- Aspiring Interpreter
- AA-BA Partnership
- ASL Standards
- Classroom Modules
- Diagnostic Assessment
- Journal of Undergraduate Studies
- Outcomes Circle
- Student Recruitment
- Vocational Rehabilitation Internship
- Deaf Self-Advocacy
- Teaching Interpreting Media
The Importance of the “…of, by and for the Deaf, hard of hearing and Deaf-Blind” Philosophy
Deaf people have a rich history as a community of self-determination, as evidenced by organizations like NAD, NBDA and AADB and Deaf-led advocacy demonstrations such as Deaf President Now. Recognizing the power of self-determination for success, an “of, by and for the Deaf, hard of hearing and/or Deaf-Blind” philosophy was adopted and underpins all aspect of the DSAT project. The majority of the work has been undertaken by entities who subscribe to this philosophy and meet the following criteria: their bylaws describe the entity as an “of, by and for Deaf, hard of hearing or Deaf-Blind entity; and the chief administrator, board of directors or staff are comprised of greater than 51% Deaf, hard of hearing or Deaf-Blind individuals. The DSAT curriculum is truly a product of the Deaf Community.
DSAT Training Participants
In all cases, the participants who take the training must be Deaf, hard of hearing or Deaf-Blind. Beyond that requirement, this curriculum has been taught with great success to a wide variety of Deaf Community members – high school transition students, college students, vocational rehabilitation consumers, vocational rehabilitation personnel, community advocates and deafness-related personnel, job and career seekers, senior citizens and more.
This curriculum has been designed for students approximately 16 years or older or (if younger) who are in transition program. However, the NCIEC DSAT Workteam believes that self-advocacy training should be a life-long process that starts in elementary school.
The curriculum is designed to be adapted by trainers who possess the cultural awareness and linguistic acuity of particular segments of the Deaf population. We strongly recommend that DSAT be taught only by recognized Deaf leaders in their unique cultural community.
The DSAT Curriculum
The DSAT curriculum was the work of many individuals representing many entities, among them the NCIEC, Communication Services of the Deaf, T.S. Writing Inc, English Wit, Inc., and the DSAT Master Trainers who represent advocacy organizations throughout the United States.
An ideal training should be no less than eight hours. Often times in educational settings, the curriculum is taught as a course over several weeks, with each class devoted to one module.
No, the DSAT training is only offered in a face-to-face setting. The curriculum is highly interactive, including many role play and game activities. It also uses video vignettes and other visual tools.
NCIEC is dedicated to providing the highest quality training possible. Pre/Post tests let us know that you are indeed benefiting from the training, that your trainer provided you with quality training. It also tells us how to improve the curriculum. We are very interested in knowing if you are now able to better advocate for yourself. To do this, we will occasionally conduct small focus groups of participants to learn more about your self-advocacy experiences. We always want to hear your thoughts and opinions.
Providing DSAT Training
The initiative’s extensive effective practices work concluded that an initiative to prepare Deaf individuals to self-advocate should be led by qualified Deaf individuals who have a first-hand knowledge and experience of the challenges, frustrations and issues faced by the Deaf Community when seeking equality and involvement.
In keeping with the “of, by and for…” philosophy, research findings and recognition that a peer-to-peer influence is very powerful and holds the greatest promise for impacting change, the DSAT curriculum has been designed as “peer-led” training conducted by Deaf individuals.
We, therefore, strongly discourage hearing persons from providing the training, regardless of their ties to the Deaf Community or ability to communicate. If you do not have a Deaf person available to provide the training, NCIEC is happy to work with you to identify a qualified trainer from outside of your area.
In addition to being Deaf, trainers should have:
• Native level fluency in ASL
• A strong knowledge of and ongoing exposure to the Deaf community
• A working knowledge of the target audience’s needs
• In-depth knowledge of local, state and national resources
• Ability to translate written contents into communication modes and/or language choices appropriate for participants
Yes, there are a number of individuals who have completed a DSAT “Train-the-Trainer” workshop conducted by NCIEC’s Master Trainers. Please see the Directory of Trainers for a list of qualified trainers.
In addition to providing consumer training, Master Trainers are qualified to conduct NCIEC-recognized train-the-trainer trainings to Deaf, hard of hearing and Deaf-Blind individuals interested in becoming a DSAT Consumer Trainer. Master Trainers serve as advisors to the DSAT initiative and mentors to novice trainers. They are specially noted in the Directory of Trainers as Master Trainers.
Please check the Directory of Trainers for trainers in your area. While the Directory groups the trainers according to the NCIEC region in which they reside, they may be available to travel outside their listed region. Please contact them directly to learn of their availability and service fees, if any. Also, please note that those without contact information are not available for training.
The list of qualified trainers who have completed a Train-the-Trainer workshop continues to grow so make sure to check the website on a regular basis for the most up-to-date list of trainers.
DSAT Consumer Trainers and those DSAT Consumer Trainers who are also Master Trainers are identified in the Directory of Trainers. Many of these individuals are available to provide training upon request.
Some DSAT Consumer Trainers and Master Trainers work as independent contractors, while others conduct trainings as part of their organization’s mission. Consequently, training fees are often charged to cover travel and/or honorarium. These fees are negotiated between the trainer and your organization. You may also contact the NCIEC Regional Center in your area to determine if your Regional Center is able to co-host a training with your organization or entity. In some, but not all cases, the NCIEC Regional Centers may have a limited amount of funding to help offset training costs.
The materials were developed with federal funds and, as such, are in the public domain, meaning that anyone may use and copy these materials. However, they are copyrighted and the property of NCIEC and so may not be sold nor bartered.
While available to anyone who wishes to use the curriculum, NCIEC requests that it be acknowledged as the source and referenced appropriately. More importantly, NCIEC asks that materials be used in the manner intended, that being a Deaf-to-Deaf peer training.
We know the best trainer is one who has completed a Train the Trainer workshop. If you are interested in attending a Train the Trainer workshop, do let us know by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will work with you to either identify a workshop near you or, if there is sufficient interest from you community, bring a Train-the-Trainer workshop to you. A group of ten to fifteen participants is an ideal size for a workshop. And, upon successful completion of the Train the Trainer workshop, you will have the opportunity to be added to the Directory of Trainers.
The curriculum has also been designed to be used without formal training. This is not our recommendation but it is indeed an option.
The DSAT Initiative
The DSAT initiative is a project of the National Consortium of Interpreter Education Centers (NCIEC), which is funded by the U.S. Department of Education Rehabilitation Services Administration, CFDA #84.160A and B, Training of Interpreters for Individuals Who Are Deaf and Individuals Who Are Deaf-Blind.
The DSAT initiative is sponsored by the NCIEC. The National Center and all of the Regional Centers participate in and support the initiative.