c) assisting with organizing the group presentation on 12/7.
(d) making a class presentation on one chapter from Vernon & Andrews; this will count for 2% of the final grade such that students on the borderline who do a good job will be increased to the next higher grade.

Graduate students also will be asked 1-2 additional questions on exams (to demonstrate broader and deeper understandings) and to have better writing skills and more depth for written assignments.

Quizzes and short in-class " quick writes" will be given periodically during the semester. They will consist of 1-3 short answer or objective questions based upon the readings and discussions. You also will be asked to evaluate class sessions periodically through a modified "quick-write."

Web "Hits": two are required--they will replace your lowest quiz or quick-write grade or one absence (you CANNOT do additional web hits for extra credit or additional absences).

Directions: Locate a topic related to deafness and print out the information to hand in. Include with the printouts: (a) your name, class, date, (b) Web URL (address). This should be an individual project (topics/sites should be different) although you may assist each other in accessing the Web if needed--all searches should be individual. Consult with the graduate student in your group or others if you are unsure.

Midterm and Final Exams will include objective and short answer questions from the textbooks, class discussions, and group work.

Interview assignment will be conducted with a person with a disability or a close relative of a person with a disability who is 18 years of age or older. Your purpose will be to learn how the person with the disability and their family discovered and responded to their diagnosis. (Persons with a disability or relatives of persons with a disability may discuss their own/family’s experiences regarding the discovery and later adjustment.)

Procedures: It is very important to ask the person's permission to be interviewed for the purposes of a class on deafness (use the form in your packet--it must be turned in with your paper). Explain that all answers will remain confidential to anyone outside of the class (IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU MAINTAIN THIS CONFIDENTIALITY). Also ask for permission to take notes, and thank them when the interview is over (do not audiotape). Have them sign the consent form and allow them to review of your paper if they wish. Hold the interview in a public place--restaurant, student union, etc. unless they are a friend or relative and feel comfortable doing it elsewhere. Write up your list of questions before the interview and take notes as best you can (usually this is less intimidating than using a tape recorder).

Interview paper should be typed double-spaced and include the following:
1. Heading (your name, the date, the course number and name)
2. Date, time interview began and ended, and place of interview.
3. Pseudonym for the person interviewed (do NOT use real names in your paper or in class), and personal information about the person including:
            a. age group--young/middle/older adult or child,
            b. gender,
            c. disability,
            d. number of brothers and sisters,
            e. current job if they have one, and
            f. city of residence.
4. Interview questions and responses--summarize the questions and answers in your written paper. Have a list of questions and write notes as they answer. Include questions such as:
            a. What is the etiology of your (her/his) disability?
            b. When and how was the disability discovered? Who suspected it first? What made them suspect?
            c. How did you and the family react when they first learned of the disability? Has this change over time--how did things change from early childhood, to middle school, to high school, to adulthood?
            d. What things were difficulties in school? What were successes? How did the school treat you--your friends and classmates (did you have friends), were teachers/principals fair or overly concerned, give you easy/hard work, ignore or include you in the class/school?
            e. Do you feel isolated or involved in your community or world ? Do you feel you are"different" or the same as others?
5. What would you like to see change about how the world deals with disability issues?

Deaf Community Visit will involve some travel, so several students may wish to travel together. After you arrive, break into pairs during the visit so you are not just "one . All papers must be individual. The visit must be to an event of at least two (2) hours in length. The purpose is for you to observe cultural differences and similarities to hearing society and for you to try some communication, if possible. The description of the visit should be typed, double-spaced (1-2 pages) and include:
1. Heading (name, date, course)
2. Situation characteristics:
            (a). Date, time, and location of visit,
            (b) Approximate number of deaf and hearing people present,
            (c) Group diversity--age range and majority age group, gender, and ethnicity), and
            (d) the nature of the group or function.
3. Types of communication used:
            (a) deaf with other deaf,
            (b) deaf with hearing, and
            (c) hearing with other hearing people.
4. Describe how this group functioned when compared with a similar (age, gender, ethnicity, & purpose) group of hearing people:
            (a) similarities you noticed, and
            (b) differences you noticed.
5. Describe your impressions and insights about this experience--did the Deaf people seem "close" or "distant" from each other? Was there much mixing and interaction between hearing and Deaf people? How did they respond to strangers and did you feel included or excluded by this group?

