Oregon School for the Deaf marks 140th year

Oregon School for the Deaf marks 140th year | statesmanjournal.com | Statesman Journal.

Oregon School for the Deaf students and alumni waved their hands, cheered and used sign-language to talk smack Friday against rivals Washington School for the Deaf during a homecoming pep rally to celebrate the school’s 140th birthday.

Read more: http://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20100918/NEWS/9180326/1001#ixzz100oQaxXb


Students with hearing loss find new methods of communication

Daily Toreador – Students with hearing loss find new methods of communication.

Hearing-impaired and deaf students face the challenges of understanding the people who surround them daily. Whether they have partial or no hearing, these students still find ways of communicating.

Hearing-impaired and deaf are not the same thing. People who are hearing-impaired have some ability to understand spoken language where as deaf students can hear nothing at all. Student Disability Services works with students in these situations to help them succeed in their classes by helping them understand what is being said.

Deaf and hearing-impaired students who have very little hearing are eligible to have American Sign Language interpreters attend their classes with them. These interpreters work with SDS and instructors to accommodate for students’ needs allowing them to participate in campus activities, said Larry Phillippe, student disabilities managing director.

“We try to help them focus on the fact that we’re here to translate information for them,” he said. “But you’ve got to start focusing on proficient written English.”

When in class, interpreters stand at the front of the class, keeping the professor in the student’s line of sight. The student can sit wherever they’d like since the interpreters aren’t working directly with them, which helps keep the student anonymous. Confidentiality is extremely important to SDS, said James Whitfield, assistant director and coordinator of interpreting services.

After registering with SDS, disabled students are eligible for note-taking services, priority registration for classes and for SDS to inform professors they need closed-captioning for videos.

At the beginning of each semester, students file requests for interpreters to attend their classes. But these interpreters aren’t only for classroom aid alone. Students can also ask to have one for attending events or group meetings. Part of college is getting involved in extracurricular activities, he said, and not allowing students the ability to have someone there to help them understand wouldn’t be fair. These students have the right to interact with their peers and translators help with this.

“I think it’s important that people realize that the deaf can do everything and anything except hear,” said Rebecca Markes, a sophomore human science major from Murphy.

Hearing-impaired students who do not use interpreters sometimes run into problems such as, professor’s accents, having to sit in the back of the classroom if there is little space or not having video and closed-captioned film clips.

“What people don’t realize also, is that some hearing students don’t always catch everything either and if they were to do the subtitling or closed-captioning, everyone would get it because they’d read it,” Whitfield said.

Other than offering students an interpreter to translate class lectures from English to American Sign Language, SDS works with professors and other students to help with note taking. Before the start of the semester, students will meet instructors and ask them to use NCR carbonless notepaper. With this, professors will ask two students to take notes on the non-carbon paper, which will create a duplicate copy for the hearing-impaired or deaf student. These notes can be an addition to the student’s own notes since they sometimes find it challenging to follow what the interpreter is signing while trying to write.

“A lot of students like to take their own notes,” Whitfield said. “Those notes can be a supplement in case that deaf person or hearing impaired student missed something or for lack of a better term, they didn’t hear something or didn’t see it.”

Most deaf students communicate   through American Sign Language rather than English since they cannot hear. Although some speak, read and write the language, it is different than the way most communicate. American Sign Language is not something that can be written; it is expressed through motions and facial expressions. Because it is an entirely different language, some deaf students have problems writing and reading English, Phillippe said.

New technology has helped the hearing-impaired and deaf community a great deal, he said. The invention of smart phones with email, texting and video capabilities have given deaf people the ability to always be in contact with others.

“There are so many changes now, especially in technology,” Phillippe said. “We all text now and that was probably the best thing to happen to deaf students: the advancement of instant messaging.”

College student sets out to help the hearing impaired

College student sets out to help the hearing impaired.

West Palm Beach – Shoshana Rappaport lost her hearing when she was a little girl. Her ear problems caused her to lose her balance when she was younger. It wasn’t unusual for her to end up with bumps and bruises. “I am deaf with assistance of cochlear implant which I was implanted with when I was in 10th grade, which gives me about 85 percent of an ability to hear. I would fall down the stairs, I hit my head against the walls and it was pretty bad.”

Shoshana is now 18 years old and in college at Northwood University. She has a service dog, eight month old Macy, which she says she trained to help her open doors and pick up objects. “Well I started volunteering at shelters when I was nine and I would work with the dogs and teach them basic obedience because it improved their chances of being adopted and staying in a forever home. My goal is to start a service dog organization to train autism service dogs for children.” Soshana is receiving a lot of support from the university in her quest to achieve her dreams.”

Robert Cabello, who is Dean of Students at Northwood University said, “She is living in our residence halls right now, we had to make some accomodations in order to assist her.I think that if you have an opportunity to see Macy her service dog you see that this is an animal that has been trained extremely well to assist someone who is in need of those sorts of services.”