The Deaf Studies minor is open to all students majoring in all disciplines but may be especially attractive to students in liberal arts and sciences, education, business, and theatre. It is designed to develop the use of American Sign Language and prepare students for further education in sign language interpretation or deaf education. ASL is present in every realm of life as deaf, hearing impaired and deaf-blind people seek education and equitable employment. This minor will increase the students' understanding of hearing loss, deafness, and Deaf culture. The course of study will enable the student to communicate with deaf persons at a basic level, as well as gain cultural knowledge. Courses are available through the following programs: Communication Disorders, Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology, Education, Study Abroad, and Communication.

The Deaf Studies minor complements many major fields of study and prepares students to work in a variety of settings where American Sign Language skill and knowledge of the American Deaf Community are necessary. These settings may include, but are not limited to, education, business, human services (social work, health care, counseling, and others), and government. The Deaf Studies minor also provides specific ASL skills necessary to enter English/American Sign Language Interpreter Education programs, or graduate programs such as Deaf Education, ASL Linguistics, Rehabilitation Counseling, and possibly others not listed here. Employees with fluency in ASL are in demand nationwide. The Deaf Studies minor is designed to make New Paltz graduates more employable by having an additional skill set geared towards meeting this demand. This minor is not an Interpreter Education Program or a Deaf Education Program; however, the minor will help a student become qualified to enter either of these programs as a post-baccalaureate student or a graduate student.

For more information about this minor, please contact:

Rebecca Swenson
Department of Communication Disorders, HUM B2B
Phone: (845) 257-2348


DFS494. Deaf Studies Fieldwork. 1-12 Credits.

Fieldwork provides the student an enriching educational experience in the field of Deaf Studies and the opportunity to apply concepts from Deaf Studies coursework. Students independently arrange the fieldwork with a faculty sponsor and a site supervisor. A fieldwork form needs to be submitted and approved before a student can register. Credits are determined by the scope of the fieldwork experience.