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Applied American Sign Language Studies

This program is designed to give students a foundation in American Sign Language (ASL) and to acquaint them with basic issues of concern to the Deaf community. Furthermore, the program offers an opportunity to individuals already working in the Deaf community to increase their understanding of ASL and Deaf culture in order to strengthen their knowledge and their communication skills. This program will give students sufficient training to:

(1) allow for effective communication with Deaf persons in informal settings in teaching, human services, or health care;

(2) enhance their credentials for employment opportunities which do not require interpreter certification but do assign value to skills in ASL and knowledge of Deaf culture;

(3) earn the academic qualifications for entry into advanced studies at universities offering sign language programs;

(4) enter an interpreter training program, after which they may sit for a certification examination, sponsored by the national licensing organization.


Angie Battistone-Potosky graduated from Franklin University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. She has taught Sign Language and Deaf Culture I & II since 2003. She is truly proud of her Deaf Culture. She likes to compare it to planting and growing seeds. She loves to tell people about Deaf Culture because it is a continuously unfolding story. She thinks that it is important for people to understand where they come from and by talking about Deaf culture, it reminds the Deaf of our heritage. She collects old Deaf books, photos, and postcards back to 1807!

Angie is a former Board of Trustee for the Cleveland Sign Stage Theatre, one of the only deaf professional theatres in Northeast Ohio. For her contribution to the board, she received an award for outstanding dedication and participation. Previously, she was a member on the Board of Trustees for the Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center, and participated in a panel discussion of "Better hearing and Speech" for Mayfield Schools' hearing impaired programs. She is a past president of a local Deaf club and is an active member of the Deaf community.

Angie received a millennial certificate for philanthropic recognition. She is a charter founder of the American Family Immigration History Center at Ellis Island in New York. Lastly, Angie received the "Woman of Professional Excellence" Award from YWCA in 2005.

Her Past Publications:

1. "Both Emic and Etic: A View of the World Through the Lens of the Ugly Duckling", (in Rogers, L. and Swadener, B. A Semiotics of Disability: Interrogating Categories of Difference, 2001).

2. "Multilingual, Multicultural, Multitalented: The History of a Diverse People", (in Stafford, P.L. and Stafford E.J. Children with Disabilities in America: A Historical Handbook and Guide, 2006).

She's married to Ken Potosky and both raise a four-legged pet, named Alfie.

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My background….. Hi my name is Kelly Madsen and I grew up in Euclid Ohio. I am the oldest of four siblings. As a young child, I contracted German Measles, hence, I am the only deaf in my family. I attended Mayfield High and NTID/RIT in Rochester, NY and graduated in 1984 and 1989 respectively. After graduating from college, I obtained employment for the Department of the Navy in Maryland. I worked with the Navy for 10 years. I am married to a wonderful man and I have 2 daughters aged 5 and 7. I have taught ASL in NY, MD and OH. My hobbies include reading, helping others and swimming.

My goal: I enjoy teaching American Sign Language (ASL) it is a visually expressive language. I also enjoy teaching Deaf culture. I encourage all students to learn ASL as a means of communication with Deaf people in the real world. I currently teach ASLI 1100, 1200, 1500, and 1600 at Lakeland Community College.

Want to know some cool ideas? Using ASL, deaf and/or hearing people can communicate in two different cars without rolling down the windows. It is fun to learn about Deaf life. Come on… signup for the courses and learn more about the Deaf.

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Jocelyn A. McCullough-Brindo is a Teacher of the Deaf for Mayfield City Schools at Millridge Center for the Hearing Impaired. Jocelyn's Deaf and Hard of Hearing teaching certificate was obtained from the Rochester Institute of Technology / National Technical Institute for the Deaf (RIT/NTID) in Rochester, New York. She maintains her sign language skills by interpreting plays with the HeArd interpreting group (, attending Deaf socials and events, and by teaching ASL at Lakeland. Jocelyn attended Kent State University for her Bachelor of Arts in Television Production & Speech and has received two masters degrees from Ursuline College in Elementary Education and Educational Administration. She is presently aspiring to be a principal or educational administrator.

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I have been associated with deaf culture/community since 1989.

I have had my own interpreting business since 1992.

I started teaching ASL in 1994.

I am married and have 3 children.

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Brandi Roy: I graduated from the University of Akron where I received my degree in American Sign Language Interpreting and Technical Education. I am currently a full time Educational Interpreter for the Cleveland Municipal School District. I have been working there for 8 years and love it! Also I have been teaching at Lakeland for the past 5 years and enjoy it here at Lakeland too! During the summer I work at a Literacy camp where I help build reading and writing techniques for deaf children.

Fun Deaf Culture fact: There are many ways a deaf person can wke up. One way is for the lights in the room to flash!

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Debra Schwartz

Debra Schwartz has been an American Sign Language interpreter in the Cleveland area for over 20 years. She began teaching ASL at Lakeland Community College several years ago, and is equally fond of both the interpreting and teaching professions. Debra also currently teaches ASL at Cleveland State University (where she received her Bachelor's of Arts in the Interpreter training program back in the mid 80's), and for Mayfield Community Education.

Debra is a member of The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, and the American Sign Language Teachers Association. She is also a member of The Ohio Chapter of Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, and is a past secretary of its' local chapter. When not teaching or interpreting, you can find her spending time with her husband and three children. Debra also enjoys Girl Scouting, and has been a troop leader/co-leader for 11 years. (Girl Scout cookies, Yum!)

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