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J Deaf Stud Deaf Educ. 2010 Winter;15(1):17-29. doi: 10.1093/deafed/enp018. Epub 2009 Jul 17.

Inclusive deaf studies: barriers and pathways.

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  • 1University of North Carolina Asheville, NC, USA.


Joining scholars signaling the need for new directions in Deaf Studies, the authors recommend a more expansive, nuanced, and interdisciplinary approach that encompasses the many ways deaf people live today. Rather than destroy Deaf culture, this approach is the only realistic way to allow it and Deaf Studies to survive. Deaf Studies today continues the focus of founding scholarship on native White American Sign Language users, now head of a powerful hierarchy through which they receive privileged status at the expense of deaf people with different language backgrounds and races or ethnicities. This marginalization is unsustainable and impedes knowledge. A companion article (this issue), "Deaf Studies: A Critique of the Predominant U.S. Theoretical Direction," analyzes this reactive stance that is oriented by a focus on audism built on the concepts of phonocentrism and colonialism.

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