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I was born deaf to deaf parents. I attended a deaf school from the beginning of kindergarten through high school senior graduation. I grew up using ASL (American Sign Language) as my primary language, and English as my secondary. ASL is the visual-gestural language that best fits my communicative needs as it does for most deaf people. I grew up within the deaf culture and the deaf world. Everybody knows that I am very involved with the deaf community and am always encouraged by several people, especially my parents and my Vocational Rehabilitation counselor to attend Gallaudet University. Gallaudet is a university for the education of the deaf and hard-of-hearing. It is located in northeast Washington D.C. It is the first school which was started for the advanced education of the deaf and hard-of-hearing people in the world. It is still the world’s only university where the students are taught primarily through ASL. There are a lot of deaf, hard-of-hearing, and hearing people (ASL learners) coming to Gallaudet from other states and countries. I have wanted to go to Gallaudet University since I was young. There are a great number of reasons why I choose to go to Gallaudet University.
First of all, Gallaudet University has the biggest advantage for deaf people like myself, as it begins with a barrier-free communication environment. Everybody signs at Gallaudet University and everything is visual. Gallaudet is truly unique. (Simms) Gallaudet University’s communication environment gives me the freedom and great comfort
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Another thing, Gallaudet University meets with my major in social work. The Department of Social Work at Gallaudet University offers both the Bachelor’s degree and the Masters in Social Work. Also, I was pleased to learn that the higher percent of Gallaudet students are majoring in social work, which gives me the opportunity to learn much about it. "The department has a great supportive faculty that has given me tremendous confidence in my skills, and helps me believe that I can do a lot for this world," says Elizabeth. (Abenchuchan) Furthermore, I can meet different individuals on the Gallaudet campus and develop the understanding and respect for the diversity of ideas and people. This is something I need to experience and use for my career. Moreover, Gallaudet University can lead me to social work career opportunities that relate to working with deaf people. "The networking here is excellent. There are so many people who have their own skills and passions, and I know when I need a particular person with a particular expertise, I will be able to find someone easily through this network at Gallaudet." (Abenchuchan)
Living on the campus with its advantages is the next reason I want to go to Gallaudet. There is no commute time or meal preparation to worry about: I can use the time to study, work a part-time job, and get involved in campus activities. Living on campus provides more social and learning opportunities, flexible study schedules, and easy convenience to Gallaudet's library, computer labs and Washington, D.C., where internship, employment, cultural, and entertainment opportunities abound. Free TV cable and Internet access in each room are also a plus. (Gallaudet University) Also, there are many inside and outside campus activities that I can participate in. These inside campus activities include various student organizations, playing sports, religious meetings, and clubs. Moreover, the outside campus activities include museums, restaurants, and movies in Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C. has a lot to offer and most of the sites are free. (Ammons) Even better, I have observed that many places in D.C., people are already familiar with deaf people because of Gallaudet University. They will sign or gesture, or write back and forth. That is what I like the most about D.C.
Finally, it may be expensive to live away from home at Gallaudet University because of room, board, and transportation costs; however, I have everything under control. I had a discussion with my Vocational Rehabilitation counselor to make a decision to come to Palm Beach Community College for the first two years and attend the second two at Gallaudet to save financially. My VR counselor will help me pay for college. Also, there are different grants, financial aid, and many ways that I can use to pay off the expense.
In summary, I choose to go to Gallaudet University because of a barrier-free communication environment, so much education, the great reputation of the Social Work Department, living on the campus activities and opportunities both inside and outside at Gallaudet University, and the financial support from my Vocational Rehabilitation counselor. Once here, you will discover that the university brims with academic and social opportunities, promising you a rich, varied experience throughout your stay on campus. (Gallaudet University) Gallaudet University has everything I have ever asked for.
Abenchuchan, Alexander. Elizabeth Abenchuchan: '04 & Graduate Student. 2008. 31 Oct. 2008 http://www.gallaudet.edu/x2411.xml
Abenchuchan, Alexander. Siavosh Hedayati, Senior. 2008. 30 Oct. 2008. http://www.gallaudet.edu/x2005.xml.
Ammons, Donalda. Donalda Ammons: Ed.D.Professor Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Cultures 2008. 29 Oct. 2008. http://www.gallaudet.edu/x3774.xml.
Gallaudet University, Admissions. 2008. 2 Nov. 2008 http://www.gallaudet.edu/Admissions.xml
Gallaudet University Residence Life: Living on Campus. 2008. 1 Nov. 2008. http://www.gallaudet.edu/x531.xml
Kohashi, Matt. Matt Kohashi: Arlington, Virginia Second-Degree student Photography major. 2008. 30 Oct. 2008. http://www.gallaudet.edu/x3711.xml.
Simms, Laurene. Laurene Simms: Ph.D. Associate Professor Director, M.A. Deaf Education program Department of Education. 2008. 29 Oct. 2008. http://www.gallaudet.edu/x3778.xml.