Deaf college students, just like their peers, have faced a challenging spring semester — from coping with a worldwide pandemic to the sudden move to online classes for many. These changes in learning environments mean so much more to deaf students than just Zoom meetings and searching for wifi. Accessibility has changed dramatically in just a short period of time.

Many college students went on spring break using one set of accommodations, then returned with  the need to figure out a new delivery platform. Ensuring equal access to course content requires communication, problem solving, and flexibility from faculty, service providers, and school administrators — yet many deaf students find that burden placed upon them.

Live Student Panel Provided Strategies, Connections

The National Deaf Center (NDC) is here to help. First and foremost, we recognize that deaf students need to meet and share strategies with each other in a supportive and accessible environment. With everyone at home, deaf students also are experiencing a loss of contact with their peer networks, including other deaf students and allies.

On April 9, NDC hosted its first online student panel on Zoom. It was attended by deaf students, in an open conversation about their experiences with the transition online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The response was terrific. Almost 50 attendees raised many issues and concerns about challenges they have faced. Panelists and students alike provided examples of strategies on how to advocate for their rights, resources to support them while learning online, and a national network of peers to draw upon for support.

Join Us for Another Panel April 22

Due to popular demand, NDC will host a second online student panel on Zoom on April 22 at 7 to 8:30 p.m. CDT. Please share this save the date with deaf college students! This event will be conducted in ASL with English interpretation and captioning.

Other Resources and Assistance

Always remember: NDC has a full slate of COVID-19 related resources for students, faculty, and families. Check out tips for online learning strategies, professional development opportunities, and more.

And please contact us if you need us! The NDC Help Desk is available for specific questions at help@nationaldeafcenter.org.