Deaf studies

Deaf studies are academic disciplines concerned with the study of the deaf social life of human groups and individuals. These constitute an interdisciplinary field that integrates contents, critiques, and methodologies from anthropology, cultural studies, economics, geography, history, political science, psychology, social studies, and sociology, among others.[1] The field focuses on the language, culture, and lives of the deaf from the social instead of the medical perspective.[2]

The emergence of Deaf Studies was facilitated by the revelation that signed languages are bona fide languages.[1]

Deaf studies are also described as those comprising the scientific study of the deaf-related aspects of the world.[3]


Deaf studies emerged with the recognition that deaf people have a culture and that such culture is unique, requiring alternative ways of understanding this segment of the population outside of pathological frameworks.[4] The University of Bristol began using the term "deaf studies" in 1984 after the founding of the Centre for Deaf Studies in 1968.[2] Scholars began identifying themselves with the field,[2] particularly after degree-granting programs in Deaf Studies began to emerge in the United Kingdom and the United States from the late 1970s to the 1980s.[1] The first master's degree on Deaf Studies was introduced at the University of Bristol in 1992.[1]


Studying the lives of those who are deaf include learning about their culture, sign language, history and their human rights. Being involved in "Deaf Studies" means focusing on the sociological, historical and linguistic aspects of the deaf and hearing impaired. Within this, it prepares individuals to work with the deaf and hearing impaired. Those who participate and join this field of study are involved with promoting the change of views and perspectives of the larger society regarding Deaf people.[5] Becoming involved in the Deaf Community takes a while, but the time and effort goes a long way.

Deaf studies includes the study of:

University-based deaf studies centersEdit

National and transnational Deaf studies centersEdit

Deaf studies associationsEdit

Deaf-related major projectsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d Gertz, Genie; Boudreault, Patrick (2016). The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications. p. 272. ISBN 978-1-4833-4647-2.
  2. ^ a b c Napier, Jemina; Leeson, Lorraine (2016). Sign Language in Action. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. p. 19. ISBN 978-1-137-30975-4.
  3. ^ Deaf studies, From Which Course?, 30.6, Friday, 1 February 2008
  4. ^ Kusters, Annelies; Meulder, Maartje De; O'Brien, Dai (2017). Innovations in Deaf Studies: The Role of Deaf Scholars. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 88. ISBN 9780190612184.
  5. ^ University, Gallaudet. "Outcomes and Careers - Gallaudet University". Archived from the original on 2017-02-11. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  6. ^ University, Wolverhampton. "Deaf Studies - University of Wolverhampton". Retrieved 2017-04-10.
  7. ^ University, Humboldt. "Deaf Studies - Humboldt University". Retrieved 2017-04-10.
  8. ^ "Centre for Sign Linguistics and Deaf Studies". Retrieved 2019-11-30.