ASL/Deaf Studies Department
Core curriculum courses in the Language Arts, Mathematics, Social Studies, and Science Departments make up the backbone of the academic program at MSSD. Elective classes in ASL and Deaf Studies expose students to the rich history and culture of Deaf people in America.
We offer a number of ASL and Deaf studies classes including:
ASLology: Many people think of ASL as a visual form of English which is not true. In this course, our Deaf students learn to embrace their first language by studying ASL’s unique set of linguistic and grammar rules. They explore the multiple dimensions of this language through visual gesture communication, handshapes, classifiers, movement, and facial expressions.
Deaf Studies: In this course, we expose our Deaf students to the rich history and culture of Deaf people in America. We study and discuss the experiences of Deaf authors, advocates, performers, scientists, lawyers, and many more throughout the history, the description of Deafness through historical, audiological, and cultural perspectives, the social, political, and economic aspects of the Deaf community, and the beautiful culture reflected in the arts and literature.
ASL Literature & Production: This course gives our Deaf students the opportunity to bring English words to life. Our students will recognize the richness of the visual ASL language by producing ASL stories, poetry, and short films. They will also make their ASL expression much more powerful by incorporating technology such as chromakey screen, cinematography, special effects, and lighting in their videos.
MSSD History: The need of creating and developing MSSD history is crucial in promoting stewardship. The essential skills include: learning how to develop, process, strengthen historical preservation/maintenance and know students’ roles in the MSSD community. MSSD Students will process through the developing stages of Deaf identity as there are many ways to be Deaf. Students analyze the archival information and they can make stories in order to build a bridge between teenagers today and older deaf people through a stewardship model.
ASL Studies: The class will cover four domains of ASL: attending, signing, video viewing and video signing (documentation) that will include academic use of the language. In addition, the class will cover information on the history and structure of ASL with some basic comparisons of English language and structure. The students also will work on ASL presentation preparation and communicative competence.
ASL Composition (College Credit): This course introduces students to critical, academic discourse in American Sign Language. Students will be given opportunities to analyze and evaluate academic ASL and to compose logical arguments by synthesizing information from sources with their own critical perspectives. The course advocates the belief that students and their experiences should be placed at the center of the teaching and learning process, and that teaching and learning should occur in a context that addresses multiple ways of thinking.