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Deaf Education. If your child was Deaf, what would YOU do?. A bit of history…. Up until the 1860s Sign Language was used to educate the Deaf. Then some parents and educators felt that the Deaf children should also learn how to talk which lead to the creation of pure oral schools.

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Deaf Education


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    1. Deaf Education If your child was Deaf, what would YOU do?

    2. A bit of history… • Up until the 1860s Sign Language was used to educate the Deaf. • Then some parents and educators felt that the Deaf children should also learn how to talk which lead to the creation of pure oral schools.

    3. The Milan Conference • Twenty years later there was an even bigger push for schools to use oral methods instead of manual methods. • In 1880 the second International Congress of Education of the Deaf met in Milan, Italy

    4. There were a total of 164 participants. • Only 5 were American • Only 1 was Deaf (James Denison) • The 5 represented 51 schools with a total of over 6,000 students. • This was more than the total of all the other 159 participants combined

    5. Despite their opposition (plus one educator from Great Britain), those present at the conference voted that Sign Language was no longer to be used when educating Deaf children.

    6. As a result many Deaf schools became more oral. • Some refused to change completely and opted for a combination of both sign language and speech. • This was called the combined system.

    7. For the next 100 years there was a “war of methods” in which both sides of the education debate fought vigorously. • It still continues today “For a Deaf Son.” Indiana School for the Deaf

    8. Attempts were made to suppress sign language until the 1960’s when a linguistic study by William Stokoe proved that ASL was a language in and of itself.

    9. Laws regarding educating the Deaf • IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) was signed into law in 1990. (formerly Educ for all HC children act) • Should be designed to meet the unique learning needs of children with disabilities. (pre-K - 21 years old) • Should prepare students for further education, employment & independent living.

    10. Individualized Education Plan (IEP) • Anyone with a disability (Deaf or other) must have an IEP. • Specifies what services and how often • Specifies current levels of achievement • Specifies how disability affects academic achievement • Specifies accommodations & modifications that will be provided

    11. Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) This part of the law states that children are to be educated with non-disabled students unless the nature or severity of their disability would be better served in an different environment. This is not always the best option for Deaf children and we will look at why.

    12. Why is it difficult to educate the Deaf? • Students start out behind their hearing counterparts because they have limited language. (only 5-10% acquire ASL from Deaf parents) • Most of the money for their education is spent on teaching them to talk instead of other curricula.

    13. Deaf Education Programs… • Curriculum focuses on: • Teaching speech • The psychology of deafness – how to adjust to the hearing world • Audiology • Spoken English development

    14. Deaf Education Programs • Curriculum DOES NOT focus on: • Deaf people interacting with each other • The role that ASL plays in the development of Deaf children • Teaching them how to understand or produceASL

    15. Different Approaches to Deaf Education • Methods of teaching are really just policies of how teachers and students should communicate with each other instead of HOW they should be taught. • Oralism • Simultaneous Communication (Sim-Com) • Cued Speech • Mainstreaming

    16. Oralism • Spoken English is the sole modeof instruction. • The assumption is made that students will acquire English through seeing and hearing it. This will “help” them fit in better with the hearing world. • Even students with some residual hearing don’t do well because some of the sounds can’t be seen visually. (60%) • They miss out on other curricula because they spend so much time on speech.

    17. Oralism cont… • They are expected to learn from a person who is speaking a language they do not understand nor have access to. • They suffer socially as well because they are forbiddento sign and can’t communicate easily with others. • They can’t “overhear” conversations so they also miss out on general cultural knowledge, socio-economic experiences, and other interactions that help them develop cognitively.

    18. Simultaneous Communication • Also called Sim-Com • Been around since the 1970s. • Is a little more accepted by the Deaf community because it allows signs. • The mode of communication is spoken English supported by simultaneous signs. (Sign Supported Speech – SSS) • Special signs are developed so that it represents English.

    19. Sim-Com cont. • SSS is sometimes referred to as “sign language” but it is not a language. Unlike ASL and English it doesn’t have: • Natural development over time • Acquisition by children who are exposed to it. • Grammatical structure that makes it unique to any other language

    20. Signing Exact English • Every English word and parts of a word has its own sign. • ASL – STORE I GO-TO • SEE – I am go+ing to the store. • Uses the same sign for each word regardless of the meaning • Can you can a can or corn?

