Hi, im new here and could use some acedemic advice


New Member
Hi, my name is Rei and i stumpled on to this site while researching Deaf culture, and asl. i recently became re-intrested in learning sign langauge. i fist started learning esl from my mother who use to baby sit for a deaf child, due to some problems with our relationship i quit trying to learn any sign langauge. I admit that watching the new show on abc family, switched at birth, sparked my intest once again in learning sign language. Since i am now in college persuing a psychology degree, i am wondering how an intrest in learning asl can benfit my career. i am not yet sure if i want to go into private practice, or become a forensic psychologist. my question is would being profient in asl in either of these careers benifit the Deaf community?:ty:
(and i apologize in advance for my bad spelling)


New Member

I'm hearing, just FYI. I don't see how it could NOT benefit the deaf/HoH! Particularly if you are interested in forensics, that would be a whole new depth you could bring to the field. How many units have a deaf liaison (or whatever the term for that person would be.) How many units could benefit by having someone who could interact with the deaf community to help solve crimes? Lots! I say go for it!

I was originally a psych major (ran out of college money,) and my area of focus was to be criminal/forensics, too. It still fascinates me. I read about it all the time.

Jen M.


Active Member
Any time someone knows more than one language, it would be help either personally or professionally no matter what the field or occupation is.


New Member
Thank you for the response. i definatly want to sign up for asl classes now. i was wanting to hear someone elses ideas on the subject before i signed up for a class that i do not need to graduate, i have already compleated my elective credit requirments and my language requirements with german. but now that i think about it asl will benifit others more, as either a counselor or forensic psychologist, then german. i have also thought about trying to become an interpretor to support myself as i go through graduate school.


New Member
Any additional languages you know will help, even the German. What if you work for an agency where you are the only one who speaks German, and you have a German victim or the family of a victim only speaks German, etc.

It's always a great skill to have. (I admit I'm a little biased, because I LOVE language.)

Jen M.


Forum Disorders M.D.,Ph.D
Hey Rei, welcome to AllDeaf.

I do know about forensic psychiatry, I can relay you what I've learned for forensics.

As a forensic psychiatrist, you're likely going to be consulted as an expert related to human rationality and subjectivity to explain for their actions, why a criminal, suspect, or victim may act the way they do from towards the findings of a case. You won't have to be dealing with the witnesses, victims and suspects at crime scenes that's left to the first respondents, investigator, detectives and dispatch for you to take care. A psychiatrist takes more of an evaluation role. Your skills are to supplement the evidence analyzed from the lab department, who got it from dispatch.

For example, with the OJ Simpson case, you may be called in by the PD to assist about OJ's investigation.
1) Explain why did OJ flee in the Bronco?
2) Does OJ have a history of domestic or family problems that may influence his personality?
3) Is OJ mentally sound or not? (IE, expresses bipolar behavior?)
All these questions are about your expertise in analyzing the suspect. Later in court, you will have to give a legal version of your findings to explain OJ's behavior.

You would not have to go around signing to every deaf person questioning them about a case related to deaf person, that is left to the detectives and first respondent dispatch. You'll just have to sit back and wait for them to call you in once they're in the office. No dealing with random people is really going to be needed. Maybe you might want look more into the lines of an investigator if you want to work with people. As an investigator, any language would help you greatly. ASL, even german might come to use. :)


New Member
Thank you everyone for the wonderful advice. this post definatly brought up somethings that i had not previously thought about, in terms of what i will encounter as a forensic psychologist. i am definatly going to have to research more to decide if i want to go into forensics or work as a counsler. as naisho pointed out as in forensics i would not get the oppertunity to work with other people, which is something i definatly want to do, but i also love the idea of anaylizeing the behaviors of crimials to try to understand why they did what they did. thank you all again


Active Member
May I suggest a reason for going into a private practice? There are far and few psychologists who know ASL. I hope you will see the deaf people as cultural, not deafness as pathology. There is a counselor that sees deafness as pathology. I am seriously doubting that she could help me.


New Member
Rei, I'm taking a Psychology in the Legal System this semester and we talked about 5 different roles for psychologists in the legal system today in class.... so I'll tell you about each of the 5 and toss some thoughts out.

Basic scientists - researches just to gain knowledge for the field. You could do research on subjects related to deaf people and how they are treated by the criminal justice system maybe, or things like that.

Applied scientists - apply the science of psychology to real problems. You could be an expert witness about subjects involving psychology and the deaf... you could work with deaf clients in the prison system...

Policy evaluator - you help make public policies that can be tested to see if they are successful. For example, you might design a new treatment for drug addicts and look at how to test it and see if it is sucessful. Not sure how this could benefit people with hearing problems.

Forensic evaluator - this is the one you are thinking of. Evaluating people for the courts... custody disputes, insanity defenses, etc... You DO talk to a lot of people for this. Children, families, etc. Just being sensitive to deaf clients and knowing about deaf culture could help you with deaf clients one would think.

Consultant - these are the people that tell lawyers what type of people they want on a jury and things like that.

Hope that helps... telling you about them was a good review for my next exam!
We are in the same boat. I love switched at birth I'm currently studying child and youth worker care. I'm only fluent in English but understand ASL a little bit, i speak some Croatian and Italian.


New Member
ok im not sure how to reply to diffrent ppl indvidualy on here so until i figure it out i am going to reply in one message. sorry.
Buffalo, i would love any suggestions you have for me, thats one of the reasons i joined AD. anouther was to learn about a new culture that i had not been exposed to before. so yes, i do see Deafness as its own rich culture not a pathology. knowing that there are not many practicing psychologist that know ASL is a good reason to consider private practice. i think your right. any psychologist that thinks Deafness is a pathology would be difficult to get help from.
JanatheShort, thank you that was very helpful, i did not know there were diffrent branches of forensic psychology.
queenravenclaw, thats cool i think ASL would be helpful in that area as well, any languague would.

Thank you all for the feedback!
Ohhhhhh Croatian is interesting! Where did you learn that?

Where did I learn Croatian? I'm 50% Croatian on my mom's side. Her whole family was born in Osijek and moved to Canada in 1970. So I'm always learning whether it's finding out how to say something because I want to be a smart aleck or my mom wants to know the word from English to Croatian or Croatian to English. She has not been back ever. But my baba and deda did go back (baba=grandma), (deda=grandpa, deceased)

My dad's father was German and his mother Romanian and my grandmother's mother was French. So I was born in Canada. I speak fluent English, Have passed ASL I and II at my college, speak Croatian with my mom's family, don't speak any German or Romanian and learned French and Italian in Highschool but don't know it any more.