Learning new things and gaining new experiences are an amazing part of life. Even after completing high school, learning opportunities like continuing education and training matter — even if it’s just taking a few college courses after graduation. Data analyses from the National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes (NDC) show that this is especially true for deaf people, who are more likely to have jobs, make more money, and be involved in their communities when they complete high school and continue their education.
Deaf students are attending postsecondary institutions at higher rates than ever before, but the attainment gap has only slightly narrowed in the past decade. Faculty members play a central role in supporting accessible learning environments for deaf students in postsecondary education and training settings. Dr. Stephanie Cawthon, faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin, shares insights and data from NDC’s ACCESS survey.
Every deaf student is different, with varying communication preferences that depend on people, setting, and contexts. With this in mind, disability services offices must take into consideration the experiences of deaf students to determine the most effective accommodations for each situation. To do this, you need to create opportunities for students to share their experiences and feedback about the accommodations they are using. Encouraging and actively seeking this feedback will strengthen student engagement and ensure students have equitable opportunities to participate in all aspects of the college experience.
The legal minimum, while perhaps legally sufficient, does not ensure deaf students have full access to the same experience as their peers, both in and out of the classroom, nor does it guarantee positive outcomes. To foster inclusive settings for all students to thrive that go beyond just being “good enough,” access must be viewed as a multifaceted framework that is part of the policies and practices at every level of the institution.
Medical or clinical internships are an important step in getting a higher education degree or post-graduation employment. For deaf students, navigating communication access in these settings is vital to achieving #DeafSuccess. In fact, how to best get this access is a frequent inquiry through our NDC | help team. Our team has gathered information and resources to assist in planning, coordinating, and collaborating with students and sites to ensure the best possible internship experience.
Connecting with a mentor can be a life-changing experience. Positive mentoring experiences are mutually beneficial and have lasting influence on both the mentee, mentor, and even the mentee’s family members. These mentoring opportunities offer valuable experiences that contribute to personal, academic, and career development for deaf youth. Yet, the number of opportunities or experiences for mentoring are limited. This is especially true for deaf youth with multiple identities, like deaf-blind, deaf who are oral, deaf people of color, deaf disabled, deaf LGBTQ+ people, and many more.
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, NDEAM. This year’s NDEAM comes at a time of great uncertainty for many. Due to COVID-19, the past two years of work life have looked very different. In March 2020, the country went on lockdown. Some of us were fortunate enough to work remotely from home, others were laid off temporarily, and some are still looking for jobs.
Imagine dropping through a portal onto a mysterious island in search of your friend. That feeling of excitement and wonder is exactly what deaf students will feel when they jump into the exciting Deafverse expansion, World Two: Revenge of the Deep!
The National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes (NDC) invites you to join the live 1-hour presentation event, Centralized Systems That Promote #DeafSuccess at Colleges and Universities.