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COMMUNICATION SCIENCES AND DISORDERS

American Sign Language

American Sign Language (ASL), the fourth most used language in the U.S., embodies the thoughts, experiences, and values of Deaf culture in the United States and English-speaking parts of Canada. Linguistically complete, it has its own structure, idioms, topic-comment syntax, and grammar. Facial features, such as eyebrow motion and lip-mouth movements, are also significant in ASL as they form a crucial part of the grammatical system. ASL incorporates hand shape, position, and movement; body posture and movements; gestures; facial expressions; other visual cues; and makes use of space surrounding the signer to describe places and persons that are not present. Ethnicity, age, and gender affect ASL and regional usage and jargon contribute to its variations.

Courses Offered at WSU

CSD 270 American Sign Language I
Focuses on the use of American Sign Language as used by the American deaf community. Development of basic communication skills leads to basic conversational skills in ASL.

CSD 370 American Sign Language II
Increases vocabulary and speed of the use of ASL. Focuses on a greater fluency in expressive and receptive skills. Develops intermediate conversational skills. Prerequisite: CDS 270

CSD 470 American Sign Language III
The students will demonstrate expressive and receptive mastery of targeted, context specific commands, questions and statements in ASL, as well as be exposed to ASL as a foreign language. Exposes students to the life and experiences of Deaf people. Prerequisite: CDS 370.

CSD 480 American Sign Language IV
Increases vocabulary and speed of the use of ASL. Focuses on a greater fluency in expressive and receptive skills.  Develops intermediate conversational skills. Prerequisite: CDS 470.

CSD 518 Deaf Culture
A survey of Deaf Culture that examines the various cultural aspects of the deaf community. It presents the interrelationship of the language and culture along with a study of socialization, norms and values.

CSD 520 ASL: Nonverbal Communication
Non-verbal way of communication which forms an integral base for communication in American Sign Language.  This course will emphasize the use and understanding of facial expression gestures, pantomime and body language.  Role play and acting out will be required as part of this class. Prerequisite: CDS 370 or instructor consent.

CSD 740C Selected Topics in American Sign Language
Prerequisite: CSD 270.

Sign Language Interpreter Certification

The Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (KCDHH), which is part of the Kansas Department for Children and Families, is the certifying agency for interpreters in Kansas. All working interpreters, regardless of experience, must be registered with KCDHH and take the Kansas Quality Assurance Screening (KQAS) to be certified. For details about the KQAS testing process, go to www.dcf.ks.gov/services/RS/Pages/KCDHH/KQAS.aspx.

Foreign Language Requirement

Students who wish to fulfill their foreign language requirement with American Sign Language may seek permission to do so by submitting a written request to their college's exception committee.

ASL Foreign Language Curriculum

Signing Exact English

Signing Exact English (SEE) is a sign language system that is based on signs drawn from American Sign Language (ASL) and is expanded with articles, prepositions, pronouns, affixes, tenses, and finger-spelled words to visually represent the English language. SEE is most often used with deaf children in educational settings.

Courses Offered at WSU

CSD 260 Signing Exact English I
Introduction to the theory and use of Signing Exact English (SEE) as a means of communication with the hearing impaired. Independent outside practice is necessary to facilitate skill.

Note: Students with previous experience in Signing Exact English may request to take CSD 260 by examination. Review the CSD 260 Credit by Examination Procedure (pdf file) prior to scheduling an appointment with the examiner. The cost is $45.

CSD 360 Signing Exact English II
An advanced class in the theory and use of Signing Exact English (SEE) as a means of communication with the hearing impaired. Emphasizes vocabulary and interpreting skills. Prerequisite: CDS 260

CSD 460 Signing Exact English III
Intermediate level course designed to increase expressive, receptive and voiced vocabulary in Signing Exact English and increased use of visual features of signed languages. Production techniques, self and peer analyses and skills pursuant to Kansas standards for Interpreters in Educational Settings are applied. Prerequisite: CDS 360.

Sign Language Interpreter Certification

The Kansas Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (KCDHH), which is part of the Kansas Department for Children and Families, is the certifying agency for interpreters in Kansas. All working interpreters, regardless of experience, must be registered with KCDHH and take the Kansas Quality Assurance Screening (KQAS) to be certified. For details about the KQAS testing process, go to www.dcf.ks.gov/services/RS/Pages/KCDHH/KQAS.aspx.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do some parents and educators think SEE should be used to teach English to kids?

Putting a sign to the language that a hearing parent already uses is much faster than learning a whole new language. Parents are primary educators of young children, so the sooner parents learn to sign, the sooner their children can be exposed to language, and less time is lost in those formative years of cognitive development.

Why do some classroom teachers learn SEE?

Educators, whether they are teachers, tutors, paraprofessionals, or parents, are using sign language as a teaching tool. Students can benefit from using the visual cues of sign language, reinforcing information by movement, or the added challenge of learning another creative way to express themselves.

What about children who have some hearing?

With the child who has some useable hearing, sometimes supported with hearing aids, FM Systems, cochlear implants, or just someone who has lip reading skills, the use of SEE supports the vocal input and can provide a more complete message.