Deafhood: Pathways to Identity & Diversity

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
INTR 2201
Deafhood: Pathways to Identity & Diversity
Sign Language Interpretation
Applied Community Studies
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
15 Weeks
Max Class Size
Contact Hours

Lecture: 2 hours/week

Seminar: 1 hour/week

Method(s) Of Instruction
Learning Activities
  • lecture/seminar
  • small group work
  • guest speakers
  • course readings/video
Course Description
This course provides opportunities for students to build on their understanding of what it means to be culturally Deaf. Students explore the complexities of Deafhood, considering what people who identify as Deaf have in common but also how they differ. Key themes are intersectionality, diverse life journeys, and Deafhood as a global concept. Students examine how these themes inform the work of interpreters. In this course the language of instruction is ASL.
Course Content

Deafhood around the globe

  • Variations in societal acceptance, access to education and employment
  • Variations in recognition of signed languages
  • Variations in the provision of sign language interpreting 

Deafhood and diversity

  • Life stories from diverse Deaf guest speakers
  • Shared and individual pathways/struggles to Deafhood
  • Potentially lifelong impact of early language deprivation
  • Intersectionality in the Deaf community (race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc.)

Deafhood and social justice

  • Systemic inequities (poverty, racism, gender-based discrimination, etc.)
  • De/colonization and experiences of Indigenous Deaf people 
  • Experiences of Deaf immigrants and refugees to Canada 

Impact of 21st century technology on Deafhood

  • Internet, digital information, social media 
  • Universal design, smart phones, video-based technology 
  • Video relay interpreting and video remote interpreting

Advocacy and advancements

  • Activities of the World Federation of the Deaf and the World Association of Sign Language Interpreters
  • United Nations Conventions and activities 
  • Persistence of audism and medicalized view
Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Recognize the status, official and unofficial, of signed languages around the world
  • Recognize the varying realities around the world in terms of Deaf education, employment, and empowerment
  • Recognize variations among countries as to the state of professional sign language interpreting
  • Describe typical and atypical samples of life journeys/struggles into Deafhood
  • Recognize the implications of Deafhood’s complexities for sign language interpreters
  • Explore the impact of technology and social media on the global profile of Deafhood
  • Describe the systemic effects of audism on Deaf people’s access and inclusion, in different parts of the world  
  • Recognize how the Deaf community reckons with issues of social, economic, race-based and gender-based inequity
  • Identify the successes and struggles of national and international Deaf organizations that focus on advocacy and culture
Means of Assessment

Assessment will be in accordance with the Douglas College Evaluation Policy. Evaluation will be based on a combination of individual and group work, and at the instructor’s discretion may include presentations, written assignments, papers, quizzes and/or exams. 

A typical distribution of graded assignments follows: 

  • Deaf Studies Research Group Project, Summary: 15%
  • Deaf Studies Research Group Project, Presentation: 15%
  • Essays: 2x15%
  • Quizzes totalling 30%
  • Attendance and Participation: 10% 

This is a letter graded course.

Textbook Materials

A list of required and optional textbooks and materials is provided for students at the beginning of each semester.