Thirteen years after the fi rst Deaf Way celebration in 2002 Gallaudet

Thirteen years after the fi rst deaf way celebration

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Deaf life-stories, and sign language linguistics, literature, and literacy. Thirteen years after the fi rst Deaf Way celebration, in 2002, Gallaudet University hosted Deaf Way II, which brought nearly 9,700 people from 121 countries. 38 Beginning in 2004, Utah Val- ley State College has taken up the biennial Deaf Studies Today conference and has pub- lished the proceedings. 39 These Deaf Studies conferences featured the majority of pan- els on issues of education, art, literature, anthropology, history, sociology, linguistics, and psychology. In addition to these conferences, the number of publications within Deaf Studies has grown rapidly. Deaf Studies has grown over the past two decades with many texts focus- ing on the multidisciplinary aspects of the Deaf world — including Deaf cultural stud- ies and critical theory, 40 American Deaf history, 41 international Deaf history, 42 the Holo- caust and Deaf people, 43 collections of Deaf writers, 44 philosophy of signed languages, 45 and sign language literature. 46 Not only has Deaf Studies grown in its academic output, students are lining up to take American Sign Language classes. According to an MLA survey, the number of stu- dents enrolling in ASL classes over the past five years has increased 435 percent. 47 Cur- rently, American Sign Language is the fifth most taught language in American colleges and universities and the second most taught language in community colleges. ASL was offered for the first time in 187 universities between the years 1998 and 2002. 48 Many new ASL programs leave hundreds of students on waiting lists every semester. There is a growing, multimillion-dollar industry to learn American Sign Language and Deaf Studies. Such growth and exposure is undoubtedly positive insofar as it increases public awareness of the Deaf world. Yet one of the great social contradictions of Deaf Studies is that while hearing individuals are being encouraged to sign in unprecedented num- bers, from infancy through higher education, deaf people are being discouraged from signing, also from infancy through higher education. This contradiction — that sign lan- guages are good for hearing people but bad for deaf people — is indicative of the his- torical situation of deaf people being spoken about and spoken for in the institutions designed to serve them. Even within the field of Deaf Studies, perspectives of Deaf peo- ple are often not valued. Many programs call themselves Deaf Studies but are actually based on an audiological model or are focused on deaf education and the strategies for <i>Open Your Eyes : Deaf Studies Talking</i>, edited by H-Dirksen L. Bauman, University of Minnesota Press, 2007. ProQuest Ebook Central, . Created from washington on 2019-09-21 14:41:03. Copyright © 2007. University of Minnesota Press. All rights reserved.
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9 I N T R O D U C T I O N acquiring English. The same is true for publications. The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education and the Oxford Handbook of Deaf Studies, Language and Deaf Educa- tion, for example, provide important research primarily on deaf education, but focus
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