By: Jade King
Niagara University, N.Y. – There is a new at signer in town, and she goes by the name of Dr. Amy Crockford. Niagara University’s new American Sign Language professor is more than qualified to take on this role by having over 30 years of experience with signing – since the age of three to be exact.
Crockford is a member of the Deaf community and able to provide a unique perspective for her students as she was born and raised deaf. She encourages students to ask questions about deafness and Deaf culture. She wears hearing aids, but American Sign Language has always been a very important part of her life and helps her to understand conversations, meetings and dialogues.
She graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with her bachelor’s degree in professional/technical communication, and from University at Buffalo with her master’s degree in education in student affairs administration. She has been teaching college-level American Sign Language for eight years and is currently teaching at three other colleges besides NU as an adjunct professor. Furthering her qualifications, she is also a board member at Deaf Access Services, a non-profit organization that helps to organize interpreters for events and members of the community.
She was a stay-at-home mom with her two sons until they went off to school. When the opportunity to teach ASL to college students came along she took it. Sharing her passion for the language and culture of the Deaf community with students that are excited and willing to learn is a prospect she couldn’t pass up.
Crockford is also a published children’s author, with her book “My Happy Place”.
“My first children’s book was recently published last month in September in honor of Deaf Awareness Month,” said Crockford. “The book is about a ten-year-old deaf girl who learns the true meaning of friendship. The story is inspired by true events that happened when I was a little girl.”
Crockford is excited to be a member of the NU community and ASL department. She encourages students to come to the many ASL events on campus, introduce themselves and share the beauty of ASL with all those around them.