Date of Award

12-2009

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Applied Linguistics

First Advisor

Baertsch, Karen

Abstract

This thesis aims to explore how the rapid development of different communication technology that has taken place over the last few years offers new possibilities for deaf people to use American Sign Language through the use of videophones and webcams. I started by delving into the inventions of many communication tools that have excluded and included deaf people from society. I proceeded to talk about the 1988 and 2006 protests at Gallaudet University and the diverse technology used to distribute information during each protest by deaf people and the media. Afterwards I revealed the amazing impact videophones have on deaf people whose native or second language is American Sign Language. Deaf people no longer have to rely on English to contact one another in distant places. Next I mentioned the conflict parents of deaf babies face with the many choices of audio and visual technology. Lastly I focused on present and future research on electronic learning used for the education of deaf children.

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