Education of Deaf / Hard of Hearing Students: Program Philosophy and the Future of the Field
The aim of the teacher preparation program in DHH is to prepare highly qualified teachers who can work with children with varying degrees of hearing loss as well as across multiple educational placements. The program does not advocate a single type of placement for all children with hearing loss. We realize that children may need different placements and may use different modes of communication at different periods of their educational careers depending upon changing academic and social needs. We believe that parents are integral partners in the educational process and strive to prepare teachers who can foster parental involvement at multiple levels. We believe that all D/HH children need to develop an ability to advocate for their own learning needs and that teachers have a significant role in facilitating development of these skills. The following are developments that are changing the roles of teachers of D/HH students.
Almost 70% of children with hearing loss are now enrolled in general education settings. These children and their general education teachers typically need support from itinerant or resource room teachers of DHH. Teachers working in this setting need strong interpersonal and collaborative skills as well as in-depth knowledge of effective instructional strategies to address the special needs of children with hearing loss. Graduates from this program over the past 10 years are working within public school settings.
Self-contained classrooms provide the most appropriate placement for some D/HH children. Teachers serving these children need in-depth knowledge of content curriculum as well as instructional strategies to address the needs of their students.
With the advent of Newborn Hearing Screening and technology such as digital hearing aids and cochlear implants, increasing numbers of children are developing language through the auditory channel.
Another area that is changing in this population is the incidence of children with additional disabilities. Forty to fifty percent of children with hearing loss will be diagnosed with an additional disability.
The goal of this program is to prepare teachers for the future of the field.
Teachers of D/HH children are likely to:
Most graduates obtain positions shortly after graduation. At present, it is expected that the demand for teachers of children who are D/HH will continue to increase, with the greatest demand in public schools.