The Disability Studies Program welcomes José Alaniz as the new Director.
Lance A. Forshay
I teach in both the Linguistics Department and Disability Studies Program. I am Deaf and ASL is my native language. I grew up with Deaf parents, Deaf siblings and many in Deaf relatives where capitalized “D” Deaf became part of my cultural identity. I was educated in deaf schools using ASL primarily. ASL has become a great interest for me since I grew up in bi-lingual and bi-cultural family (including my mother’s hearing relatives) and in a school with Englishized signing systems while I used ASL at home. My maternal grandfather, who was a church interpreter, taught “Sign Language” in 1970’s when ASL was not generally recognized yet. I helped him as sign model since I was little boy. All these factors led me into study of ASL as a language and compare its linguistics principles with English. It was not until I attended college when I learned that ASL is a true language with its grammatical structures proving itself as a language. Therefore, I have taught ASL since 1988 in various types of setting including community education, private tutor, churches, high school and community colleges. I am doing a research on ASL fingerspelling system especially with the special rule called Secondary Meaning Fingerspelling Loan Signs. I have done several lectures on this topic. I am also a member of the UW ASL Club, Sign Lunch and the ASL Teacher Association