This capstone_masters_project focuses on creating a modified art curriculum for deaf students with secondary disabilities. From personal experiences, there are art curriculums designed for special education students in general and art curriculums for deaf students, but there is no art curriculum for deaf students with disabilities. Since deaf students with disabilities at residential schools already face a limitation by not being able to hear, they shouldn't face more limitations due to another disability. This paper will present what researchers have said about teaching art to both special education students and deaf students. This paper will also include how deaf and special education students' benefit from creating art and what needs to be done to modify or create a curriculum for deaf students with disabilities. Art is an education area where there is a need for improvement. Coming from a strong art background I chose the idea of establishing a curriculum for deaf students with disabilities, also known as "Deaf plus" because I had first hand experience and some struggle finding resources for teaching art to this specialized population. I know this same issue will continue without a proper resource. During my first internship in Canada, I had two full classes, which included deaf students with another disability, and for every lesson I taught, Ifaced one or two challenges. Some of the challenges were communication barriers between the student and teacher, student not being able to understand the content; the assignment was too advanced causing frustration or too easy causing boredom. I used to spent hours every night searching for art lesson tips and ideas specifically to assist working with this population, but was never able to find appropriate resources for deaf students with another disability. Eventually, Idecided to create my own lesson plans by integrating lesson ideas for deaf students and lesson ideas for special needs students into one. Through teaching, I've made notes on making adaptations for each disability, which could benefit other teachers. I came across this quote regarding special needs students, "Are they students at risk, or are they students ofpromise?"(specialed.com). There's a fine line between risk and promise and unfortunately if the disability is not properly addressed with sufficient professional support, a child with promise can become that child of risk. There is promise and risk in every child with or without special needs. This quote is saying just that; every child has potential, some greater than others, and if we guide them in the right direction and we recognize, nourish and educate, the potential risk will be inhibited and promise flourish. This quote also made me ponder how many teachers think of special needs children as having promise? If art teachers for the deaf had access to resources, would they be less afraid and more willing to teach art to this specialized population, especially if the resources were easily found? Since the field of deaf education is continually making changes in ways to instruct deaf and hard of hearing students, I truly believe there is an improvement that needs to be made in the field of deaf education for Deaf plus students. It is essential for more resources to be developed regarding teaching deaf students with disabilities, particularly in the area of art education. The topic of A Modified Art Curriculum is important because teachers that working with special education students can be risky when one doesn't have the knowledge and tools to instruct effectively. This topic is also valuable to have more resources for myself whenever I have a class incorporating deaf students with disabilities. The project will provide art teachers with resources for creative lesson ideas to teach deaf students with disabilities. Ideas such as providing deaf students with opportunities to advance and build motor and visual skills through art. In Addition, this project will educate teachers in the meaning of teaching special education students by providing a clear list of definitions for each disability, complimenting the necessary modifications to this arts curriculum.

Publication Date


Document Type

Master's Project

Student Type


Department, Program, or Center

Master of Science of Secondary Education of Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (NTID)


Bateman, Gerald

Advisor/Committee Member

Roepke, Sidonie


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in December 2013.


RIT – Main Campus