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Deaf Studies

Minor: Students considering a minor in deaf studies should begin the study of American Sign Language in their first or second year at Holy Cross and should also plan to enroll in DFST 109: Introduction to Deaf Studies.



DFST 101
Elementary American Sign Language 1
Common Area: Language Studies

Designed for students with little or no knowledge of American Sign Language. This course introduces students to the fundamentals of American Sign Language, focuses on the acquisition of face-to-face communication skills through a visual-gestural modality, and provides an overview of Deaf culture. Five class hours weekly, including two hours of practicum. One and one-quarter units.


DFST 109
Introduction to Deaf Studies
Common Area: Cross-Cultural Studies

This course introduces students to Deaf culture and the Deaf community in the U.S. Students will explore issues relating to deafness, Deaf people, and the Deaf community from a cultural, linguistic and minority perspective rather than a medical, pathological view. Students will also examine the meaning of “Deaf,” hearing privileges, Deaf experiences, discourses affecting how Deaf people are perceived, and contemporary issues. This course helps broaden and enrich students’ understanding of the most basic elements of our humanity — language, culture, and society.



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