Aesthetics, Culture, Power

Critical Deaf Pedagogy and ASL Video-publications as Resistance-to-Audism in Deaf Education and Research


  • Michael E Skyer Rochester Institute of Technology, National Technical Institute for the Deaf
  • Laura Cochell University of Rochester, Warner School of Education and Human Development



disability studies, deaf pedagogy, deaf education, critical deaf pedagogy, ASL, audism, ableism


From a critical pedagogy standpoint, we examined a multimodal and bilingual (American Sign Language and English) vlog titled “Seizing Academic Power.” The vlog (video-text) explores interactions of power and knowledge in deaf research, proposes tools to identify ableism and deficit ideologies, and means to subvert them. By centralizing visuospatial modalities, the vlog’s medium is also its message. Qualitative data were produced via coding cycles then interpreted through two theoretical frameworks focused on culture in critical pedagogy and aesthetics in epistemology. Our analysis highlights conflicts about deaf education in terms of ontology, epistemology, and axiology. Key findings reveal how deaf students gain cultural competence and develop critical consciousness within the classroom, depending on their teachers’ conceptions of marginalized cultures, use of visual language, and aesthetic modes of knowledge. Our study highlights intrinsic and extrinsic deaf gains and concludes with implications for future research in deaf education and digital ASL publications.

Author Biography

Laura Cochell, University of Rochester, Warner School of Education and Human Development

PhD Candidate