Education for the Deaf

Education typically refers to the process by which information is given or received, traditionally at a school or university. In the United States, all children must receive education until they are at least sixteen years of age. This is especially true for individuals who suffer from a disability or physical limitation, such as those who are blind or deaf. Individuals who are interested in learning more about deaf education may be able to do so by talking with sign language interpreters or other experts in the field.

What is Deaf Education?

Deaf education is traditionally defined as the education of students who have some degree of deafness or hearing loss. Ideally, this education should be designed to meet the needs of individual deaf people, and not the group as a whole. Though deaf educational institutions have made significant leaps and bounds in the past several years regarding the level of instruction provided to deaf people, all facilities may not be the same in regards to education quality. Deaf people who are interested in obtaining a high-quality education may want to do some research before committing to a specific facility or organization.

Identifying Deaf Students

Most experts agree that identifying deafness in children is an essential part of ensuring quality education and mental intellect. Currently, one of the most popular manners of identifying deafness involves the use of audiograms. In very young children, certain behaviors—such as failing to respond to a mother or father’s voice or loud noise—may also suggest moderate to severe hearing loss. While education is traditionally aimed at young members of the deaf community, students of any age may be able to enroll. Members of the deaf community who are non-traditional students may need different types of education than their younger counterparts, as their mental pathways may function differently.

Methods of Provision of Deaf Education

Education can be provided to members of the deaf culture in a number of ways. Among members of the deaf community, inclusive methods of education are often considered to be most popular. In this education style, deaf community students spend large parts of their day in classrooms with students who are not deaf or hard of hearing. In contrast, deaf culture typically frowns on the use of segregation, in which deaf students are not allowed in classrooms with hearing students. Exclusion—in which deaf students do not receive any type of education at all—is especially disliked by members of the deaf culture. Finding a high-quality education program for deaf students can be somewhat of a challenge. In most cases, the best institutions are found in larger cities or urban areas—small, rural facilities that provide appropriate education are typically few and far between.

Individuals who want to learn more about deafness and deaf education should visit the following websites: