News / USA

Hearing-Impaired Students at Gallaudet Enjoy Top College Experience

Hearing-Impaired Students at Gallaudet Enjoy Top College Experiencei
X
February 08, 2013 9:44 PM
Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., is the world's only university with programs and services designed to accommodate deaf and hard-of-hearing students. The university says its goal is to provide the highest quality liberal-arts and professional education for such students. But Gallaudet also offers an environment for interaction with others facing similar challenges and experiences. VOA's Robert Raffaele has more.

Hearing-Impaired Students at Gallaudet Enjoy Top College Experience

Robert Raffaele
Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., is the world's only university with programs and services designed to accommodate deaf and hard-of-hearing students. The university says its goal is to provide the highest quality liberal-arts and professional education for such students.  But Gallaudet also offers an environment for interaction with others facing similar challenges and experiences.

"I think it's about family loyalty. In America, they don't have the same type of loyalty. Maybe loyalty is the wrong word. Maybe it's more like independence," said one student speaking via a teacher/interpreter to a guest on Skype.

Conversations with a guest professor as far away as London are nothing unusual at Gallaudet University. Students here get the opportunity to use a variety of interactive technologies in and out of the classroom, such as webcam conversations via Skype to discuss a reading assignment. The university says approximately 94 percent of the courses at Gallaudet involve some form of online interaction.   

Professor Gene Mirus said digital technology plays an integral role in the classroom.

"There are televisions, and webcams and things like that. Students are able to record themselves doing projects in sign language, and do that at home. We use a lot of computer technologies, and webcams and things like that," said Mirus.

Global community

The Internet may have made the world a global village, but Gallaudet is already a global community, thanks to its diverse student body. Gallaudet's alumni association has 53 chapters around the world.

Sonam Jain, a student from Sri Lanka, said his years at Gallaudet have offered experiences vastly different from his childhood.

"Sri Lanka has states. And they don't have one standardized sign language," he said. "So in the United States, for example, there are signs for almost everything you would ever want to talk about. In Sri Lanka, there isn't. And so there are many things you find it very difficult to talk about in Sri Lanka."

One student who grew up in a bilingual home also said Gallaudet has broadened his communication skills.

"When I grew up, I was signing in a way that was more English. Here at Gallaudet, I sign more like I sign in ASL [American Sign Language], more visual and the communication is much easier, and the social life is wonderful here," he said.

Effective communications

Professor Mirus said that increased ability to communicate opens doors for many students.  

"Most students increase their self-confidence, and improve their communications abilities and they leave Gallaudet ready to face the world," said Mirus.

At Gallaudet, students enjoy a variety of academic and social activities. One graduate student, who is now studying to teach sign language, said her undergraduate years at Gallaudet always were active.

"A lot of networking and reaching out to people I've learned from. I have had role models that I've learned from here," she said. "They provide workshops. There are a lot of sporting activities and intramural events that I've been involved in."

Gallaudet also has some hearing students. The university admits a small number each year - up to five percent of an incoming class.

You May Like

In China, Mixed Signals on Ebola Controls

How authorities are monitoring at-risk individuals remains unclear, including whether there are quarantines for Chinese health workers returning from West Africa More

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Deaf Deaf from: The Villages, Floridaaaah
February 15, 2013 9:15 AM
Please be advised that the term, “hearing impaired” is unacceptable. Here is the explanation:

The term "Hearing Impaired" is a technically accurate term much preferred by hearing people, largely because they view it as politically correct. In the mainstream society, to boldly state one's disability (e.g., deaf, blind, etc.) is somewhat rude and impolite. To their way of thinking, it is far better to soften the harsh reality by using the word "impaired" along with "visual", "hearing", and so on. “Hearing-impaired” is a well-meaning word that is much-resented by deaf and hard of hearing people. This term was popular in the 70s and 80s, however, now is used mostly by doctors, audiologists and other people who are mainly interested in our ears "not working."

While it's true that their hearing is not perfect, that doesn't make them impaired as people. Most would prefer to be called Deaf, Hard of Hearing or deaf when the need arises to refer to their hearing status, but not as a primary way to identify them as people (where their hearing status is not significant).

We are deaf, and not people with impairments (obstacles) in life! Hope that you and your people respect by refusing to use the outdated and offensive term. Hearing loss is more acceptable for everyone who is not just deaf.
http://www.eastersealscrossroads.org/blog/2011/september/deaf-vs-hearing-impaired
http://www.deafau.org.au/info/terminology.php
http://nad.org/issues/american-sign-language/community-and-culture-faq

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Electionsi
X
October 31, 2014 4:10 AM
Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Women Voters Anxious Ahead of US Elections

Public opinion polls show American voters are deeply dissatisfied with their government and anxious about threats from abroad. This is especially true for a key voting group both Republicans and Democrats are trying hard to win over: women. Analysts say if women are focused on national security, it could be bad news for Democrats, with majority control of the Senate at stake. VOA’s Cindy Saine looks at the crucial role women voters will play in deciding the elections.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid