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The Role of Deaf Studies in Transformative Health and Biomedical Research Through Engaged Scholarship

There is a lack of qualitative research conducted within the Deaf community, largely because traditional qualitative research methods are designed to collect and analyze participants’ spoken language. Our Deaf-engaged research team developed an emerging method of qualitative data collection and analysis that may be more appropriate for conducting qualitative research with Deaf participants who use sign language. This presentation will introduce audience members to linguistic and sociopolitical considerations related to conducting qualitative research with Deaf signers. Audience members will learn about recently completed scholarship that forged a collaborative partnership between the Deaf community, ASL/Deaf Studies faculty, and non-deaf researchers to transform health and biomedical research.

Video (password required)



Timothy Riker

Timothy Riker

Timothy is a Lecturer of American Sign Language at Brown University, where he teaches a three-year series of ASL and Deaf Studies courses. He is research Co-Investigator at UMass Medical School, working with Melissa Anderson and their research team to engage with the Deaf community to improve their research with Deaf participants. Riker is a second-generation Deaf person, an alumnus from Maryland School for the Deaf, and earned his Masters in Sign Language Education from Gallaudet University. He is also active in the Deaf community, serving as Chairperson of the Rhode Island Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

Riker is also co-presenting on “Effective Corrective Feedback for Sign Language Learners”.