Research Overview

Research Statement

I am currently working on four projects.

  1. Bioethics and the Deaf Community manuscript (working title)

This project has been the focus of my Fall 2016 sabbatical.

This project argues for a culturally Deaf-centric approach to bioethics. In this manuscript, which is the focus of my current sabbatical, I challenge the Hearing-centric medical model of deafness as pathology, beginning with an account of Deaf well-being. Following this, analysis of social institutions aimed at ‘serving the deaf’ (deaf education, religion, medicine). Next, I move to an analysis of cochlear implant surgery on prelingually deaf children, arguing that this movement serves as as an initial Deaf cultural standpoint for bioethics. Remaining chapters consider the arguments on genetic screening for and against deafness, genetic selection for and against deafness (specifically with regard to pre-implantation genetic diagnosis), genetic alteration (e.g. CRISPR technology) with regard to the creation of deaf children, and the potential effects of precision medicine/personalized genomic medicine on the signing Deaf community.

  1. Signed Language Interpreting Ethics: A Deaf Philosopher’s Perspective

My interpreting ethics project likewise offers a culturally Deaf analysis of interpreting ethics issues that goes beyond the codes of ethics adopted by signed language interpreters, interrogating assumptions (ethical and epistemological) about the social, political, and institutional structures that contribute to the triadic relationship of signing Deaf consumers, non-signing culturally Hearing consumers, and signed language interpreters.

Freestanding pieces include:

“Coming out of the Hard of Hearing Closet: Reflections on A Shared Journey in Academia” (with Brenda Nicodemus). Disability Studies Quarterly 33 (2), 2013. (Note: translated into German for Das Zeichen in 2014.)

“Signs of Deaf Philosophy: Signed Language Interpreting Ethics”

“The Ethics of Video Remote Sign Language Interpreter Use in Medical Settings”

“Choosing Disability, Choosing Accommodations”

“Our Lives Are Our Own: Privacy, Interpreting Ethics, and Flourishing Deaf Lives”

“Deaf Heart: Virtue Ethics and Signed Language Interpreting”

“Institutional Structures and Signed Language Interpreting Accommodations”

  1. Deaf Philosophy

I have devoted a fair amount of my Fall 2016 sabbatical to trying out my ideas about Deaf philosophy on a variety of audiences. This project has two strands. One strand involves taking a look at the signing Deaf community to see how this population might inform philosophical questions — the issue of whether deaf infants ought to receive cochlear implants as a biomedical procedure that is potentially identity-conferring is an example of this strand. (The bioethics book project described in the first item above would be an example of this strand.) Freestanding pieces include:

“On Developing a Deaf Feminism”

“Cochlear Implants, Viral Videos, and Sexism”

The other strand involves the metaphilosophical question about what it is to do philosophy in a signed language. Some of the questions here include: what is the shape of a philosophical argument (literally and structurally) in a signed language? How might one go about constructing a philosophical lexicon in a signed language? Content from this project includes:

ASL Philosophy Resource project (funded through Rochester Institute of Technology/National Technical Institute of the Deaf)

“Signs of Deaf Philosophy: Constructing an ASL Lexicon”

“In Good Hands: Deaf Philosophy and Deaf Philosophers”

  1. Puzzles About Disability — a multi-authored project presenting disability puzzle cases and commentary. Written with Adrienne Asch, Margaret Battin, Gretchen Case, Leslie Francis, and Anita Silvers.

For a list of my publications, including preprint versions please see my page:  You may also email me at first name  dot last name <at> gallaudet dot edu if you prefer not to use

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