CUL361 - Signed English for Special Needs

Outline info
Last revision date 2018-06-01 14:21:02.715
Last review date 2018-07-16 00:15:01.169

Subject Title
Signed English for Special Needs

Subject Description
Signed English is a method of communication designed to augment communication skills in interacting, communicating and supporting individuals with special needs who are hearing and perhaps non-verbal (examples: Down's Syndrome, Autism). Students wishing to communicate with members of the Deaf community should refer to American Sign Language (LGE651) listed under Modern Languages.

Credit Status
One General Education Credit

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

1. Illustrate the development of Signed English and it social significance.

2. Explore the cultural significance of Signed English.

3. Identify teaching methods for asssisting nonverbal, hearing individuals to use Signed English as a method of communication.

4. Demonstrate a fluency in receptive and expressive finger spelling skills using the manual alphabet.

5. Sign and recognize receptively 300-400 words at a slow rate of speed.

Essential Employability Skills
Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken and visual form that fulfils the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.

Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.

Locate, select, organize, and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.

Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.

Take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.


Topic Outline

  • The importance of Signed English to social development. 
  • Research the literature on Signed Englsh and its benefit to people with special needs. 
  • Research the differences between Signed English and American Sign Language, their respective social and cultural importance and applications.
  • Practice expressive and receptive finger spelling.

Mode of Instruction
To ensure that students are engaged as much as possible in the learning process, instructors can use such teaching methods as class and small group discussions, essays and research, individual and group presentations, readings, lectures, workshops, in-class exercises, and/or web-based instruction. The mode of delivery will dictate the most appropriate teaching methods available to an instructor.

Prescribed Texts
The Comprehensive Signed English Dictionary Washington D.C.: Gallaudet College Press,
Gallaudet University. ISBN# 9780913580813

Reference Material
Research article key words: Autism & Sign Language, Sign Language & Special Needs, Down's Syndrome & Sign Language.

Required Supplies

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation

Term Work

All term work assignments must be completed prior to the time of the final exam or last class.  Students must contact faculty in advance of the assignment due date to discuss the possibility of an extension.  Late assignments may be subject to the awarding of a penalty resulting in a lower grade assigned.  
Make-up opportunities for assignments must also be made in advance of the scheduled due date.  If an assignment is missed due to class absence, official documentation must be submitted to the faculty member on or before the next scheduled class. Make-up opportunities may not apply to all graded assignments.

Weekly expressive and receptive tests 30%
Assignments 10%
Cultural Assignments 20%
Final project 20%
Final receptive Assignment 20%

To be successful in this subject, you must complete all course work as specified, and achieve an overall grade of 50% or more.  It is expected that students have a sufficient command of the English language to express themselves clearly in both written assignments and class discussions.


Students should keep all assignments (including drafts and outlines) and exercises until they receive their final grade.Students may appeal any final grade in a subject or any decision by the College, following the recommendation of a Promotion Committee, with respect to the student's academic standing, continuation or status in a program, School, Faculty or the College.  It is the policy of the College that a student who invokes this appeal process will be given a fair hearing.  For further information on appeals, please see Section 12 of  the Academic Policy Handbook.


Approved by: Fiona Bain-greenwood