Multiply Marginalized: Indigenous Deaf Students’ Experiences in Higher Education

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Melanie McKay-Cody


While there is a body of literature about the experiences of Indigenous college students, there is a complete lack of research on Indigenous Deaf college students (enrolled in either traditionally Deaf colleges, predominantly hearing colleges, or a combination of both). The question remains, what college experiences are Indigenous Deaf students having? This signed (American Sign Language) academic video-article examines the lived experience of ten Indigenous Deaf college students. In this study, these students’ experiences are viewed through the Indigenous Deaf Methodologies framework coined by the author. The Indigenous Deaf Methodologies framework uses linguistic anthropology, Indigenous Methodologies (from hearing Indigenous researchers), and Deaf Epistemology (from white Deaf studies). This study focuses on the using of American Sign Language, tribal signed language, visual technologies, and the unique epistemological experiences of Indigenous Deaf students during their college years. This video-article explains the challenges such students face within colleges during a period spanning the 1970s to the today. The author provides recommendations for future programming and accessibility for the next generations of Indigenous Deaf college students.

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