What is Deaf Education?
Children who are deaf or hard-of-hearing have been taught to speak for several centuries but many do not have this opportunity because of the lack of qualified professionals. In Deaf Education and Hearing Science you will be trained in special techniques to help children learn to listen and speak using the latest in hearing technology.
Deaf Education and Hearing Science prepares professionals to work with children with hearing loss in a setting that emphasizes listening, speech and language. The emphasis is on the development of listening skills without the use of sign language. This approach is known as “Auditory-Oral” or “Auditory-Verbal” education.
Hearing loss is the most commonly diagnosed “disability” among newborns. Nationally, 3-4 in every 1,000 childrenare born with a hearing loss. Very rarely, however, is deafnesstotal; the great majority of newborns with hearing loss have some trainable residual hearing. When given appropriate equipment, these infants can detect many of the sounds of speech and have the same opportunities as hearing children to develop listening, language, speech and reading skills. These opportunities will not happen without qualified teachers. As technological breakthroughs allow children with severe and profound hearing loss to hear sound, skilled teachers are critical to helping children make sense of this sound and use it to learn to speak.
Teaching placements are available at all age levels. The need increases every year for caring professionals to teach every child with hearing loss to listen and talk. Hospital screenings at birth have led to more infants being identified with hearing loss. Deaf education is considered an area of critical shortage, meaning that each year there are jobs that go unfilled.
You will find career possibilities for helping children in homes, clinics, regular schools, and special schools. These settings include:
- family-oriented therapy services for infants and toddlers,
- preschool or elementary classrooms,
- individual therapy sessions or
- helping children succeed in the mainstream (providing services that enable students to participate in the regular class work and courses that you took in school).