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

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: Iraq President Vows to Fight IS 'Until They Are Killed or We Die'

In wide-ranging interview with VOA Persian service reporter, Fuad Masum describes conflict as new type of fight that will take time to win More

Video Russian Anti-Corruption Campaigner Slams Putin’s Crackdown on Dissent

In interview with VOA Alexei Navalny says he believes new law against 'undesirable NGOs' part of move to keep Russian president in power More

Video On The Scene: In Ethiopia, 'Are You a Journalist?' Is a Loaded Question

VOA's Anita Powell describes the difficulties faced by reporters in fully conveying the story in a country where people are reticent to share their true opinions 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.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs