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Risk Management / Deaf Events / Off-Campus Field Trips

How can ASL and Deaf Studies teachers mitigate the risks involved with assigning students to attend Deaf Events?

ASL and Deaf Studies teachers often assign students to visit or attend Deaf events off-campus such as ASL Socials, Deaf celebrations, visits to Deaf-Schools, Deaf plays, conferences, Deaf bingo, open-captioned movie night, Deaf Association meetings, etc.

ASL and Deaf Studies instructors need to do due diligence to ensure that the locations and events to which the students are attending are safe and that their students will be free from harassment or harm.

It is important that instructors inform and discuss with students any known risks associated with attendance at Deaf Events.

The following tips have been adapted from field trip guidelines put forth by the Department of Human Resources, Diversity and Inclusion" at California State University Fullerton regarding "Risk Management and Environmental Health and Safety" in regard to field trips:

1. Forward to their department chair prior to the beginning of each semester a list of those courses or course sections that incorporate field trips as part of the curriculum.

2. Make any field trip a component of the course requirements and include this activity in any course syllabus.

3. Student Travel Accident Insurance, which can provide medical expense benefits to an injured student, is only available if the field trip is listed as a course requirement.

4. Inform and discuss with students the known risks associated with the field trip.

5. Instruct and discuss with students how to properly and safely handle situations reasonably likely to occur during the field trip. Inform and discuss with students campus emergency procedures and explain their application to the field activity.

6. Inform and discuss with students their right to not participate in a field trip based on their perception of the risks involved,

7. Begin and end all field trips on campus whenever possible to ensure a proper head count and submission of waiver forms.

8. Exercise a degree of supervision over the activity appropriate for the degree of hazards involved.

9. Maintain an accurate copy of the Academic Field Trip Participant List on the field trip and in the department office.

10. Ensure that only those students who have signed an Academic Field Trip Waiver of Liability and Hold Harmless Agreement participate in the field trip.

11. Inform and discuss with students any department policy related to student use of alcohol on field trips.

12. Ensure that no alcoholic beverages or controlled substances are transported in a university or privately owned vehicle used on the field trip.

13. Call 911 immediately concerning any incident involving serious injury or death, multiple injuries, extensive property damage or whenever appropriate. Contact University Police as soon as possible.

(Adapted from: 1/6/2019)


Tip: Instead of "sending" your students to a Deaf Event -- Go with them.
Tip: Do a pre-event site evaluation.  That means making the time and putting forth the effort to investigate the event ahead of time -- including physically going to the location to make sure it is a safe environment.
Tip:  Empower your students to go to events in teams.  Encourage them to meet in a public place and go as a group.
Tip:  Provide alternate assignments that students can do instead of attending an external event.
Tip:  Instead of sending students to an external event, put forth the effort to host an event at your school.





In consideration of being given permission to participate in the ____________________
_________________________ field trip to __________________________________
on (date[s]) __________________ supervised by _____________________________

I hereby waive, release and discharge any and all claims for damages for death, personal injury or property damage which I may have, or which hereafter accrue to me, against California State University, Sacramento (the University) as a result of my participation in the event. This release is intended to discharge the University, its trustees, officers, employees, and volunteers, and any public agencies from and against any and all liability arising out of or connected in any way with my participation in the event. I further understand that accidents and injuries can arise out of the event; knowing the risks, nevertheless, I hereby agree to assume those risks and to release and to hold harmless all of the persons or agencies mentioned above who might otherwise be liable to me (or my heirs or assigns) for any loss or damages. It is further understood and agreed that this waiver, release and assumption of risk is to be binding on my heirs and assigns. It is the intention of the parties hereto that the provision of this paragraph be interpreted to impose on each party responsibility for their own negligence. I acknowledge that I have been fully informed of the risks and dangers involved in this field trip. I acknowledge that have read, agree, and fully understand the above Warning, Waiver, Assumption of Risk and Release of Liability. I further acknowledge and agree that the reasons for my being requested to sign this Release have been fully explained to me and I understand them. I am signing this Release of my own free will and I have not been influenced or coerced by any representative or employee of the State or University (Students under age eighteen must have the signature of their parent or legal guardian):



