Deaf Education Essay

985 Words4 Pages
Communication Modalities and Deaf Education: The BIG Debate.
For a long time Deaf education for children were taught along the lines of the oral or manual approach and the sign language approach. In the early 1800’s Thomas Hopkin Gallaudet, was on a search to find a teaching method that is suitable to teach deaf children. He first encountered Brainwood School where the instructional teaching was in oral speech reading and speech (Zapien, 1998). Gallaudet then came across a French priest by the name of Roche- Ambroise Sicard, whose teaching method was the very own sign language. In 1817, the American School for the Deaf was established, now called Gallaudet University, where the teaching was in sign language in the next sixty three years (Zapien, 1998). These two approaches were the topic of controversies as many hold different views about which method is the best way to be use in teaching deaf children.
The big debate came to be held at the Conference of Milan an international conference where the two instructional methods for the deaf came to light and opinions came to be voiced. Some were against sign language as they see it as threatening a deaf children’s ability to learn how to speak since speaking itself is already a hard enough skill for deaf children to learn (Zapien, 1998). These two approaches have indeed caused a division between the Deaf community as strong opinions and beliefs were hold onto (“History of Deaf,” n.d., para. 5). Before any educational approach should be decided on deaf children, the severity of hearing loss should be taken into consideration (Education Approaches). To learn oral skills depends on the ability of the children and the degree of hearing loss (“History of Deaf,” n.d., para. 6). Only then...

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...oned cell phones, video calls have enabled Deaf or HOH to be able to communicate through these technologies. To name a few other devices besides the cell phone there are, computer assisted realtime translation, hearing loops, c-print, multimedia storybook and many more (Krywko, 2010). Advance in technologies has connected students and teachers into better communication in school. Deaf children can connect with many others besides teachers and peers but with professionals.
Regardless of the many methods or approaches into educating Deaf children, there will not be one permanent way that can help with learning. Every individual functions and acquire differently because no one is born with the same ability to learn. In years ahead there will be many more advances in teaching Deaf children and they won’t always be right or agreed upon to be used for Deaf education.
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