Date of Award

Spring 5-30-2013

Document Type


First Advisor

Maribel Gárate

Second Advisor

Beth Benedict


Among many Deaf education programs in the United States, residential schools for the Deaf have a long and valuable history for the Deaf community as centers of cultural and linguistic transmission of U.S. Deaf culture. Several states maintain well-populated Deaf education programs that provide language and culturally rich environments where Deaf students receive American Sign Language(ASL)/English Bilingual instruction. In such an environment, which could be considered a Deafcentric setting, students are able to interact with their teachers, classmates, principals, and the staff in their native, natural language. Those schools are also designed to provide extracurricular activities with Deaf mentors, another key means of transmitting and nurturing Deaf culture. The purpose of this study is to identify the linguistic and socialization factors -- inside and outside of the classroom -- of one known Deafcentric school in providing quality education that promotes self-advocacy and leadership skills for Deaf students. This research used a simple descriptive qualitative research design, including site observations (two classrooms, an after-school activity, and a dorm tour); interviews with a selected administrator and two educators (one with >15 years of experience and one with <5 years of experience); and document (mission, policies, outreach information) review. The findings suggest the use of visual instructional techniques, the creation of a visual learning environment, the respect for and consistent use of ASL in and out of the classroom, and the positive attitude of teachers and administrators towards providing a bilingual environment are key indicators in creating a Deafcentric environment at this school.



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