Thursday, February 2, 2023

Play

Palestinian advocates praise a new fact sheet on discrimination, Pennsylvania considers extending deadlines for abuse claims, and North Dakota's corporate farming debate affects landowners and tribes.

Play

Vice President Kamala Harris urges Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, the House begins the process to impeach the Homeland Security Secretary, and the Federal Reserve nudges interest rates up.

Play

Is bird flu, inflation or price gouging to blame for astronomical egg prices? Pregnancy can be life-changing or life-ending depending on where you live, and nine tribal schools are transforming their outdoor spaces into community gathering areas.

Wayne State Adds American Sign Language to Teaching Curriculum

Play

Thursday, October 20, 2022   

Deaf people say they sometimes feel like they're living on a different planet from those who can hear, but when both learn to use American Sign Language (A-S-L), it can open up a new world of communication.

In Detroit, Wayne State University is taking notice. The school's College of Education recently included A-S-L instruction to its curriculum, and the classes are filling up. As the program grows, the school is actively recruiting people who are deaf or hard of hearing as teachers.

Kathryn Roberts, interim assistant dean of teacher education at Wayne State, said it would not make sense to teach ASL without instructors from the deaf culture.

"It was really important to our division that we had people from the deaf community working with us, because deaf culture is a huge piece of what we wanted to be teaching," Roberts explained. "And education programs, particularly Wayne State's education program, we have a huge focus on the community."

Roberts added there are an estimated 400,000 deaf people in Michigan, which means the program potentially affects one out of every 20 people in the state. She pointed out the college offered eight sections in ASL this past semester, and expects the program to expand as demand increases.

Emily Jo Noschese, assistant professor of bilingual and bicultural education at Wayne State University, was one of the first instructors the school recruited. Noschase, who is fourth-generation deaf, not only teaches ASL, but has helped identify and hire five part-time ASL instructors.

Noschese, who spoke in sign language through an interpreter, said there's value in communicating with those who cannot hear.

"Anybody that's working in a business, somebody who might own a business or a company, they are guaranteed to have a deaf person that might want to come in and work for them," Noschese emphasized. "They learn sign language; that could benefit the rapport between them and the client, because they will be able to communicate with them."

Noschese stressed part of learning ASL is understanding the ways of the "deaf culture," because they sometimes express themselves in very different ways from the hearing population.

"We are very blunt and direct. That's a cultural norm of deaf people," Noschese stated. "There's no wishy-washy. There's no sensitivity, beating around the bush, around a certain topic that we might care about. So, hearing people sometimes are a little bit thrown off about that."

Disclosure: Wayne State University contributes to our fund for reporting on Civic Engagement, Education, Environment, and Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Protestors at the University of California-Berkeley demonstrate in support of student groups that passed a bylaw pledging not to invite pro-Zionist speakers. (Palestine Legal)

Social Issues

Groups fighting for Palestinian rights are praising a new fact sheet on religious discrimination from the U.S. Department of Education's Office for …


Social Issues

Lawmakers and immigrants-rights activists in the Commonwealth are hoping to pass the Language Access and Inclusion Act, which would dramatically …

Environment

New U.S. Department of Agriculture rules will target fraud and increase oversight of the $64 billion-a-year organic food industry. In Iowa, the …


While mortality rates for pregnant women have decreased globally, they continue to rise in the United States, with Black women three times more likely to die during pregnancy than white women. (Inez/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

By Jennifer Weiss-Wolf for Ms. Magazine.Broadcast version by Eric Galatas for Colorado News Connection reporting for the Ms. Magazine-Public News …

Health and Wellness

With Black History Month underway, Wisconsin researchers and support groups are highlighting the disparities in cases of Alzheimer's disease…

Environment

Oregon is pursuing an aggressive climate plan to switch to renewable energy sources, but it faces one often overlooked issue: enough high-voltage …

Social Issues

A measure in the Washington State Legislature would provide free school meals to K-12 students, but nutrition service workers are worried they are …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021