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Max &Marsha Irelands, Oneida Nation

Fighting to Save Indigenous Sign Languages

Within the Department of Theory and Practice in Teacher Education, a part of the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences, you can major in the Education of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.  When you register for classes in the program, you might have a class with Jeffrey Davis, a professor of American Sign Language (ASL), Interpreting, and Linguistics in the college.  But when you can’t find him in the classroom, Davis will be studying Indigenous Sign Language- and sadly, watching it be pushed to the brink of extinction as ASL takes over.

This article, “Fighting to Save indigenous Sign Languages,” explains the possible extinction of Indigenous Sign Language, the causes of its disappearance, and how Davis and other linguists have studied the language and their work toward it’s preservation.

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