At NDC, we have worked with many colleges to assess their capacity to give deaf students access to the entire college experience. Looking beyond academic classes, colleges also provide various programs, services, and activities for all students, such as student organizations, residential life, athletic events, health services, study abroad, and on-campus work experiences.
As part of our celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes (NDC) held a behind-the-scenes event on Deafverse, an NDC online resource designed for deaf youth. This event featured a panel of talented deaf professionals who worked to create this first-of-its-kind online educational game, which has recently launched a new expansion called World Two: Revenge of the Deep. This latest addition, which focuses on job readiness and related skills, builds upon the unique deaf-centered online gaming experience that began with Deafverse World One: Duel of the Bots.
The MSD Transition Department has two key components to meet their high school students’ career transition needs: Work-to-Learn (WTL) and World of Work. Both programs are a collaboration with the Division of Rehabilitation Services, which supports the programs with Pre-Employment Transition Services (pre-ETS) funding.
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.