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Ampersand feature focuses on strength of Deaf culture, faculty members

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A recent story in the Red & Black's Ampersand magazine turned the spotlight onto three faculty members who share a unique language.

Brian Leffler, Christopher Patterson and Debra Teesdale, all members of the department of communication sciences and special education, teach American Sign Language. The Ampersand story, "The Unspoken Language," speaks with each about their experiences being deaf and the specialness of sharing the form of communication; it is included in the most recent edition of the magazine.

"Teaching American Sign Language can make a difference in the Deaf community through the ASL students," says lecturer Patterson, who is also pursuing his Ph.D. in early childhood education, according to the story. "It can be challenging sometimes because there are communication barriers with people on campus. But some of my ASL students wave and ask how I am doing when I'm walking on campus. It makes me feel better knowing that there are a small number of students that do use sign language and that I can acknowledge them and be acknowledged as well."

Students from across the University can take courses in ASL, which are offered through the department. Students may complete three or four semesters of ASL to satisfy a foreign language requirement.

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