Language of Instruction: English, knowledge of ASL is helpful but not a requirement
Qualifications: 2.5 GPA, Prerequisite course: CMD202 (Deaf Culture and Heritage)
You and your classmates under the direction of Prof. Swenson will explore deaf education, Deaf awareness, and sign language in the Ethiopian context through training and orientation with local deaf education experts. In doing so, you will build cross-cultural awareness and understanding.
Following your training and orientation, you will engage in fieldwork experience by conducting lessons and activities with the Program for the Deaf at the Bahir Dar School.
Throughout the program, you will keep a written and photo journal to reflect on your experiences and plan for a presentation to be given in the fall semester.
Your time in Ethiopia will be highly structured with your lectures, school visits, and service projects, so your free time will be limited.Prerequisites include CMD202 (Deaf Culture and Heritage) and knowledge of ASL is helpful but not a requirement
Your Professor in Ethiopia
Rebecca Swenson received her Master’s Degree in Deaf Education from Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. and her Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She has been a lecturer here at SUNY New Paltz since Fall 2008. She teaches courses in American Sign Language and Deaf Culture & Heritage. She is a certified Teacher of the Deaf and an American Sign Language Instructor. She has a diverse background working in a variety of educational settings.
Rebecca also has experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer where she lived in a small rural area in Ghana for 2 years. She states that “The time I spent in Africa has had a profound effect on my life, my career and how I look at the world. The enculturation process of becoming immersed in another culture was a wonderful learning experience that I take with me wherever I go. I encourage everyone to travel to experience other places, other people, different languages, customs, traditions etc…”
“Participation in the Visions Deaf Education and Empowerment program in Ethiopia this past summer has reinvigorated my love for traveling in Africa and provided me with an amazing experience that has reinforced my career goal of spreading Deaf Awareness to others.”