American Sign Language (ASL) Exchange

Emmanuel (Mani) Garcia, Psychology
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Regina Miranda
NML Award: The History and Public Health Award (January 2016)

ABOUT Mani Garcia (lead researcher) AND his RESEARCH

Below is a video in ASL (with closed captioning) where I introduce myself and my research. A transcript of the video is provided below the video.

Hi I’m Mani Garcia. My sign-name is the letter-M brushing down on my right eyebrow. I’m a 4th year PhD student at the City University of New York (CUNY) Hunter College. I work in the Experimental Psychopathology Lab directed by Dr. Regina Miranda. My research is focused on finding ways to improve and promote the physical and mental health of Deaf community members by developing better assessment and treatment. I am focused on problems related to anxiety, depression, and stress. There is evidence that the Deaf community is impacted more negatively by the effects of anxiety, depression, and stress than hearing people (Fellinger, Holzinger, & Pollard, 2012) are. In addition, the small number of physical/mental health providers culturally and linguistically competent to serve the Deaf community leaves Deaf people with very few suitable options in a time of need (Cabral, Muhr, & Savegeau, 2013). This lack of suitable options has been tied to harmful cognitive, emotional, and social consequences for Deaf people. My research is focused on understanding potential solutions to the problems discussed in this video.


ASL Exchange LogoAmerican Sign Language (ASL) Exchange was founded as online platform to engage in clinical research/practice on Deaf mental health in collaboration with the Deaf Community—an approach considered best practice. Due to a dearth of health professionals and researchers who are fluent in ASL—and the cultural/linguistic minority status of the Deaf Community—physical/mental health literacy, capital, and best-practice is severely limited in the ASL Community.  To address these gaps the ASL Exchange is focused on engaging in best-practice clinical education, research, and cultural/linguistic adaptation efforts in collaboration with the ASL Community.

Mission Statement

The mission of the ASL Exchange is to help facilitate a sea change of increased access to physical/mental health education, assessment, and interventions for Deaf and deaf-blind individuals.

Guiding Values:

  • Do not assume value: create value.
  • Do not greet crisis with business as usual.
  • Flexibility gives creativity a life span.
  • Communication is paramount: work at it constantly.
  • Match attention with intention: this creates sustainable results.

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