Role Models & Resources for Deaf Education


Representation is crucial, especially in education.

If students see it…

Adam* gave up on his dream of becoming an astronaut after being told many times that a deaf person couldn’t go to space. Indeed, he had not seen a single example of a deaf person working in aeronautics.

However, earlier this year, his teacher registered his class for a CSD Learns STEM webinar, which featured a deaf NASA employee, and he realized that he did not need to abandon his dreams of going to space.

Panel of Deaf role models presenting on camera

90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents.

“We know that students benefit from exposure to role models who have had similar life experiences,” said Brian Milburn, CSD Learns Program Manager. 90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents and may not have access to people who can relate to their experience, which can lead to feelings of isolation. As such, it is important that they are exposed to deaf role models and educators throughout their lives. The CSD Learns team is working hard to make sure this happens by providing a role model-based, representative curriculum.

Educators and family members don’t have adequate support.

“We also understand that educators and family members aren’t necessarily actively depriving students of these experiences. In fact, it is far more likely that they don’t have the adequate support,” says Milburn.

CSD Learns strives to provide this support by spotlighting diverse role models in various careers, creating opportunities for interaction and providing free online courses in American Sign Language (ASL), English, and Spanish. Currently, the CSD Learns course registry features topics like job search skills, finances, writing, and more. These classes are all built by subject matter experts in such a way that educators can use them to supplement their curriculum. Also, individuals can take them at their own pace.”

Deaf educators have had positive experiences with CSD Learns courses.

“CSD Learns has truly helped me save time within my classroom. The videos are not long, and they are to the point in such a way my students get it,” explains Carol Christensen teacher at Illinois School for the Deaf. “We can pause the video discuss a section, get back into it or discuss the whole video upon completion.”

Carol Christensen

CSD Learns has helped me save time within my classroom.


Carol Christensen, Teacher, Illinois School for the Deaf

Deaf learners find our curriculum engaging.

Not only does CSD Learns provide support to educators, but the courses help provide an engaging environment for students as well. “CSD Learns is a good program for deaf people to understand what you’re supposed to do in the working world. I’ve watched several videos and they were awesome,” says one of the students who has participated in our job skills courses. “We need more of these ASL videos.”

Brian Milburn

We can’t achieve our goals without the involvement of our community.


Brian Milburn, CSD Learns Program Manager

In addition to providing resources and education, this program helps to connect people with more deaf role models. “By partnering with deaf educators, we are able to develop effective pedagogical approaches that will help to empower the deaf community, and at the same time, increase the pool of deaf educators,” says Milburn. “We can’t achieve our goals without the involvement of our community.”

Learn more about how you can get involved below.

Take our Survey

Want to learn more about how CSD Learns can support you? Take this survey and we will reach out to provide you with more information.

Teach with Us

Interested in teaching a class or developing curriculum for CSD Learns? We’re always looking to partner with subject matter experts!

Get Resources

We have courses primed and ready! Review what we have available for immediate implementation and see how it can fit your curriculum.

Want to be a role model for deaf children?

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