Identity, Deaf Youth, and Education

This guest post is written by

Anita Small, MSC, EdD  and Joanne Cripps, CYW

Co-Directors, DEAF CULTURE CENTRE, Toronto, Ontario

 With the large proportion (over 90%) of Deaf students mainstreamed as a cultural minority group within school boards in Ontario (Malkowski, 2011), the issue of minority identity development is particularly pertinent. The Knowledge Network for Applied Educational Research (KNAER) Project provided funding for us to work with James Côté. In this work, we addressed this issue by publishing a monograph that integrates the research on Deaf minority identity development in the education system and at home, formed partnerships, disseminated the research through two university workshops, posted resources online, and are now posting on this blog on identity development as well as forming the DEAF CULTURE CENTRE Academic Network (DEAFCCAN) throughout Ontario on this topic.

To access the monograph, Cultural Space and Self/ Identity Development Among Deaf Youth by Anita Small, Joanne Cripps and James Côté, click on the following link

To access three PowerPoint presentations below dated September 28, 2012 at OISE/U of T on Cultural Space and Deaf Identity click on the following link:

“Self and Identity Among Youth: Self-Esteem, Self-Efficacy and Context” by James Côté

“On Becoming: Cultural Space and Identity Development Among Deaf Youth” by Anita Small and Joanne Cripps

“Deafhood and Deaf Youth in the Education System” by Ella Mae Lentz

We are now expanding the DEAF CULTURE CENTRE Academic Network (DEAFCCAN). If you wish to join the DEAFCCAN contact us at

We are currently collaborating with Dr. Supalla, Associate Professor in the Department of Disability and Psycho-educational Studies at the University of Arizona in Tucson, renowned linguist and expert on “universal design” to expand the work of the monograph to address identity development among Deaf youth in the context of universal design. This extends the research on Deaf student minority identity to their social sphere.  Universal design is critically examined as an effective means to integrate Deaf students without penalty to their linguistic and social well-being, whereby ASL becomes a resource for society as well as for Deaf youth in Ontario.

By the fall 2013 you will have access to a PowerPoint presentation and video on Universal Design and Deaf Youth Identity on our website, and via James Côté’s new identity development blog.

Posted in Blogroll | Leave a comment