What Colleges In Us Offers Asl And Deaf Studies Courses Online Distance Learning

Offerings for deaf and hearing-impaired students to receive hands-on education has many ways. These websites deliver the disjointed courses in open access to meet each individual student’s needs.

In 2009 we began this project. We started by recognizing what’s difficult about deaf education — class work should not be passive — it needs to involve hands-on, interactive learning so people with (and without) deafness can learn and grow. So we set out to develop a series of online courses, mostly for high school students who can’t attend traditional day school or for learning disabled kids. Most of the courses are in English, social studies and science, a couple for special education and writing. Our philosophy is these students can learn and grow on their own, in their own ways, and they’ll come out as stronger for it. We have seven courses so far and we’ve enrolled over 130 students in them. We recently launched a new certificate program to credential more people — we’re looking for good teaching/administrative/student leaders, social workers, to give deaf folks and other learning disabled people more opportunities to stay with learning and better continue their careers.

When we first started, we mostly used videos to capture teachers or super-friends, like Maria (lead teacher) and Dani (our newly retired speech/language pathologist), who were available to chat. Now, you can follow the students, almost like following a high school drama club, and see who’s in class, what’s being discussed and have a virtual companion with them. When we launched our special education classes, we streamed videos from deaf classrooms so anyone (blind or deaf) can watch and learn. We began with these classes because there were teachers who could not attend classes, not only on a full-time basis, but also because our population is less likely to have a credential (there were only 34 Dbs of Dbs’s in our class and we had 350 students). So we took a group of teachers online, recorded them and streamed the videos for them. We have currently 49 teachers online on our website.

After the class, the teacher answers questions, so there’s no sitting around sitting in the same seat. There’s no socializing between the teacher and the student, and at the end of the day the teacher will show you the class notes. It’s more engaging because it is less passive. Students come to us and say, I don’t know where my class notes went, or how to make this or that to stay on the track, or even fix this or that in class. And the teacher will tell them exactly how to do it.

I would compare our program to a daily high school class. Students are more engaged, so we have a higher completion rate. The students tell us this is great!

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