8 December 2014
Deaf education has been topic of controversy ever since it inclusion into public school and higher education. Mainstreaming of the deaf and hard of hearing in regular school classrooms did not become an issue in the U.S until the early 1970’s. Prior to 1970, there were no schools that had programs for deaf and hard of hearing children. “The government thought that it was not their responsibility to educate the deaf and hard of hearing. In the 1950’s some school offered programs for deaf and hard of hearing students, but many teachers and principals agreed to keep special classes out of regular classrooms” (Gordon, par. 6). The Civil Right Movement in the early 1970’s open a door for the deaf and hard of hearing to receive free and public education, and equal opportunity to participate in a full range of school activities. In 1997, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was helping people with deaf and hard of hearing people to get an education. The IDEA helped bring in the Individualized Education Program (IEP). Many hearing impaired students were mainstreamed, but they struggled to have social lives or a good education in. Mainstreaming for hearing impaired into a regular school is important in the elementary grades. Bruce Roseman said “Mainstreaming is an educational method that says a classroom should include many different kinds of learners” (par.1). Many schools are attempting to get rid of mainstreaming because starting at a young age can destroy a person with hearing impairment to have a good education. Therefore, hearing impaired students should be mainstreamed early in age in public school system to start at the same time as others so the differences would not be so difficult in earlier school years. Mainstreaming hearing impaired students earlier would help to avoid prejudice from traditional students and teachers. For example, a person comes to a new school and is forced to make a new set of friends every time they go into a new mainstreamed classroom. Cheryl Zapien states, “On the average, deafness is confirmed at 2 ½ years of age in the United States” (par.2). The traditional student does not understand the hearing-impaired because they have never experienced deafness. Teachers do not have enough training to teach a hearing-impaired person. Equally, hearing-impaired students have a tendency to be defensive or confrontational. When harassed, teased and bullied, creating clashes from a lack of understanding. Many teachers do not help to stop the harassed, teased and bullied, which is why hearing impaired students withdraw, hoping no one will notice their differences. Cheryl Zapien said “The subject of deaf education is highly charged both emotionally and politically” (par.2). If hearing impaired students were mainstreamed in Kindergarten, these prejudices would not exist. Since hearing impaired students are separated for their first four years of school, they have social adjustment issues that “normal” kids do not, and this creates inequities in their development. Peggy B. Nelson states, “Hearing loss is an invisible condition resulting in communication problems that can ultimately interfere with learning and social development” (par.1). Hearing impaired students are not taught social skills that hearing students learn in their first years until they get mainstreamed years later. Teacher do not help the hearing impaired with social skill in school. Cheryl Zapien said “They miss out on incidental learning from their peers. These kids can feel isolated from their peers” (par.71). When a hearing impaired students meet a “normal” student, they won’t tell them that they are deaf. Hearing impaired students lost a lot of education after they were mainstreamed. Peggy B. Nelson said “In later grades, two- to three-year academic delays are commonly reported” (par.5)....
Cited: Carter, Erik W., Beth Swedeen and Collen K. Moss. "Engaging Youth with and without Significant Disabilities in Inclusive Service Learning." Teaching Exceptional Children (2012): 46-54. 6 October 2014.
Gordon, John Stewart. "Is Inclusive Education a Human Right?" Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics (2013): 754-767. 6 October 2014.
Hamiltion, Jones,PhD, Bethany M. and Cynthia O. Vail, PhD. "Preparing Special Educators for Colavoration in the Classroom: Pre-service Techers ' Beliefs and Perspectives." International Journal of Special Education (2014): 76-86. 6 October 2014.
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Nelson, N.B. "Impact of hearing loss on children in typical school environments." Otolaryngology (1997). 6 Octobeer 2014.
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Zapien, C. "Options in deaf education-history, methodologies, and strategies for surviving the system." (1998). 6 October 2014
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