Deaf studies


Students will study a wide range of issues relating to this unique linguistic minority group, their history, education, culture, community and language. On all programmes students will study British Sign Language (BSL). In addition, students will develop skills and expertise which will serve and benefit both Deaf and hearing communities. Although Deaf Studies focuses primarily on the situation in the United Kingdom, many of the issues to be explored are of international importance to Deaf people; e.g. bilingualism, education policy, legislation, Deaf politics, professionalism and the empowerment of Deaf people. The subject is supported by the contribution of other disciplines such as history, linguistics, anthropology, psychology, and sociology making it multi-disciplinary in nature. The Trust for Deaf Studies was set up in 1984 to develop projects in the area of Deaf Studies. Its main principles are: communication and understanding - the attempt to enhance and improve the quality of deaf people's lives and their contribution to society.
American Sign Language
The Trust views research and teaching as major priorities. Research plays a vital role in discovering deaf people's needs and finding solutions to their problems, whilst teaching is essential to make these findings available; the combination of these activities ensures that the investigative work of the DST is constantly nourished by contact with deaf people and those who work most closely with them. The program emphasizes the use of American Sign Language skills and students have many opportunities to apply their skills. The program receives strong support from national, state, local agencies, and associations that support programs for and of the Deaf.
Conclusion
As public awareness of Deafness has grown and people desire to communicate with Deaf People, there has been a corresponding interest in American Sign Language. ASL is the most effective way of communication with Deaf People. ASL is one of the most often used languages in the United States after English, and can be used for both personal and professional purposes.

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