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About the American Sign Language and Deaf Studies Program

The American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf Studies curriculum provides students with the knowledge and skills to become fluent in ASL. The program places a strong emphasis on linguistic theory and research into ASL as a language. The curriculum also focuses on the uniqueness of ASL as a language, Deaf Culture, Deaf History and Deaf Education practices.

Female student signing at the Ohlone pond.Students with no knowledge or skill in ASL can enroll in beginning level courses. For those students who have some skills signing, a sign language assessment determines appropriate placement in the curriculum.

The ASL & Deaf Studies program provides for students to interact with Deaf students at the college and also to become involved in the social and cultural activities of the Deaf Community. Opportunities are plentiful for American Sign Language and Deaf Studies students to participate in seminars, workshops, and/or other activities related to the Deaf Community. The ASL Club on campus is very active and plans plethora of activities that provide yet other opportunities for Deaf and ASL students to interact.

The American Sign Language and Deaf Studies Program has a strong working relationship with the California School for the Deaf in Fremont, Deaf Counseling, Advocacy and Referral Agency (DCARA), and more Deaf-centered programs and agencies where ASL students may volunteer or be employed. In addition, the program receives strong support from the national, state, and local agencies that serve Deaf people.

As public awareness of the Deaf World has grown and people desire to communicate with Deaf people, there has been a corresponding interest in American Sign Language. ASL is the most effective way of communication with Deaf people. ASL is one of the most often used languages in the United States after English, and can be used for both personal and professional purposes. Sign language No. 4 most studied foreign language, USA Today.

The Deaf Studies Division has state of the art Deaf Studies Lab fully equipped with new technology, software and furnishings to support students with their active visual learning. The American Sign Language and Deaf Studies Program at Ohlone College offers a full range of classes from beginners to advanced students:

  • In meeting personal needs to communicate with Deaf people.
  • In learning about the social, historical, educational and cultural aspects of the Deaf.
  • To meet the Humanities General Education requirement for a Bachelor's degree in the California State University and University of California systems.
  • To meet the Foreign Language requirement at many colleges and for certain occupations.