Program Description, Requirements, and Courses

The International Development Master of Arts Degree Program (IDMA) prepares students to advocate, design, implement, monitor and evaluate social change activities in collaboration with Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard-of-Hearing people, and people with disabilities, at local, national, and international levels. IDMA coursework provides practical experience examining legal and social policy frameworks, political and economic conditions, sociocultural and language-centered values and rights, and other features of contemporary life that contribute to or impede social participation and social justice, with an emphasis on:

i) Theories, methods, and strategies of Deaf-led international development.

ii) Examination of micro- and macropolitical issues of development, especially institutional structures and forces impacting development processes (e.g., class, gender, language, race, ethnicity, religion, and sexuality).

iii) Collaborative project and program design—especially barriers and opportunities related to signed language usage, rights and policies.

iv) Participatory project and program models, sustainability models, and monitoring and evaluation practices that build on signed languages as human assets and other available human resources.

v) supervised practicum and internship experiences in federal agencies, international non-governmental organizations, community-based non- and for-profit international development organizations.

vi) Experience with qualitative and quantitative approaches to conducting and reporting research.

Through these activities, students gain a strong grounding in a broad and diverse range of leadership activities carried out by Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing people, and people with disabilities and tools for addressing inequalities in diverse social and political-economic contexts. Upon graduation, IDMA graduates will possess the knowledge and expertise to: a) analyze a set of conditions; b) design and collaboratively implement policies and practices for improving quality of life within and across societies, especially with respect to signed language communities; c) evaluate the processes and outcomes of such activities; d) make recommendations to enhance project and program efficacy, advance policy reform, and engage in social justice advocacy related to emerging social concerns.