Special people have special needs and deaf persons are no exception. It is not easy to survive and make a living in a world where competition is very high. Deaf education has great importance for the deaf community. Deaf children and teenagers need special schools and programs where their talents can be groomed with an emphasis on personality development. They meet other deaf people there with whom they form life long friendships apart from potential life partners. American history boasts of catering to the needs of the deaf with some schools operating even before the Civil War.
What is Deaf Education about?
Deaf children need to be offered a program on oral education and sign language. A school for the deaf is the usually needed where the children can mingle with others. They could also enroll in a local mainstreaming or a regional or center program or a regional deaf institution. The deaf children are taught to communicate through spoken language so that they can be in the mainstream when they grow up and are assigned same subjects as normal people.
DEAF LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS:
There are a variety of options for deaf children who want to enroll in deaf schools. Some of these are given below:
1-Residential Schools For The Deaf
Residential schools have always had a respectable standing in USA. However, the trend of getting deaf children enrolled by parents in residential schools is decreasing since local schools seem a better option. Still, there are many advantages of these schools as well. Foremost amongst these are the excellent programs offered by them. The deaf children can interact with peers apart from scouting and club programs. Deaf adults present in the schools act as good role models for the young ones who derive motivation from them. A child's educational and personal development is nourished when he/she sees deaf adults who communicate fluently in sign language besides being well-educated.
2- Sign/Oral Day School
A Day School placement offers the deaf children both the benefits of mainstreaming and residential school. Children can access deaf education from specialized staff with special training while remaining at home. The Day School placement has the same kind of programs that are offered in residential schools. Due to being part of the Residential School programs, day school programs are not easily accessible especially in remote areas.
3- Preschool /Early Intervention Programs
For deaf children under four years of age, early intervention programs seem a better choice. Human services departments, residential schools, private organizations, public schools, local health and human services departments usually manage early intervention programs. These programs prepare the deaf children in functioning socially and within the family. Skills like parent-child communication, language development as well as social skills are imparted to the children. A basis for signing skills, child's development and speech training is formed in these programs. Prior to getting your deaf child admitted in kindergarten, these coping and communication strategies greatly him/her.
4- Mainstreaming And Inclusion
How about exposing your deaf child to regular classes as well as special education classes at the same time? This is called mainstreaming where children enroll in resource classes. A placement option that allows the children to be totally involved in all aspects of public education is called inclusion.