_______________________________ _______________________ _____

If Participant is under 18 years of age: I am the parent or legal guardian of the Participant. I have read this document, and I am signing it freely. I understand the legal consequences of signing this document, including (a) release of University from all liability on my and the Participant's behalf, (b) waiver of my and the Participants' right to sue, (c) and assumption of all risks of the Participant's participation in this Activity, including travel to and from the Activity. I allow Participant to participate in this Activity. I understand that I am responsible for the obligations and acts of Participant as described in this document. I agree to be bound by the terms of this document.

__________ _________________________________
Signature of Minor Participant's Parent/Guardian Date

Minor Participant's Name





If you do not sign and turn in this form within the first two weeks of class, you will NOT be allowed to do the assignment for credit or for extra credit in this class.  Instead, you will need to do an alternate assignment option listed on the syllabus.


Activity: Deaf Community Event Participation

Activity Date(s) and Time(s): Various dates available during the semester before the deadlines for assignments.


Activity Location/Facility: An arranged public meeting place such as a coffee house, restaurant, or public library.


Hazards to be aware ofThere are no known hazards -- other than the usual hazards of daily life when travelling from one place to another and interacting with new people in a public space.


Hazard mitigation (how to prepare for a safe activity): You are responsible for your own transportation to events.  Plan ahead, look up directions, allow enough time to get there and go to your next obligation.  Use common safety precautions with whatever mode of transportation you choose to take.  It is recommended that you attend with a trusted friend or fellow classmate.  Meet only in public locations such as coffee houses, restaurants or libraries.  Be aware of your surroundings and obey traffic laws.  Trust your instincts and leave a situation whenever you feel unsafe.


In consideration for being allowed to participate in this Activity, I release from liability and waive my right to sue the State of California, the Trustees of the California State University, which own and operate California State University, Sacramento and their employees, officers, volunteers and agents (collectively "University") from any and all claims, including the University's negligence, resulting in any physical injury, illness (including death) or economic loss that I may suffer because of my participation in this Activity, including any travel to and from the Activity.


I am voluntarily participating in this Activity. I understand that there are risks, such as physical and/or psychological injury, pain, suffering, illness, disfigurement, temporary or permanent disability or even death, which may occur from my participation in this Activity. These injuries or outcomes may arise from my own or other's actions, inactions, negligence, or from the condition of the Activity location(s) or facility(ies). Nonetheless, I assume all related risks, whether known or unknown to me, of my participation in this Activity, including travel to and from the Activity.


I agree to hold the University harmless from any and all claims, loss or damage to my personal property, liabilities and costs, including attorney's fees, as a result of my participation in this Activity, including travel to and from the Activity. If the University incurs any of these types of expenses, I agree to reimburse the University.


If I need medical treatment, the University is authorized to obtain medical treatment for me. I will be financially responsible for any costs of such treatment. I agree that I will not hold the University responsible for any claims resulting from any medical treatment. I am aware that the University does not provide health insurance for me and I should carry my own health insurance.


I am 18 years or older. I have read this document, and I am signing it freely.


I understand the legal consequences of signing this document, including (a) releasing the University from all liability, (b) waiver of my right to sue the University, (c) and assumption of all risks of participating in this Activity, including travel to and from the Activity.


I understand that this document is written to be as broad and inclusive as legally permitted by the State of California. I agree that if any portion is held invalid or unenforceable, I will continue to be bound by the remaining terms.


Participant Name:____________________________________ Date: ________________

Signature: _______________________________________________________________



(Source: Interoffice Memo sent to Deaf Studies Area Group at Sacramento State, 1/20/2012.  Use at your own risk. The provision of the above form is not intended to be legal advice. Check with your own legal counsel prior to using this or any other forms or advice from this page or website.)




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