:: Gallaudet’s New Communication Policy/ PSD Survey – Mishka Zena blog ::

Gallaudet’s New Communication Policy/ PSD Survey

Here is the old erroneous definition of American Sign Language that currently is included in the University Faculty Guidelines at Gallaudet.

Page 3 of the University Faculty Guidelines (May 2006)

2.2 Policy Concerning Communication

The University Faculty Recognizes that the Gallaudet academic community includes persons who depend on a variety of communication modes and that a major purpose of instruction is the communication of information and ideas. Gallaudet’s mission, as a unique educational institution, is inextricably bound to the need for accessible and direct communication among students, faculty, and staff. Historically, the university has integrated sign language into its educational programs. The University Faculty is now committed to a working model of a bilingual (American Sign Language and English) multi-cultural community where deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing people can learn and work together without communication barriers. The centrality of communication at Gallaudet permeates all programs and services. Accessible communication is the right of all members of the Gallaudet community and the people served. The university faculty encourages the learning and clear use of American Sign Language and English in all aspects of university life to meet the needs of the individuals served. To facilitate meaningful visual communication, the Faculty is expected to use clear sign communication, with or without voice in the classroom, in faculty meetings, and in meetings of like nature, as well as when communicating with individual students. The term American Sign Language is to be used in an all-inclusive sense and includes signs expressed in English word order, with or without voice”in much the same way many deaf and hard-of-hearing people communicate among themselves and with hearing people.

To see Ryan Commerson’s video commentary on this, please go here:


UPDATE, May 12, 2007

This policy was officially revoked by the Gallaudet Faculty Senate and a new policy was officially approved on April 30, 2007. Here is the new policy:

2.2 Policy Concerning Communication

The University Faculty recognizes that our community is comprised of deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing individuals who depend on a variety of communication modalities. Gallaudet’s mission as a unique educational institution is inextricably bound to the need for direct, comprehensible and accessible communication among students and faculty. To that end, all members of the University Faculty are committed to promoting bilingual (American Sign Language and Written English) communication. The University is committed to providing training and resources, as needed, to support all members of the Faculty in developing the necessary language skills.

This policy is not prescriptive, allowing considerable latitude with regard to acceptable communication on campus; the only restrictions are that the communication be direct, comprehensible and accessible.

Commentary: The correction is long overdue. This is another sign of new changes being implemented by the Davila Administration, showing that Gallaudet is heading in the right direction. MZ


Pennslyvannia School f/t Deaf Survey

The survey is divided into two category: the school itself and the new superintendent.


Please describe 3 or 4 strengths or aspects of the school which you would not want to see weakened or changed.

These can be qualities which are unique to the school, and/or characteristics providing the distinct capabilities of the school. 

Please describe 3 or 4 aspects of the school which need review or change.  These are issues or practices within the school, which, if not addressed, could change or alter the nature and direction of the school.

Please describe 3 or 4 external challenges facing the school. These are challenges existing outside the school and over which the school does not have direct control, but could affect the well being of the school in the future.

The Next Head of PSD

With the previous responses in mind, please list 3-4 professional career experiences which you think it would be important for candidates to have had.

Please list 3-4 skills necessary to build on the strengths and opportunities listed above. Skills refer to professional capabilities.

What personal qualities will be important to ensure the success of the new Head of PSD?

Commentary: Here is your chance to let the firm hired to search for the new superintendent know what Deaf Community wants from PSD.   If you feel the school doesn’t have enough Deaf teachers and staff, be sure to inform this firm! If you think audism is a problem, with ASL not being utilized sufficiently and the school lacking a solid foundation in bi-bi program, well, go ahead and fill this survey! It takes a village to raise a child. Well, it also takes a village to see that its school flourishes!

This survey is embedded in the PSD website.  Here is the direct link to the firm’s website, bypassing PSD computer, thus assuring your anonymity completely.  MZ

Email contact: mishkazena@aol.com

Mishkazena (TM) 2007

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