Deaf Child and Family Study

You will each be assigned to a "family" group with one graduate student (if possible) to help serve as a group facilitator. If this is not possible, another group member may volunteer to take this role. In any case, all group members will be expected to share all leadership and organizational tasks required of the group.

Each group will receive a picture of a deaf child with a brief description of their etiology (cause of deafness). Your group will meet during and outside of class to discuss and make decisions about the general characteristics of the child and family as we address the various issues in the texts and readings. You will add details to the initial etiology to specific extent of loss, additional disabilities that often accompany that etiology and the extent of these. Each person will write their own individual paper from their family "role," using the group discussions as a general guideline. Each group will make a presentation about your "family" and child on December 8.

Meet with your group to decide the following by these dates (roughly):

Sept. 14
A. Name of the child, siblings, parents, grandparents and others as desired
B. Date of birth, place of birth, current city of residence
C. Family roles (each person chooses to take a role of parent, grandparent, or sibling)
D. Process of discovery of the disability(ies) and diagnoses (add details to brief course statement)
        1. Who suspected first (can be more than one person) and what age was the child?
        2. Who asked for a medical diagnosis first (and how did the family decide this--who was involved in the decision).
        3. Was more than one opinion sought? How old was the child?
        4. What was the impact on the various family members (grief process)?
        5. What was the reaction of extended family members?

Sept 28
E. Disability information
        1. etiology and type of hearing loss
        2. other additional disabilities: description and severity
        3. impact of disabilities on possible communication and educational strategies
F. Family background
        1. ethnicity and immigration/citizenship status of the family
        2. family’s view of disability and their child
        3. family’s view of education and their child’s future

Oct 12
F. Communication during infancy
        1. initial decision at birth and rationale; programs or training solicited by parents & extended family
        2. effectiveness of communication with family members, siblings, neighborhood & peers

Oct 19
G. Cognitive and Mental Health issues
        1. child’s abilities for thought and language
            a. general thinking abilities (cognitive skills)
            b. abilities to use language to meet his/her needs, ask for help, understand the world
            c. psychological testing (for IFSP/IEP) & outcomes: accuracy, qualified tester, misclassifications?
        2. child’s mental health
            a. general social-emotional health and stability (able to get needs met, happy)
            b. personality characteristics and self-concept: family and school perceptions
            c. discipline used at home--its effectiveness
            d. any testing and outcomes: accuracy, qualified tester, misclassifications

Oct 26
H. English communication skills during upper elementary years
        1. ability to use speech, choice in doing so (how much does s/he do so without prompting?)use of speech with deaf peers, hearing peers, family, community
        2. use of residual hearing for communication (how effectively?), hearing aids or other technology free choice, use with deaf or hearing peers, family, community
        3. literacy skills
            a. skills with reading and writing English
            b. attitudes toward reading and writing English
            c. attitudes toward using ASL and MCE systems

Nov 16
I. Programming decisions
        1. Description of infant/toddler program:
            a. communication philosophy (speech, speechreading, residual hearing, hearing aids, signs)
            b. support for and relationship with family members (also, parent participation and training)
            c. family members evaluation of the program and its results (were they pleased, what was helpful/not helpful, did the child                  progress as they’d hoped)
        2. Description of preschool program:
            a. communication philosophy (speech, speechreading, residual hearing, hearing aids, signs)
            b. integrated or segregated program (children with and without disabilities together)?
            c. family members evaluation of the program and its results (were they pleased, what was helpful/not helpful, did the child                  progress as they’d hoped)
        3. Description of elementary, middle school, and high school programs:
            a. communication philosophy (speech, speechreading, residual hearing, hearing aids, signs)
            b. integrated or segregated program (children with and without disabilities together)?
            c. family members evaluation of the program and its results (were they pleased, what was helpful/not helpful, did the child                  progress as they’d hoped)

November 30
J. Transition planning and postsecondary or employment training
        1. post-high schools plans for work, training, and independent living
        2. adult plans for marriage and family
        3. preferences for involvement in the Deaf Community, family reaction


Uploaded By: Debbie Slyh/Kent State University/Deaf Education Major