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Perspectives of the Students

Page history last edited by Janna Dunagan 14 years, 11 months ago

Deaf and hard of hearing students began integrating into public schools during the 1980’s due to parental requests.  Parents wanted their children to be educated at their home school to stay close to home.  After the Education Act for Children with Special Needs was enacted in 1999, the influx of deaf and hard of hearing students in public education took place (Angelides & Aravi, 2006/2007).  The majority of deaf and hard of hearing students currently are mainstreamed into public education facilities.

As described by the qualitative study of experiences had by students that attended mainstream public schools and schools for the deaf, their perspectives were conclusive in their preferred setting to attend.  The participants in the studies expressed that the mainstream settings provided higher academic expectations, which provided the students the challenge and ability to learn more.  The mainstream setting did not only share that positive experience, but also the negative feeling of isolation due to the lack of peers and staff to communicate with (Angelides & Aravi, 2006/2007). 

Although, the graduates of the schools for the deaf raved about the communication abilities and the social development of lifelong friendships, they too would have preferred to attend a mainstream public school setting to acquire the academic ability of their peers.  These students expressed the simplicity of the curriculum and the limited opportunities to be challenged in their learning at the schools for the deaf.

Overall it was a unanimous; all of the students interviewed stated that if they were able to gain the academic expectations of mainstream education along with the social access to communication they would have done so in a heartbeat.   The best of both worlds is not offered in either setting as the research by Angelides and Aravi found.  The first choice of the students would be the academic achievement to provide opportunities for higher education and increased abilities in the job market of today.

Angelides, P., Aravi, C. (2006/2007).  A comparative perspective on the experiences of deaf and hard of hearing individuals as students at mainstream and special schools. American Annals of the Deaf. 151 (5) 467-487.


Published by Janna Dunagan on July 1, 2009


FrontPage     Educational Issues of Deaf Students

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