Deaf Studies (DEAF)

How to Read Course Descriptions

DEAF 51.     American Sign Language 1. 3 Units


Students will learn basic vocabulary and grammar of American Sign Language. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to exchange basic information about themselves and their families such as their names, where they live, and their interests. Through out-of-class readings, in-class discussions and demonstrations, and experiences within the deaf community, students are exposed to elements of the deaf culture and community.

Note: Taught in ASL without voice.

DEAF 52.     American Sign Language 2. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): DEAF 51 or equivalent.

General Education Area/Graduation Requirement: Foreign Language Graduation Requirement, Humanities (Area C2)


Students will continue to expand vocabulary and concepts acquired in DEAF 51. Expansion of conversational range includes talking about other people and activities, giving directions, and making requests. Students develop discourse skills appropriate for establishing connections with deaf acquaintances and handling a variety of interruptions. Through in-class discussions/demonstrations, course readings, and out-of-class field experience, students are exposed to elements of the deaf culture and community.

Note: Taught in ASL without voice.

DEAF 53.     American Sign Language 3. 4 Units

Prerequisite(s): EDS 52 or equivalent.

General Education Area/Graduation Requirement: Foreign Language Graduation Requirement


Students will expand communicative repertoire developed in DEAF 52 to talk about people and places in a contextually-reduced framework. Students learn to describe places, objects, and events. Students develop basic narrative skills to tell about past events. Through in-class discussions/demonstrations, course readings, and out-of-class field experience, students are exposed to elements of the deaf community and culture.

Note: Taught in ASL without voice.

DEAF 56.     ASL Fingerspelling and Numbers. 1 Unit

Prerequisite(s): DEAF 52


Students will develop increased fluency in their expressive and receptive abilities in fingerspelling through in-class practice and viewing of videotaped narratives. Students will also reinforce their abilities to utilize ASL numbering systems for time, money, measurements, and game scores, amount others.

DEAF 57.     ASL Classifiers. 2 Units

Prerequisite(s): DEAF 53; may be taken concurrently


Students will develop increased understanding of the types and uses of classifiers in ASL and develop further abilities to utilize this component of ASL in their expressive and receptive signing abilities through in-class practice, viewing of videotaped narratives, and individual practice outside of class.

DEAF 60.     Introduction to Deaf Studies. 3 Units

General Education Area/Graduation Requirement: GE AREA D


Course introduces students to topics central to the deaf and deaf community, including audiology, education, culture, and history. Utilizing readings, lectures and group discussion, students will learn about the anatomy and causes of deafness, early intervention and education of deaf children, communication strategies and their effectiveness, the deaf as a cultural group and deaf/hearing relationships. Upon course completion, students will understand deaf individuals and their community in a holistic perspective and apply this knowledge toward further studies into the deaf culture and community.

DEAF 154.     American Sign Language 4. 4 Units

Prerequisite(s): DEAF 53


Principles, methods and techniques of manual communication with deaf people using American Sign Language. Emphasis on the continuation of developing advanced manual communication skills with a focus on techniques for informing others of factual information and instruction about rules and methods for students who will work or interact with adult deaf persons. Continuation of the analysis of the culture of deafness with emphasis on participation in the community.

Note: Taught in ASL without voice.

DEAF 155.     American Sign Language 5. 4 Units

Prerequisite(s): DEAF 154 or instructor permission.


Students will build upon communicative skills developed in EDS 154 to develop and expand on their abilities to discuss parts of the body and health conditions, tell a personal narrative about themselves and moments in theirs and others' lives, as well as to retell and translate simple stories into ASL.

DEAF 161.     Deaf History. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): DEAF 60; may be taken concurrently


An overview of the education of the deaf from prehistoric times to the present will be provided. Roots of current trends and events in deaf education will be explored, with projections for the future. Current issues such as mainstreaming, cochlear implants, communication modalities for instruction and others are discussed in both a historical context and from a deaf perspective.

DEAF 162.     Deaf Culture and Community. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): DEAF 60; may be taken concurrently.


Course introduces students to deaf people as a cultural and linguistic minority in America through coverage of sociolinguistic, anthropological, and historic issues in the development of deaf culture and community in America and worldwide. Utilizing readings, lectures and group discussion, topics will include: theories of culture; language use; cross-cultural interaction and intercultural processes, and deaf literature and art. Upon course completion, students will understand current and past educational, legal and medical policies and their impact on deaf and hard-of-hearing people.

DEAF 163.     ASL Literature. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): DEAF 57, DEAF 60, DEAF 154, DEAF 161, DEAF 162, and DEAF 164.


Students will be exposed to a number of ASL stories on videotape, learn several different forms of ASL literature and develop their own stories and narratives in each format. They will understand the effects of genre, style, perspective, and other artistic techniques on ASL storytelling, and utilize similar techniques in their developed stories. Students may perform their stories for a general audience.

DEAF 164.     Sign Language Structure and Usage. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): DEAF 154 or instructor permission.


Examines origins and linguistic structure of American Sign Language (ASL). Cross-linguistic comparisons with spoken and signed languages of other countries will be made. Students will learn aspects of ASL phonology, morphology and syntax. Sociolinguistic aspects of ASL usage in regard to gender, ethnicity, geographical region and educational status will be discussed. Conducted entirely in American Sign Language.

DEAF 165.     Seminar: Current Issues in the Deaf -World. 2 - 5 Units

Prerequisite(s): DEAF 60, DEAF 154, DEAF 161, and DEAF 162.


This course will explore a specific theme of interest to faculty and students within the program, with course content changed each semester. Selected topics will touch upon issues of special concern and interest to the Deaf community such as genetics, multicultural issues, media representations of deafness, theatre and performance art, visual arts, and other subjects which may arise in the fiuture. Course will consist of readings, discussion, independent research, and viewing of various media as appropriate.

Note: May be repeated when diffrent topic is offered.

DEAF 166.     Experiences in the Deaf Community. 3 Units

Prerequisite(s): DEAF 155, DEAF 161, DEAF 162, and DEAF 164.


This course links active participation in the Deaf community to the content of previous Deaf Studies courses. In particular this course examines how to be a good ally within the Deaf community in the midst of a context of power, privilege and difference. Following a Service Learning model, student teams will collaborate on various service projects contributing to the Deaf community. In addition, some students may be assigned volunteer placements serving the Deaf community.

DEAF 199.     Special Problems. 1 - 3 Units


Individual projects designed especially for students capable of independent study.

Note: Departmental petition required.

Credit/No Credit