Monday, June 28

Language of the Earth

(click on photo to enlarge)

What about sign language?

Indeed, if we refer to Stokoe's Language in Hand: Why Sign Came Before Speech....

Sign Language would not be the language of a continent,

but the language of Earth!

Friday, August 7

Academic Gatekeeping: Who has the Power?

The recent flurry of discussion about two publications with Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education brings back thoughts about academic gatekeeping. Who decides what gets to be published? Who decides what doesn't? Those people on editorial boards define what is 'knowledge' in our field. Ladd (2003) discussed that this kind of control over 'knowledge' is very dangerous, especially for historically oppressed communities such as ours.

Donna, Heidi and I wrote about academic gatekeeping in this publication about sign language research in sign language communities with Sign Language Studies (soon to be produced in ASL).

Our article was originally turned down by the Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education after two very intense revising sessions, and to this day, I can not forget one reviewer's comment about our article: "too anti-hearing".

I thought this pictorial comic perfectly describes the beauty of online access / open access for all of us, especially for our visual language.

(click on image to enlarge)

Tuesday, February 5

Purpose of this Site

Heidi, Raychelle and Donna believe strongly about making research ethics in the Deaf-World a community-based development. We shouldn't be the ones making decisions about what is right or wrong, and what is acceptable and what is not, in research. We believe that the Sign Language communities should decide what is best. In this blog, we hope to get feedback and suggestions through your comments on this site on what to change, add and remove from our proposed research ethics for the Sign Language communities.

Our aim is also to make this a bilingual and accessible site to the ASL/Deaf community. An ASL translation of our paper will be posted soon.


Codes of ethics exist for most professional associations with members who do research on, for, or with the Sign Language communities. However, these ethical codes are silent regarding the need to frame research ethics from a cultural standpoint, an issue of particular salience for the Sign Language communities. Scholars writing from the perspective of feminists, indigenous peoples, and human rights advocates have commonly expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of representation of their voices in the conversation about research ethics. Members of Sign Language communities and their advocates can learn from others who share in this struggle, as well as contribute much to this topic. We propose the development of Sign Language Communities Terms of Reference (SLCTR) as a means to research by, for, and with the Sign Language communities.

Who Are We?

In Spring 2007, Heidi and Raychelle took Donna's advanced qualitative research methods course. We learned about feminist and indigenous people objecting to many things related to the "white-western-male-researcher" way of thinking, and this sparked their interest in how this may be similar to research ethics in the Deaf-World. They decided to co-author a paper, which was published with Sign Language Studies, winter 2009 issue.