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

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network 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.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs