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Monday, November 8, 2021

Media Contact:
Jordan Bishop | Communications Specialist | 405-744-9782 | [email protected]

Oklahoma State University is tearing down the language barrier for a critically underserved
group: Deaf people.

This fall, OSU received approval to make its American Sign Language (ASL) major into
a bachelor’s degree program, which is crucial for students who want to learn interpreting
and also teach ASL nationwide. ASL was previously only offered as a minor.

Dr. Taylor Woodall-Greene has been working to make OSU the first in the state to offer
bachelor’s level courses in ASL for years and finally was able to see her dream come
to fruition.

Initially proposed in 2016, the College of Arts and Sciences stated that to have a
bachelor’s program, it must have a tenure track professor supporting it. Woodall-Greene,
who was an adjunct professor at the time, was close to earning her doctorate so she
applied for the position and was appointed as the tenure track professor.

ASL Spring 2022 classes

More proposal submissions followed until finally, after being delayed because of COVID-19,
the bachelor’s degree program was approved this August to begin classes in Fall 2021.

“I actually just got the official copy probably four weeks ago,” Woodall-Greene said.
“I think we have about two students who’ve already declared their majors as ASL. So
that’s really cool.”

ASL currently has five professors teaching ASL and a search is open for another tenure-track

Woodall-Greene is excited to see more people sign up for a program she is passionate
about. She hopes that it will encourage more inclusivity.

“It is not easy for Deaf people to just learn spoken English,” Woodall-Green said.
“They are a complete group that falls under the Americans with Disabilities Act. They
are an underserved group, they are a discriminated group, they’ve experienced oppression
so their experiences are coming to light now. And I think that’s driving the popularity
of our courses.”

Woodall-Greene said the campus has …….


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