    21. Signing Exact English • Many initialized signs were introduced at this time in order to clarify which exactEnglish word was being said. Still based on words instead of concept. • We, Our, Path, Road, etc

    22. PSE – Pidgin Signed English This code is a mixture of ASL signs and English word order. A lot of times, Deaf people will “code-switch” to PSE when talking to hearing people.

    23. Sim-Com cont. • It is IMPOSSIBLE to speak English and sign ASL at the same time because they have different grammatical structures. • Either the signs are randomly omitted or the English “flow” is altered. (example)

    24. TELL SAY HORSE RABBIT NO • Tell tell… the Easter Bunny · ... He said, “No” • ALL OUTSIDE DIFFERENT COLOR • all out. You can take a different color. • ZERO ORANGE SORRY OUTSIDE ORANGE PICK OTHER COLOR • No orange. He's sorry but he's out of orange. Pick another color. • ZERO PURPLE WHAT WRONG TOGETHER-WITH EASTER DEVlL. • No Purple? What's wrong with this Easter Bunny? ... • CAN'T HEAR YOU CAN'T HEAR YOU • Well, tell him. He can hear you. He can hear you ... • [-unintelligible----] YELLOW FLOWER [--] OTHER 1 • Those ·are purple flowers. I said yellow flowers. Get another one.

    25. Sim-Com cont. • The teachers assume the students have access to the curricula so they aren’t able to make accurate judgments of who is getting the info. • Biased towards students with some residual hearing. They become the basis from whom the teachers make their judgments.

    26. Sim-Com cont. • Students still have to be competent in English before this is an effective mode of teaching. • Proponents say it’s difficult for hearing parents to learn ASL, so it’s just “better”for everyone to use signed English.

    27. Sim-Com cont. • There is NO PROOF that SSS has helped a Deaf child acquire English or be competent in it. • Research DOES show that Deaf students’ English grammar is not comparable to their hearing counterparts.

    28. Cued Speech • A visual communication system that makes the sounds of spoken language look different from each other. • 8 handshapes in 4 different placements on the face • Combined with mouth movement

    29. Cued Speech

    30. Cued Speech cont… • Positive: helps clarify lipreading • Negative: only good in an educational setting because it won’t work in everyday communication. (The average person – Deaf or hearing- doesn’t know these handshapes)

    31. Mainstreaming • Student(s) has an interpreter in each class in a regular public school. • Positives: • Can take a variety of classes and exposed to more curriculum at the higher levels

    32. Mainstreaming cont… • Negatives: • The interpreter may not be qualified. • Ex. Small school districts. • The student is isolated…sometimes the only Deaf student in the class/school. • The student must have good ASL/signing skills for this to be an effective learning environment.

    33. So…what’s a parent with a Deaf child to do then?

    34. Bi-Lingual/Bi-Cultural Education • Foundational belief: • Deaf children should be taught/modeled/allowedto use ASL • They will be taught English as a 2nd language and follow the principles other ESL students learn by

    35. Current Bi/Bi Programs in the U.S. • There are several schools across the U.S. that have this kind of program although they have different guiding principles.

    36. Some common guiding principles are… • Deaf students can learn if the information is given in a language the child has access to – ASL. • How can a child learn without language? • Thus, the teachers and staff must be proficientin ASL. • Evidence shows a student who signs proficiently does better in English. (true with any language)

    37. Guiding principles… • The earlier a Deaf child acquires language, the more opportunity he/she will have to learn about the world (linguistically and culturally). • This makes him/her more preparedto learn in an educational setting. • Once identified as Deaf, it’s vital to expose them to adult signersand to educate parents in ASL and Deaf culture.

    38. Guiding principles… • The best place for Deaf children to acquire ASL is from Deaf/native signers. • As time goes on, they will learn from older Deaf students, Deaf peers and proficient hearing signers. • It’s important that some of their teachers are Deaf.

    39. Guiding principles… • Content classes are taught in ASL. (Science, math, etc) • English is taught as a second language. As the child gets older, more emphasis is placed on English so that he/she becomes bi-lingual.

    40. Guiding principles… • Speech training is not ignored (esp for those who have some residual hearing), it’s just not the PRIMARY means of teaching. • No child will be expected to learn acquire knowledge at the same timethey are learning to understand speech.

    41. Guiding principles… • The goal is not to “fix”Deaf students and make them like hearing students; the goal is to give them equitable accessto all curriculum. • The Deaf community and culture will be promoted and reinforced to all students, parents and staff.