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Deaf Self-Advocacy Training

This program is no longer offered.

Deaf Self-Advocacy Training was a six-hour curriculum program focused on consumer education. It was developed and promotted by the National Consortium of Interpreter Education Centers founded on the belief that education within the Deaf Community should be done by the Deaf Community.

In 2010, 30 individuals from vocational rehabilitation, commissions on deafness, and advocacy agencies were trained as DSAT Master Trainers. Since then the Master Trainers have gone out into the Deaf Community and trained additional trainers. Each trainer "pays it forward" by holding Deaf Self-Advocacy Training sessions within their local community.

In one year, the 30 Master Trainers were able to reach over 600 Deaf Community members with the Deaf Self-Advocacy Training curriculum.

The curriculum has eight modules that included:

  1. Advocacy: An Overview
  2. Self-Advocacy
  3. Self-Esteem & Self-Determination
  4. Working with Interpreters
  5. Ethics of Working with Interpreters
  6. Preparing for Self-Advocacy
  7. Utilizing Resources Around You
  8. Applying What You Have Learned

Train the Trainer

Deaf Self-Advocacy Training (DSAT) was designed to be taught by advocacy specialists, educators or VR personnel who are deaf, hard of hearing or deaf-blind.

The MARIE Center hosted two Train-the-Trainer sessions to help get the curriculum out into the hands of the Deaf Community. The Train-the-Trainer sessions were by invitation only and fully funded by the MARIE Center.

The first Train-the-Trainer was in the Fall of 2011. Ten individuals from Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma became trainers.

The second Train-the-Trainer was  April 27-29 in Salt Lake City, UT. Two Mater Trainers from Texas taught 8 indivdiuals from Utah, Wyoming, Montana, North and South Dakota to become DSAT Trainers.

Each trainer from the Train-the-Trainer sessions held two Deaf Self-Advocacy Training events within their home state. The Deaf Self-Advocacy Training events were hosted by the trainer had the support and funding of the trainer's organization. The MARIE Center supplied DVD copies of the curriculum.


“Deaf Self Advocacy is a dynamic training to teach and to arm ourselves with the right tools to improve our quality of life!

~ Sandra Williams; Las Cruces, NM

"I'm so glad there's such a wonderful Deaf Self Advocacy Training and felt more empowered to address the issues in a more civil manner. I can't wait to share this empowerment training with you."

- Walker Estes; Baton Rouge, LA

"This Self-Advocacy training gave me a whole new outlook of how we do our self-advocacy approach to businesses, medical facilities, entertainment ventures.  Very benefitted training and that every deaf person should have this training to better our world with communication access.  Basically it’s all about being aware."

- Gleena Cooper; Owasso, OK

Self-Advocacy is About Having Choices - Living in the institution you don't have the freedom to make choices. You are told what to do, for example, when to eat, when to sleep and when to get ready for work. You have no choice about going places when the whole unit is going someplace. You can't go out on your own.

- Holly Ketchum; Little Rock, AR

 What I love about this Deaf Self Advocacy Training is it is for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing consumers who sign language to gain their confidence skills and knowledge in advocating for themselves, educating others, and empowering their peers.  

- Kimberly Thornsberry; Salt Lake City, UT

 Deaf trainer will exceed in believing rights should be expressed and represented.  Do not allow audism and oppression take for granted.

- Lisa Potter; Baton Rouge, LA

Find a Trainer

Trainers of the Deaf Self-Advocacy Training curriculum within the MARIE region:

error As of September 2016, the MARIE Center's website is no longer maintained