Jan 07

Deaf PhDs?

Deaf PhDs?


Recently, I attended a party. I was in a room filled with Deaf Ph.Ds, it was awkward feeling but at the same time; it was thrilling experience.

It is amazing to see how much Deaf members of the community evolved in last 30 years. I wonder will they (Deaf PhDs) ever put a good use to their credentials?

Will they start to write articles, books, informative group sessions to promote the awareness of Deaf Culture, ASL as language, Early invention for Deaf children, How would medical industry are trying to do with our children, Accessibility, and much more and to publish their work?

The more they do this, the more hearing people will look up their work as their sources. Their work will raise the bar in the society onto perception on Deaf Culture, Deaf Community, and Deaf People.

This will make huge impact how they (hearing) evaluate, teach, refer the parents of Deaf Children into the world of knowledge with Deaf Children. These hearing professionals will use our Deaf professionals’ work as their credible sources.

Now, it is the time for everyone to look up any references about Deaf issues (medical, culture {language, customs, norms, & values}, education, sociology, etc.) with accurate resources built by our DEAF DOCTORATES.

Now, I ask you, you (specific Deaf ppl) with PhDs, will you use your credentials to promote our community into next level?


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  1. Joe PA

    Wow! Poweerful and though. provoking posting. Thanks for opening my eyes/mind.

    Joe Paterno

  2. Sheri A. Farinha

    Awesome Sean! You rock! Don’t forget tho, its the grassroots deaf movement who makes laws, changes, and new policies happen! Don’t need a PhD to make changes! :) Do more vlogs!

  3. RJ

    You brought up an interesting point here. I think that will not be the case — meaning deaf PhD holders pushing our community to greater access, greater respect, greater success because I think I have met too many deaf PhD holders who seem to look at their PhD degrees as hobby as opposed to something they are seriously pursuing. They seem to see it as a next, logical step to take — a next, logical mountain to overcome without any respect to community development or education improvement.

  4. Toby

    RJ is absolutely correct. Numerous deaf PhD holders tend to be big for one’s britches. They proudly insert “Dr” in front of their monikers.

  5. D

    This vlog and its comments are flawed. I have a phd, but rarely do I require people to refer me as Dr. or do I include them as my signatures.

    Having a PHD allows a level of mutual respect among the academic community and in the specialized field that one pursues. Do a quick check of all CEOS of most deaf advocacy based organizations and you will see that most of them are deaf and have PHD’s so your inquiry whether deaf folks who have phds do pursue for the greater good for the community needs to be revisited.

    Could it be that you haven’t been exposed to these types of groups in the past? Consider that before you claim that we don’t exist and consider that before you claim that many do not pursue community service.

  6. Sarah

    This vlog has gotten me quite bewildered at its best. Just like what D questions, have you ever been involved in heavy academic settings as well as research environment where Deaf researchers focus on research themselves? I just cannot understand how you have gotten to the point where you pondered whether the Deaf doctorates would put their credentials to god use. It is because there are countless and countless Deaf doctorates that are already promoting our Deaf culture, Deaf awareness, etc. in their disciplines greatly through their research and publications. It must be because of folks who are not involved in higher education settings that rarely see that coming from Deaf doctorates due to such academics being involved in a very different category of areas in life. Yet, they do certainly make many and great impacts on promoting our Deaf culture through their research, exposing their hearing students/hearing people who take their classes or are their clients in their discipline, so forth. The list goes on…

  7. Sarah

    Come on, Sheri! Grassroots Deaf movement and Deaf doctorates are two very different things. Deaf doctorates focus on research, teaching, publishing, etc. depending on their discipline whereas grassroots Deaf movement is for anyone who cares about our Deaf community. And, Deaf doctorates can certainly be part of the grassroots Deaf movement naturally. Both fronts make great changes in their very different ways and both ways are imperative to make better changes. We don’t do well with just either one! :)

  8. Regan

    Curious, that sign for “MENTAL HEALTH”, where is that from? Never seen it before so I was wondering how that came to be. Thanks.

  9. Sean

    I learned this sign from a friend of mine who works in a mental health institution in Houston, Texas. I thought this sign is most sensible way to reflect mental health.

  10. Regan

    Thanks for your reply. So, “Shower-health”, is it a type of a home sign created for that institution or a generally used Texan Sign? I understand it reflects the “voices” one may hear because of their illness? Thanks in advance.

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