FAQs for students

Q:  I’d like to interview you for a school project — are you available?

A: I try my best to support student learning when possible. That said, I am more likely to agree to an interview if I have ample notice (2 weeks) to put it into my schedule, and if the questions are well structured and clearly defined in scope. If you would like a video interview in ASL, my preferred platform is Skype. At minimum, your request for an interview should contain the following:

  • Your name and the name of the course you are doing this for, your instructor’s name, and the name of your school
  • The purpose of the interview (attaching a copy of the assignment is very helpful!)
  • Who will read or view this interview
  • IRB approval (if applicable)
  • Video release if you plan to film the interview (this should include the following: a copy of the interview will be sent to me; how you will store the interview and privacy safeguards for this video storage; whether you will retain an interpreter for transcription or will do this yourself; if using an interpreter, how the interpreter will be selected and who the interpreter will be; how the transcript will be stored and privacy safeguards for the transcript storage)

Pro tip: while I accept around 80 percent of interview requests that I receive, it disappoints me that about half of these interviews are not followed by some acknowledgement of gratitude. Following up with a note of thanks is a good general practice to follow for many reasons — it is very much appreciated by people who have contributed their time, and it also will be one thing that sets you apart from the crowd (especially if it is an old school on real paper note).

Q: I am writing a term paper on (topic related to deafness, hearing loss, signing Deaf community). Can you please give me the names of some articles and books on my topic?

A: It is great that you have developed an interest in deafness — I hope you will learn a lot as you put together your paper. That said, most of the time I get these inquiries, I cannot help very much — primarily because the information requested is not very specific. Learning to conduct research is part of the task of writing a research paper. This means that it will take time, and you will probably have a few false starts before you are able to focus in on your research question. My suggestion is that you first use one of the academic databases available to you through your university library: if you are interested in deaf education, ERIC is a good place to start; if you are interested in bioethics, try JSTOR and PUBMED; if you are writing a philosophy paper, check out the Philosopher’s Index. You might also find the Gallaudet University Library website helpful — the “Research” tab has links to Deaf Research Guides, the Deaf Periodical Index, and Deaf Collections and Archives.

If you have already done some research, and you have a specific request, I may be better positioned to help you. Here’s an example of a specific request: I am writing a term paper that considers the justification of group rights for the signing Deaf community. I have already looked at Kymlicka and Ingram, but I am wondering whether there is something else I have overlooked that I should look at — do you have any recommendations? Here’s another example of a specific request: I read your “Armchairs and Stares” chapter in the Murray and Baumann Deaf-Gain anthology, and was wondering if you have written anything more on this topic? Feel free to email me with your specific requests and I’ll do my best to respond in a timely manner.

Q: I am a deaf student taking a philosophy class, and my interpreter and I are struggling with the terminology. Can you help?

A: I’m so glad that you have decided to study philosophy! Check out the ASL Philosophy Resource link at aslphilosophyresource.com. This is an ongoing project and we welcome your input. If you have specific questions please email me directly.

Q: My teacher has asked me to write about a deaf person’s life, and I would like to write about you. Where can I learn more about you?

A: I’ve listed a few sources online that may be helpful. Please let me know if you have any problem with these links.




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